Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Hoop & The Harm: Notes from the Hardcourt

Best Served Cold?

The Miami Heat didn’t have to wait long for a chance to enact a bit of revenge for their worst loss of the season…but could they do it?

On March 4th, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Heat by 30 points, which came a night after Miami blew a huge lead in a loss to Orlando and a few days before they were said to be crying in the locker room following a loss to the Bulls.

The sports world had a good laugh at their expense over “Crygate,” but the Heat seem to have really pulled it together (at least for now) since being embarrassed by their head coach, Erik Spoelstra.

Miami beat the LA Lakers last Thursday, they whooped the Grizzlies on Saturday and on Monday, the Heat recorded the biggest win of them all: a 110-80 victory over the Spurs. That’s right, they lost by 30 in Texas and won by 30 at AmericanAirlines Arena!

Chris Bosh, who has been the most inconsistent of the “Big Three,” had 30 points and 12 rebounds in the win but here’s the stat that shows you how dominant these guys could be if they played like this more often: Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 80 points and 27 rebounds.

The Spurs, as a team, had 80 points and 33 boards!

I don’t think we’ve seen that type of three-man dominance as often as we might have expected this season, but seeing Miami do it against the best team in the league (by six whole games) should turn some heads.

The key to the success of this thing though has to be Bosh stepping it up and playing like he did on Monday on a more consistent basis!

Tweetnical Foul

Upset with a reporter’s in game “tweet,” an NBA ref says he wants to settle things on the court…

Wait, no that’s not it.

Oh yeah, Bill Spooner wants to settle his differences with AP writer Jon Krawczynski IN court! The ref filed a lawsuit this week over something Krawczynski tweeted during a January 24th game between Minnesota and Houston that got him investigated by the league.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports that during that game, a 129-125 Timberwolves loss, Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis gave Spooner and earful after a bad call, asking when he’d get that two points back. That’s pretty common in sports, but Krawczynski then tweeted that the ref promised he’d “get it back” and proceeded to make an “even worse” call at the other end!

Spooner says the tweet is a “defamatory accusation of game fixing” and he is now seeking $75,000 in damages, he wants the tweet unpublished and he wants the statement retracted.

The AP is standing by their man though – the Business Journal quotes AP Associate General Counsel Dave Tomlin as saying that they “believe all of the facts we reported from the game in question were accurate.”

The most interesting part for me about the Business Journal report is this little tidbit at the end: The suit…doesn’t say whether Spooner thinks he got the call right.

What do you think: First of all, should someone be able to sue in this case, and secondly, is Spooner just mad because he was caught out?

The NBA’s Peter Forsberg?

It seems Yao Ming isn’t ready to hang up his gigantic shoes just yet.

The NBA’s Hang Time Blog reports that Ming says he’ll be trying to come back, despite suffering another stress fracture in his left foot back in November that has limited him to just five games this season. This was after not playing at all in 2009-10 and suffering injury after injury since 2005, most of which were located on that left foot. If it wasn’t a problem with his big toe, it was a fracture here, a stress fracture there or one of a couple of knee problems that he’s had over the years.

Despite all of that, he says he wants to give it another try.

Obviously he has the support of the fans in Houston and elsewhere, because he was voted onto the All-Star team as a starter even though his season was practically over before it started! I think everyone wants to see him back in the game, because it is tough to see all that talent sitting on the sidelines.

When he’s healthy, Yao Ming is an elite player…but his problem is staying healthy and it’s sad to say that at 30 years old, he may have played his last NBA game.

Some people hate an athlete who doesn’t know when to say goodbye, as if it affects their lives in any way, shape or form. I’ve been guilty of it myself, but when it comes to an athlete retiring on his/her own terms, I say keep pushing!

Other stuff…

K-Love’s double-double streak came to an end on Sunday…but the moral of the story here is that Love is an unreal player!

Have you ever wondered what the NCAA basketball tournament would look like if academic performance ruled all?

Remember the story about the Michigan high school player who collapsed and died shortly after hitting a game winning shot? His team won the district title!

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