Q: Paging Mr. Bosh, this is your wakeup call. -- T.J.
A: That could come in handy, if Chris' bum right ankle is up to the moment. Or perhaps it's Dwyane Wade's moment. Let's no overstate the absence of Birdman. The arrival of Wade or Bosh would mean far more.
MAY 31, 2013
Q: Ira, why can't the league get it right the first time? If David West had gotten his flagrant in Game 4, instead of two days later, the Heat would have had an extra possession, and maybe this series would already be over. And if Birdman had been ejected for his flagrant on Thursday night, the Heat wouldn't have to sweat whether he's going to be suspended for Saturday. The calls don't have the same impact when the rulings are made later. -- Marty.
A: I totally agree. I think the external indignation is misplaced with too much focus on flopping violations. But when the league has to upgrade or downgrade a flagrant foul, it basically is saying the three referees, even with the use of game-delaying instant replay, couldn't get it right. Essentially, what that says is there is no clear delineation when it comes to flagrant fouls, that the view of the league office can vary from the view of the referees. In that case, put Stu Jackson in front of a monitor in the league office on game nights, especially in the conference finals and NBA Finals, when there is only one game at a time, and let him make what now are after-the-fact judgments instead in real time.
Q: Will Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh be able to get it together? -- Leo.
A: Chris said after Thursday's game that his ankle was still troublesome from his sprain in Game 4, so time might lead to improvement for Game 6. But Dwyane clearly needs more time off for his knee than the playoffs allow. He probably can't be much worse than Game 5, but he likely will not be anything close to himself for the balance of these playoffs. It is what it is.
Q: Why is Mario Chalmers getting to the rim so easily off screens where LeBron isn't? -- Cesar.
A: Because unlike LeBron, Mario doesn't stop to think what is the proper play or the prudent play. He just dips his head and goes for it, for better or worse. LeBron, by contrast, is not only looking at the rim, but also for the right play, which might be a pass or a pull-up jumper. Mario's fearless and foolishness actually work in his favor in those situations.
MAY 30, 2013
Q: Ray Allen has become a disaster both on offense and defense. When is Erik Spoelstra going to adjust? -- Joel.
A: "Disaster" is an overstatement when it comes to Ray's offense, considering even when he is not making shots, he still spaces the floor. (But it would be nice to get the points, as well.) And he did lead the Heat in rebounding in Game 4, which might have been as much an indictment on his teammates as anything. But beyond a few occasional quality minutes against Paul George, the defense is becoming a huge issue, continually sized up as fresh meat by Lance Stephenson. The rub is that if the Heat move away from Ray in the playoffs it could get Ray to move away from his Heat player option for next season. Still, the ring is the thing, and there could be something to be said about again spotting Mike Miller for a few minutes, as Spoelstra tried in the first half in Game 2. Mike brings the type of energy the Heat have been missing at times this postseason.
Q: Is small ball dead in the NBA? The Bulls, Grizzlies, Spurs all play big with elite big men who can rebound. -- Joel.
A: But the Bulls and Grizzlies already are finished, so it comes down to whether the Pacers advance before any definitive conclusion can be reached. And it's not as if the Clippers, with their twin bigs, or even the Lakers with Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol got it done. Talent wins, with the proper coaching approach.
Q: Dwyane Wade played Game 4 like it was a January game against Charlotte. -- Alan.
A: It was an odd, somewhat-meandering approach for such a big game.