Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Heat 98 Sixers 94

6 Thoughts

1) Toronto.  Charlotte.  Houston.  Clippers.  Lakers.  Portland.  OKC.  Atlanta.  Bulls.  Sixers.  Cavaliers.  Kings.  Grizzlies.  Knicks.  Timberwolves.  Magic.  Sixers.  Pacers.  Hawks.  Sixers. Thank you, Sixers, you've really helped us out here.  20.  Let it fly.

2) Make or Miss League, episode #10,243: Miami looked exhausted - got one first half spurt that included 4 KJ James dunks to get a double digit lead, but wore out over the second half.  A 15-2 run put the Sixers up 3 with 4 minutes to go.  With Miami back on top by a point with 30 seconds to go, James (27, 7, 8, but 1-10 in second half) drove right, took a hit, saw his layup roll off, got it back, flipped it up with his left hand, it rattled out...but Dwyane Wade snaked past Thaddeus Young and tipped it back in for a three point lead.  After a timeout, the Sixers ran a high screen-and-roll and Spencer Hawes came free to the rim, caught a pass, and missed an absolutely uncontested bunny.  Wade grabbed the rebound, made two free throws: ballgame.  Wade's tip rattles out, or Hawes' layup rolls in, maybe the outcome is different.  Make or miss league.  Oh, yeah: Spencer Hawes!

3) You know who was great tonight?  Theeeee Birdman!  He's feeling his legs now, he's bouncy.  Remember when he first joined the Heat, he had trouble finishing at the rim, and was often out of position defensively.  Now he's alive - he sets really solid screens and rolls hard to the rim, he's reverse-flushing alley-oops, he's active defensively, he drives a Red Range, and he's the only Heat big who can contest a shot (forced an ugly Dorrell Wright miss on a drive in the second quarter), and get back up a second time to the rebound (grabbed the board, triggered a runout).  Joel Anthony can contest the shot and get back up into the air, but the ball will squirt out of the sticks of butter he calls hands into the third row.  Udonis Haslem can't contest the shot or get back up to the rebound.  Chris Bosh doesn't see any need to do either until the Finals (he's probably right about that, actually, as cynical as it seems on his part).  Birdman had 10 points, 5 rebounds, a block, and a few alters in 16 active minutes.  Had a couple of dunks, and also two jumpers from the top of the key when he caught the ball, no one guarded him, he figured "hey, I'm the Birdman," and let it fly.  Swish!  Not sure if he should keep going to that well, though.  In any case, this signing could not have worked out better - getting a free, helpful, rotation big halfway through the season is insane.  There are a lot of contenders out there right now kicking themselves for not getting to him first.

4) A few notes about this streak, and other streak-like news: it's tied for the third longest streak in history.  Miami hasn't lost a game for a whole quarter of the season!  They haven't lost since February 1st, that's almost 6 weeks!  Shane Battier was also on the team with the second longest streak in history, the 07-08 Rockets.  In the last 11 games of this streak, Dwyane Wade has scored 20+ each game, and never shot under 50% from the floor - that's almost more impressive than the streak.  Also, this was the second night of a back-to-back: Miami is 10-1 on the second night of back-to-backs, that's bonkers, no one does that in this league.  Most importantly, the most obnoxious sports franchise in history, the Boston Celtics, you know what their longest streak is?  19!  We're better than Boston - we can lose now.  Although they won tonight, so they're sitting on 1 in a row.  They're creeping up, only 20 more to go to beat us, assuming we ever lose again.    

5) First, there was the revelation over the weekend that Coach Spo has a girlfriend.  That's great, I'm happy for him.  It seems a little wrong, but only in the sense that he's too busy to have a girlfriend, like the President or the new Pope.  A long-suffering wife would be okay, but not a girlfriend.  We don't want Spo getting distracted by his gal when he should be doing important things like breaking down game film of the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Here's a picture of her, she's pretty:

But today, more news.  From Heat beat writer Ethan J. Skolnick's twitter account:

Ethan J. Skolnick@EthanJSkolnick
What's the protocol when u r in a 3-person airplane row, trying to work, and the couple next to you clearly, um, needs a room?
Ohhhh, mannn...C'mon, Spo, not on the team plane!  Act like you've had a girlfriend before.  This is what I was worried about.
6) So excited about this Pope.  Everything's gonna be different now...When they are having that cabal thing, do you think there is a commissary in the Vatican where those pope dudes eat, or do they get it catered?  I bet they get it catered.  I'm not Catholic, by the way.
Friday night we play in Milwaukee.  Everyone has long assumed that's the game we will lose.  It's a road game against an improving playoff team, and especially one that can get irrationally hot from the outside on a given night.  Also, as Tony and Eric pointed out, Milwaukee will be defending the honor of the 70-71 Bucks, who had Lew Alcindor, and also won 20 straight.  Odds that Bucks guards Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis know who Lew Alcindor is (I'll give you the "or" - either one can know him): zero percent.  There's only a 40% chance they know who all the current Milwaukee Bucks are.  If you need me before Friday, I'll be making out in public with M.Minutos.  PDA rules!