1) When Miami comes with its full squad ready to play hard defensively, it's a whole different level. KJ James and Dwyane Wade got after it defensively from the jump in Oakland, and never let up - Miami forced 21 Golden State turnovers, blocked 5 shots, had 11 steals, and held the Warriors to 36% from the floor. No other team can wreak end-to-end havoc like Miami. Tonight, they struggled shooting the ball, and still blew out a good team in its own building: ground to a 14 point halftime lead, and when the shooting momentarily kicked in on the first two possessions of the second half (back-to-back Emcee Chalmers triples), the Heat led by 20, and this game was over. They eventually stretched it out to 35 before calling off the dogs. There's been a lot of drama over the last couple of days, and somehow everyone forgets how high this team's top gear is - last year's Finals showed no one else is at that level. Some year, the playoffs are going to roll around and Miami isn't going to be able to hit that top gear anymore - it happens to everyone. Maybe it will be this year. But let's let that happen before we all bury them, shall we? Come on, let it fly!
2) KJ James (25 points, 7 boards, 10 assists) set three milestones tonight: one, reached 5,000 assists. Two, became the youngest player to score 20,000 points. Three, became the first player in basketball history to absorb two flagrant fouls in the same season from the usually physically-indifferent David Lee. Late in the second quarter, Lee, who received a flagrant a few weeks ago in Miami for his double-karate chop on a KJ drive to the rim, responded to KJ's 20,000th point by trotting down next to him to the Warriors offensive end, then three steps before the three point line he suddenly wheeled and double-forearmed KJ in the chest, putting him on his back. One of the most bizarre plays of the season. Referee Danny Crawford immediately jumped in and called a flagrant foul as KJ looked on in wonderment - he has a slow, slow fuse. David Lee is super-lucky he didn't double-forearm Dwyane Wade, because he'd be sluicing for his teeth in the San Francisco Bay right now if he had tried Dwyane like that. After watching the replay 8 times, I was sure the refs, who were also reviewing it, would eject Lee. Yet, somehow, no, they watched it and determined it was just a regular foul. As always, welcome to KJ's world. If that's any other player in the league who takes that hit, it's an automatic ejection. First half ended with him clearing out the the top, going left, taking a hard bodycheck from Richard Jefferson (haaa - Richard Jefferson!), and draining a jumper, then turning and looking at the ref while shaking his head. Any other player in the league gets that call. Still don't get the reason for the double-standard.
3) Miami has signed big man Jarvis Varnado to a 10 day contract. Think today was like day 6: tick-tock, Jarvis, tick-tock. Still, Jarvis brings something sorely missed ever since Ronny Turiaf decided to sign with the Clippers over the summer: a great bench celebrator! When Udonis Haslem thunder-tip-slammed a KJ missed first quarter runner like it was 2006, the Heat bench exploded to its feet. Varnado, strategically positioned right in the center of the reserves, got a step ahead of the other guys and thrust his long arms out wide in the classic "hold-u-all-back" pose. So good. We've needed that. However, moments later, when KJ hit a long triple, Varnado got up and did it again. Uh-oh, he might be going too far: Jarvis Varnado might be a "habitual holdbacker." Bears watching. Wait a second - is his name Justin or Jarvis? Jarvis? Okay, good, I got it right. Let's move on.
4) Well, as readers of this blog know, all season long we've been talking about how much we love Memphis Grizzlies play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica. This started early in the season during a Heat loss to Memphis, when Heat play-by-player (and big FAU hoops fan) Eric Reid spent much of the game praising the work of Grizzly point guard Mike Conley. If our announcer is going to rep their point guard, it only seemed fair for this blog to rep their play-by-play guy - and, by the way, it's well-deserved, Pete Pranica is the best: comes prepared, he's quick off the cuff, and knows the history of the league inside and out. I mean, I would assume - never actually heard him do a game, or anything. Anyways, during tonight's broadcast, Heat host Jason Jackson was grumbling away on Twitter about his job traveling first-class around the country and reporting on KJ James and Dwyane Wade's basketball games - while he was grinding away at this nightmare, apparently a Warrior employee stepped into his light, or something. AND WHO CAME TO HIS RESCUE ON TWITTER? MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES ANNOUNCER PETE PRANICA, THAT'S WHO!!!
Pete Pranica RT
Look at how he got right to the heart of the issue with so few words, yet still managed to convey a level of sympathy that I didn't even approach in my recounting of Jax' dire situation. That's why he's Pete Pranica, man. The best...
5) Film review: "RoboBosh" - After being benched in the fourth quarter of a game in which he got abused on the boards by Andrea Bargniani, Pat Riley rebuilds Chris' confidence through a personality-reprogramming process, and Chris goes on a two month rebounding tear which sees him vault to the top of the league leaders. However, on the eve of the playoffs, Chris' body, and more importantly his spirit, are utterly crushed when evil Tyson Chandler flagrant 2's him on an otherwise innocuous second quarter drive to the basket. The Heat do not repeat as champions, and Chris is traded in the offseason to Atlanta for Al Horford, but he learns a valuable lesson along the way, which is basically that Tyson Chandler takes his fouling over the line at times. #Boshography
6) Omg, omg, okay, okay, okay - I admit it. It might not actually have been Conrad Bain (aka Mr. Drummond) whom I, M.Minutos, Great Friend of the Blog Plumber, and Mrs.Plumber saw at Fish Bar in Jamestown, Rhode Island this summer. But if it wasn't him, it was clearly a hoax - that dude was definitely trying to convince us that he was Mr. Drummond. I'm clearly the victim here, and I only kept perpetuating the lie that I had met him because I was embarrassed that I got fooled, and because I had a couple - okay, several - cucumber martinis that evening. In any case, the real Mr. D died today, and I'll miss him. He'll always be in my heart, but more importantly, in my desk at Dos Minutos International Headquarters, because a week after I was Teo'd by that impostor, GFOB Plumber went online, purchased an autographed Conrad Bain photo on EBay, and mailed it to me. That sucker just tripled in value! At least! Ch-ching!!!
It's super-late. Another super-late game tomorrow in Los Angeles against the Lakers, then like a week off. I can't wait (for the week off)! If you need me before tomorrow, I'll be scouring Macy's for an all-white denim outfit. With Pete Pranica. Holla!