Every morning, we compile the links of
the day and dump them here…
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
But in Rivers' mind, that distinction can't be transferred in the
offseason. The Heat are going to have to wrestle it away from the
Celtics on the court.
"We'll find that out later," Rivers said Wednesday when asked if the
free-agent moves in Miami could cause a power shift in the East. "We've
got to play. Clearly they've improved their basketball team. I'm not
going to go ahead and say there's a shift, as far as I'm concerned."
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny
Ainge echoed those sentiments Thursday.
"We are the Eastern Conference champs and we think we're going to be
better," Ainge said before James' announcement. "I have a great deal of
respect for [James, Wade and Bosh], they are all top-notch free agents.
We know that whatever happens, the East is going to be a challenge; the
East is going to be stronger."
The Heat roster right now is Mario Chalmers at the point, Wade at the 2, LeBron at the 3, Bosh at the 4….. and that's it.
Literally. That's all they have under contract. (They traded Beasley)
They not only do not have a center… they don't have a 6th man… they don't have a 9th man… they don't have the towel waving 12th man parked on the end of the bench.
So let's look at this as objectively as we can (because right now I want tonight to be game one of the ECF between the Heat and the Celtics SOOO bad).
Yes, there are questions as to whether LeBron and Wade can play together. They did play on Team USA but that was for a few weeks and it was a team full of stars. But it's also entirely possible that they can figure it out. So I'm not putting too much stock in that.
I am, however, putting stock in the lack of supporting cast. Because the Heat entered free agency under the cap, they don't have the mid-level like the Celtics did. They can now only fill their roster out with veteran minimum contracts and their 3 second round draft picks.
Are they really going to trot Dexter Pittman out there as their starting center? Shaq? (hold on, let me stop laughing)…. or Brad Miller (still laughing) …. or Kwame Brown (…oh God.. I can't breathe).
There are plenty of veteran minimum guys that will sign with Miami, I'm sure. But theyr'e veteran minimum guys for a reason. And furthermore, everyone is new. When the Heat fill out their roster of 12 guys… only TWO of them will have played together in the NBA.
LeBron,Wade, and Bosh are going to have to sit sometime. And when they do, the Heat are going to be trotting a borderline D-League team out there. Erik Spoelstra is going to have to find some substitution pattern that leaves one of those big names out there at all times… and that's just going to lessen the impact of the entire thing.
OBVIOUSLY it's going to be a daunting task dealing with these 3 guys in Miami. But I'd say there are still serious questions about the other 9 guys.. whomever they may be. So don't go crowning Miami just yet… because at this point, they can only play 5 on 4. (which is apparently still good enough for Vegas)
On Page 2: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert EVISCERATES LeBron
As you now know, our
former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this
evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced
with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating
with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever
"witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing
to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership
team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here
at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray
There is so much more
to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than
exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be
communicating much of that to you.
You simply don't deserve this kind of
You have given so much and deserve so
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE"
Oh… it goes on, too.
I love him for it. It was the first honest, genuine reaction in this entire comedy. He sat there and watched LeBron James book an hour long special so he could publicly string 5 fan bases along and stick a fork in the eyeballs of Cavs fans.
The letter might have been a little more effective, however, if were written in a more… um…. professional font than comic sans. Then people wouldn't be making jokes like this. And one wonders what he meant by all this "enabling" talk. And furthermore… that's one hell of a promise to make.
But I applaud his passion. I will root for the Cavs to win one without LeBron. I would LOVE to see it happen.
Oh, if you want a more thorough demolition of LeBron… go to Woj's column from a few days ago. Awesomeness
There rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Ainge happy with offseason | WEEI: What LeBron's decision means for the Celtics | Herald: LeBron's snub of Ohio a blemish on his image | David Lee goes to Golden State | Celtics do get O'Neal: Jermaine | Globe: This spectacle was fit for a king | Harangody grabs a few more fans | C's nab Jermaine O'Neal | Souza: Same old Celtics