May 31, 2012 10:13 AM EDT
Rajon Rondo had a brilliant 44 points to go with 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals in Boston's 115-111 Game 2 loss at Miami.
"Absolutely amazing," said LeBron James of Rondo's night. "The performance he put on will go down in the record books. He's a unique player, an unbelievable player."
"He almost singlehandedly beat us," Miami's Shane Battier marveled. "That's one of the best games I've ever seen in person."
May 30, 2012 9:58 AM EDT
The Heat offense has thrived since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Erik Spoelstra said the main factor is that the team is playing less "hero ball" and not that they are without Chris Bosh.
But Miami's ball movement in the halfcourt has improved without Bosh.
“It’s not something that happens overnight,” Spoelstra said. “This is two years of habits and learning each other’s strengths and learning what’s effective for us. We’ve had to change a lot of habits that guys have had for years for the improvement of our team.”
James and Wade have increased their interplay without Bosh also on the court.
“When Bosh went out, the package got smaller and when [Spoelstra] calls sets, he only calls them for me and LeBron instead of calling it for all three of us,” Wade said. “So, I’m more involved in the offense, and our team can kind of know exactly what we’re going to get out of us two.”
During the Heat’s four-game postseason winning streak, Wade and James have combined for 251 points (an average of 62 points per game).
May 29, 2012 9:27 AM EDT
The Heat varied their defensive looks on Rajon Rondo during their 93-70 win over Boston.
Rondo was held to 16 points and seven assists as the Heat made sure to have help defenders in the paint waiting for him.
“He’s one of the most unique players I have seen in this league," said Erik Spoelstra. "We know what he is. What is part of his greatness is his utter unpredictability. You don’t know where he comes up with that great play. He has great timing, knows the moment and what his team needs most. And it can be anything.”
May 29, 2012 9:20 AM EDT
Chris Bosh remained in Miami when the Heat eliminated the Pacers from the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Game 6, watching the game on television from his home.
With Bosh recovering from a strained abdominal muscle, Bosh hasn't been able to play since Game 1 of the Indiana series.
"It is weird and very, very difficult," Bosh said. "I really realize how disconnected I've been and I have to be. Since I've been hurt, it's OK, well, they're on the road, they're in shootaround, they're practicing. And I have to rehab. It's a hell of a process."
Bosh's value to the Heat has become more widely recognized since his injury.
"Funny how that happens," Bosh says. "I've never heard my name so much since I've been out. It's funny to me, all the guys who were killing me, just to hear everything now that I'm a huge part of the team."
May 29, 2012 9:12 AM EDT
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade attacked the basket at will in the second half of Miami's 93-79 Game 1 victory over the Celtics.
"Nothing dirty, but they have to hit the deck too," said Rajon Rondo.
May 28, 2012 5:35 PM EDT
Doc Rivers believes the Heat may be more dangerous without Chris Bosh.
"Obviously, Bosh makes them better but in some ways you can say they're more dangerous because now those 15 shots that Bosh had, they're going to [Dwyane] Wade and LeBron [James], so in some ways they have the ball more,'' Rivers said before shootaround Monday. "They're more aggressive. It almost activated them to be more aggressive which puts a lot of stress on your defense.
"Clearly, Chris is a terrific player and obviously it changes them. I don't know what the difference is but just like our guys [injuries] change you. It shouldn't make you worse, it should just make you different.''
The Heat are scoring more efficiently during the playoffs, averaging 108.3 points per 100 possessions, a mark which would have placed them 5th out of 30 teams during the regular season.
Bosh has been sidelined since straining a lower abdominal muscle in Game 1 of Miami's second-round series against the Pacers.
May 28, 2012 11:27 AM EDT
Erik Spoelstra tracks Heat players with an "activity chart," which awards points for statistical categories such as fouls drawn and block outs on rebounding.
"It's basically all the tangible things you do that you don't see on a stat sheet," Heat video coordinator Dan Craig said. "It could be taking a hit or not getting a charge [on offense]. It could be a deflection on a pick-and-roll, you get a deflection but you don't get the steal. It could be everything from a hard close out, running guys off a shot and not necessarily getting a block but taking them off an open shot. He is always at the top of our team's activity chart at the end of every game.
"I think that's what makes him great. He does so much more out there on the court than the average person will see."
