Reporting Tim Kephart
Hmm….which should be the big story today? The Heat looking to avoid going down 0-2 in the NBA Finals or the Miami Marlins resuming their role or NBA Commissioner David Stern acting like a petulant child? It’s all in the agenda.
Quote of the Day:
“If there are no stupid questions; then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?” – Scott Adams
Miami Heat: (@ Oklahoma City Thunder, 9:00 p.m., ABC)
Well the time for tinkering, adjusting, massaging, and every other adjective you can come up with for the Heat is over.
Tonight, the Heat will go back on the court to face a younger, more athletic Oklahoma City Thunder team in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
I can’t stress this enough….
This. Is. A. Must. Win. Game.
Your chances of coming back from an 0-2 deficit in the NBA Finals are astronomical.
Much of the focus tonight should be on Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Wade has looked a step or two slow and you can tell his nagging left knee injury is still bothering him.
The problem for Wade is that his game has been built on slashing to the basket and drawing the foul.
Now though, he has to work on dribbling and backing down opponents to try and get his shot.
The days of slashing look to be over for the man once known as Slash (all due respect to the real Slash, formerly of Guns ‘N Roses)
The biggest problem for the Heat is he needs to get going in the first half.
Much of the problem for Wade has been he’s just plain stunk in the first half in most of the playoff games.
But think about this…
If Wade gets going early and LeBron can get a breather, then when the fourth quarter comes around, LeBron can put the pedal to the metal.
That brings in Bosh as well.
He will start tonight, I guarantee it.
He needs to be told constantly to get down in the lane and battle.
The Thunder don’t have anyone with his length that can really check him and keep up with him.
He’s got to get going down low before he starts to pop outside on pick and rolls.
And when he does pop outside, he’s got to take guys off the dribble and draw the double-team and then pass it to the open man.
All of that brings us back to the main thing the Heat must do tonight.
The Heat have to play dead-on defense.
The Heat’s whole game plan begins with tough defense and getting the rebounds off contested shots.
They’ve got to be in the faces of Durant and Westbrook all night, especially Westbrook.
If you can get him off his game and overthinking things, the Thunder’s offense crumbles.
Easier said than done I know.
LeBron is also going to have to cover Kevin Durant.
He’s the only Heat player who can do it and if he does for a majority of the game; I guarantee Durant will have a hard time getting to 30 points.
That will also make LeBron tired, which means Wade and Bosh better be aggressive or the game could get ugly.
Here’s my rotation of players if I were coaching tonight:
Starters – PG Mario Chalmers, SG Dwyane Wade, SF LeBron James, PF Udonis Haslem, C Chris Bosh
Reserves to play – SF Shane Battier, SF Mike Miller, PF/C Joel Anthony, PG Norris Cole, SG James Jones
Give them a ten man rotation and you’ll keep up better with them.
Plus, Cole and Anthony can give one helluva athletic spark off the bench.
That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.
Miami Marlins: (off Thursday, Thank God)
The Marlins’ home stand is mercifully over.
That. Was. Horrid.
1-8 through the nine game home stand and just 3-9 halfway through the month of June.
You have to try to be that bad.
How did this team win more than 20 games last month and stink this much this month?
It’s mind boggling.
The loss dropped Miami to one game over .500 and just 2.5 games ahead of last place Philadelphia.
I don’t know what Ozzie Guillen needs to do, but he needs to jerk a knot into these guys and get them playing the way they were in June.
If you didn’t listen to the Jim Rome show yesterday, like me, you missed quite a display from NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Rome asked a legitimate question that people ask all the time, Was the lottery fixed since the NBA owned the team that won the lottery.
Stern and Rome were going back and forth and Stern asked if Rome had stopped beating his wife.
It’s an old lawyer’s question to fight back against an unfair line of questioning.
Stern then goes on and on, he made a valid point that people would question the lottery no matter what.
Stern went on to question Rome of using “cheap” questions to further his career.
Rome, understandably, took offense to it and thankfully it ended right there.
Well, not before Stern said he had to go talk to someone important like Stephen A. Smith.
It was a petulant display from an overly egotistical commissioner who has failed to truly take his game to the next level.