Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Hoop & The Harm: Notes from the Hardcourt

Fired Up?

With “Crygate” now in their rear view mirrors (despite the rest of us still laughing about it), the Miami Heat are gearing up for a meeting with the LA Lakers tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena.

They beat the Lake Show 96-80 back on Christmas day, but a lot has changed since then in FLA! For starters, that last win came in the middle of a run that saw the Heat take 21 of 22 games. At that point I think we all kind of figured that they had sorted out how to win games together and would be unstoppable for the rest of the season. Oh, how wrong we were!

After that streak was over they lost four in a row, won 13 of 16 and now come into tonight’s action having lost five straight. They’re not just losing either, they’re blowing huge leads, getting blown out or losing tight games and (allegedly) crying about it in the locker room afterwards.

I haven’t weighed in on “Crygate” until now, but I think it’s time. Are you ready?

First of all, if a team that is supposed to be challenging for a title is so upset after a fourth straight loss that some players are moved to tears, you’ve got problems. That said, why in the hell is coach Erik Spoelstra telling the media that his players are crying in the room? Did he not realize that he was about to open his team up to a week (or weeks) of public humiliation? They’re just lucky that Charlie Sheen took some of the attention off of them in the last week!

Here are some of my favorites so far from around the league – Toronto’s Sonny Weems (via TSN):

“I don’t care nothing about no Miami Heat or no Chris Bosh…First of all, nobody in our locker room would be crying. We lost more games than Miami put together with another team, it’s no reason to cry.”

Lakers coach Phil Jackson with some advice on where to cry, if you must (via Off The Bench):

“This is the NBA: No Boys Allowed. Big boys don’t cry. But if you’re going to do it, do it in the toilet where no one sees you.”

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy on feeling sorry for the Heat (via Spurs Nation):

“I do chuckle a little bit when they sort of complain about the scrutiny they get. My suggestion would be if you don’t want the scrutiny, you don’t hold a championship celebration before you’ve even practiced together. It’s hard to go out yourself and invite that kind of crowd and celebration and attention, and then when things aren’t going well, sort of bemoan the fact that you’re getting that attention.”

I’ve got to say though that my favorite part of this whole thing is the fact that Spoelstra blamed the media for the coverage this got, calling it “sensationalism.” He must have forgotten that he specifically said that players were crying after the loss to the Bulls (via Pro Basketball Talk):

“I think (the media) can probably take anything I say and turn it into a story, I was shocked when [the Heat media guy] told me about it...I think you guys can be a little more creative than that…I think you guys are really searching for sensationalism now.”

Sure, Spo – blame the media for your loose lips! I wonder if he cried after the “We want Riley” chants on Tuesday?

Moses Milestone

It’s been a tough week for Moses Malone.

The former NBA/ABA great was probably just kicking back and enjoying life, looking back on all of his accomplishments and thinking about the records he set in his 21-year pro career, when all of a sudden BAM! Down go three of those records!

First, Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love registered his 51st straight double-double in a loss to the Mavericks on Tuesday, pushing him past Malone’s single season record of 50. The next night, LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant scored 26 in a win over the Atlanta Hawks, moving him in front of Malone and into sixth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 27,410 points.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Love put up another double-double (despite nursing a sore knee) on Wednesday night for 52 in a row…which breaks the overall record held by Malone that stretched over two seasons!

Imagine that! The poor guy’s birthday is coming up in like two weeks and this is how people act? Kids these days have no respect!

Melo-Drama

I think it’s safe to say that Carmelo Anthony has officially settled into his new role as one of the go-to players on his dream team.

I say that because on Wednesday night he hit his first game-winning shot as a member of the Knicks in a 110-108 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. He said afterwards that “it was just one of them shots that you know is going to go in!”


Swish!

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