James is averaging 9.8 free throw attempts per game in the postseason.
"The average fan might not notice that he's picked up eight fouls for the game," Craig said. "That helps us get in the bonus at the end of the games. You get those attackers attacking and now we're at the free throw line shooting … He really just does so much."
May 27, 2012 11:25 PM EDT
Udonis Haslem admitted retaliating on Tyler Hansbrough in Game 5, which led to a one-game suspension.
Hansbrough fouled Dwyane Wade on a previous play that drew blood.
“I can’t imagine anything I wouldn’t do for Dwyane,” said Haslem.
“It is all fun and games to beat up the Heat in the media, to say the Heat are soft,” Haslem said. “But as soon as the Heat take a stand and hit back, it’s not funny anymore. Rabbit hunting is fun. But it ain’t funny when the rabbit has the gun.”
Wade gave the game ball following Miami's closeout win of the Pacers to Haslem.
“For my brother,” Wade said for all to hear. “For his sacrifice. I don’t think we win this series without him.”
May 27, 2012 11:15 PM EDT
Chris Bosh participated in an on-court workout on Sunday, a significant step in his recovery from an abdominal strain.
Bosh remains listed as out indefinitely.
Bosh's workout included catching and turning with the ball, along with lateral movement across the court.
"I'm not even preparing for that right now," Erik Spoelstra said earlier Sunday when asked about Bosh's status for the series. "I'm preparing for who we have in the gym. So our focus is (Monday). And that's all I can concentrate on. We have enough to win (Monday). That's all that any of our guys should be focused on."
May 27, 2012 6:20 PM EDT
Dwyane Wade said Miami was predestined to face the Celtics in the Eastern Conference championship.
"Inevitable. It's the matchup the game of basketball wants," Wade said. "Obviously, with the Chicago Bulls being out, this is the biggest matchup the Eastern Conference can have. So we accept the challenge and we look forward to the series."
Added Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "Was there any doubt that it'd be us and Boston?"
LeBron James has faced Boston in 18 playoff games - more than any other active player, and more than any club the reigning MVP has squared off with in the postseason.
"I wouldn't have it no other way, personally," James said. "It's really the only team I'm accustomed to playing in the playoffs. No matter where I go, I find a way to play Boston. ... We've got a lot of history."
Miami Heat Archives
Erik Spoelstra was been $25,000 on Friday, "for critical public comments about how the Miami/Indiana playoff series was being officiated."
LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard have been named to the All-NBA First Team.
Udonis Haslem has been suspended for Game 6, while Dexter Pittman received a three-game ban.
Chris Bosh has been ruled for Game 6 at Indiana, but he remains hopeful he will be able to return if the Heat advance.
LeBron James received 24 out of 29 first place votes.
Larry Bird criticized the Pacers for being "soft" in Game 5 against Miami.
Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio, Kenneth Faried, Klay Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Kawhi Leonard and Brandon Knight have been voted to the 2011-12 NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Danny Granger has received a technical foul in each of the last three games.
Dwyane Wade said the 48 hours of treatment and time away allowed him to regroup for Sunday's critical game.
Danny Granger expects the altercation between Dwyane Wade and Erik Spoelstra to unify the Heat ahead of Game 4.
Lance Stephenson gave a choke sign at LeBron James after the latter missed a technical foul during the third quarter of Game 3.
May 19, 2012 | Vigilant Sports
Dwyane Wade visited Tom Crean during Miami's off day on Friday.
Paul George has been key to the Pacers’ 2-1 series lead over Miami because of his ability to defend Dwyane Wade largely without help.
Dwyane Wade yelled at Erik Spoelstra during a third-quarter timeout of Miami’s 94-75 loss to the Pacers.
Erik Spoelstra mixed up his starting lineup in Game 3 with Chris Bosh unavailable.
May 17, 2012 | Chicago Tribune
Chris Bosh did not travel with the Heat to Indiana, remaining in South Florida for treatment of his lower-abdominal strain.
May 16, 2012 | Miami Herald
Greg Oden is interested in signing a free agent deal with the Heat.
Dwyane Wade has set the bar at three NBA titles.
Dwyane Wade took offense with Indiana’s emotional outburst after a series-tying win in Game 2.
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LeBron James said that he has played more positions this season than any of his seven with the Cavaliers.
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