Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Kendrick Perkins is part of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls ride or die on the success of Derek Rose; plain and simple.
We are not even three days in the NBA playoffs and these two topics of discussion have already come into play (well the Perkins trade since the deadline, but same point).
Chicago has needed last-ditch Jordan-like rallies from Derek Rose to close out the Indiana Pacers. If Indiana had a closer, like Derek Rose, they would be up 2-0 in the series; easily.
The Pacers have played seven quarters of excellent basketball, but the last quarter, broken in half increments, has been the onslaught of the eventual NBA MVP.
Chicago is Miami's biggest threat because Boston traded Kendrick Perkins. Boston lacks size and depth because of injuries to Shaquille O'Neal and Delonte West. Boston still has Ray Allen, but he will not score 23 points a game (he averaged 22.7 in the first three regular season games against the Heat) because Dwyane Wade will be playing playoff basketball and playoff defense.
The same goes for Joel Anthony, whom Kevin Garnett said killed Boston by himself in the last regular season match-up between the Heat and Celtics.
Miami will beat the Boston Celtics in six games.
Back to Chicago, if coach Erik Spolestra puts LeBron James on Derek Rose, he'll find a way to adjust, he's Derek Rose. Like Dwayne Wade in his hayday against the Pistons, Miami should rotate defenders on Rose to disrupt his timing.
Three point shooting will still be an issue, however, because Miami is ranked close to last in three point shooting defense out of all the playoff teams.
Miami is the choice again here, because the Heat will find a way to steal a game in Chicago and wrap it up at home.
Depending on the West competitor, the Heat will win in six or seven games. James had a taste of the finals in 2007 and Wade won it in 2006, so they'll be ready.
If its the Dallas Mavericks, Miami will not have as much trouble as with the Los Angeles Lakers. If the Lakers make it again, Andrew Bynum down low will be a huge problem, even for a recently aggressive Chris Bosh.
It all boils down to the play of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Can they feed off each other?
If so, it is Miami's championship for the taking and another parade down Biscayne Boulevard.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Cafe Con Leche. Philly Cheesesteak. LeBron James, Cliff Lee.
It may be a coincidence or just very good scheduling, but the Marlins, Phillies, Heat and 76ers all play this weekend.
The Marlins started off with a Friday night win against division-leading Philadelphia, the final score; 4-3.
Tomorrow, White Hot begins. The Heat square off against the 76ers at 3:30 pm on ABC. Will LeBron close in the postseason or as Miami Herald writer Linda Robertson mentioned in a column today, "sink to the occasion" like in Cleveland?
Only time will tell, but either way, it is a sports-filled Miami-Philadelphia weekend.