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Your Morning Dump… Where the Spurs might have blown up the Heat

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) June 16, 2014 Around the NBA, The Morning Dump 55 Comments

spurs win

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.

James is in an extremely powerful position. He is a player in his prime with the right to be an unrestricted free agent and the off-court financial independence to be flexible in his salary. This will allow him to exert his power in the construction of a roster.

Focused on legacy and building a brand that will allow him to increase his earnings in retirement like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, James may be willing to sacrifice some money in the short term in order to yield dividends in the future. Doing so would apply pressure to teammates to do the same.

However, James does not lack perspective. The defeat to the Spurs does not undo the success the Heat have had over the past four seasons. One of the tenets Heat president Pat Riley has sold to James — and one he’ll likely remind James of before his opt-out decision before the June 29 deadline — is the value of being on a team that gives you a broad window. The Heat have proven they can do that.

ESPN: James’ uncertain road ahead

This roster, good enough to get the Heat here out of the weakened Eastern Conference, isn’t championship caliber.

Don’t believe it?

Consider that Spoelstra came into this game trying to pull multiple magic rabbits out of his hat.

Trick one was hoping Udonis Haslem could play the character card and will the Heat to victory. Well, Tim Duncan ate up Haslem on three consecutive trips in the third quarter.

Trick two involved having Michael Beasley active.

Really?

Trick three was benching Mario Chalmers and not even letting him be the first point guard off the bench. Chalmers, in a terrible playoffs funk, played himself out of the lineup and perhaps out of Miami.

The Heat was grasping but could offer no real answers.

Time to rebuild, Pat Riley.

Miami Herald:  It’s time for Pat Riley to rebuild roster

This is just a sampling of the stuff floating around after the Spurs polished off the Miami Heat in what really should have been a sweep of the NBA Finals.  The Miami Heat as we have known them over the past four years may be dead.

The only Heat player with guaranteed money next year is Norris Cole.  Everyone else’s contract is either over, or it can be ended through player options or early terminations.  So depending on what happens this summer, the dreaded Miami Heat could become the pre-LeBron middle-of-the-road Heat or worse.

It’s tempting to say it all starts with LeBron and what he’s going to do. But I think it all hinges on Dwyane Wade.  He’s got $42 million on the table for the next two years, which could be the final two years of his career if his knee keeps getting worse.

Could he take a pay cut and help Miami by taking that $42 million, plus a little something extra as a thank you, spread out over four years?  He could.  Miami could give him that $12-$14 million a year over four years, a no-trade clause, and then in two years when his knee is totally crapped out, file an insurance claim and not be responsible for the money after Wade’s medically necessary retirement.  This is the type of shady stuff that happens all the time in pro sports, so it wouldn’t shock me.

Or maybe it hinges on Chris Bosh?  If Wade took the cut, it’d on Bosh to keep pace, but he’s in a little bit of a different boat.  He’s 30 years-old and healthy.  He’s re-imagining himself as an outside-in player who’ll take less of a pounding in an effort to extend his career.  He’s not worth $42 million over two years, but he’s probably got a few years left in him after those two years are up, so the “spread the money out” thing I just described with Wade would just cost Bosh lots of money.  I’m not sure Bosh would be on board with this much sacrifice.  He’s already done it once.

LeBron could put pressure on everyone by being the first to sign for less.  In the end, the LeBron James hype machine will make back whatever basketball money he sacrifices and then some.  He could put up this magnanimous front without really sacrificing anything and put all the pressure on a couple of guys who can’t recoup their “sacrifice” by just signing a new endorsement deal with someone for the difference in lost salary.

Or LeBron could bolt.  He could team up with Carmelo Anthony somewhere out West and throw that conference into a tizzy for a while.  Either way, it’s going to be an interesting summer that could rearrange the standings in the East significantly…. maybe even further weaken it.

From a Celtics perspective, a return to glory could be hastened by Miami’s demise.  Depending on what moves are made, the C’s could take advantage of a weakened East to move back into the playoffs sooner than expected.  Free agents looking for success could start flocking to the East in an effort to find an easier path to the Finals.  The Celtics, freshly rebuilt and boasting Rajon Rondo and other young talent (and perhaps a newly acquired franchise player) could become an attractive gathering point for that talent.

If this Finals loss creates a vacuum at the top of the conference, someone will have to fill it.  It’s possible the Celtics could get pulled up in the process.

Page 2:  Oh yeah… let’s give the Spurs some credit

I don’t want to make this all about Miami, even though as Celtics fans, we’re more concerned about how our team’s future is directly impacted by a team in our conference possibly getting blown up.  Let’s give the Spurs some credit here.

What they did to Miami was just amazing.  They ran one of the most impeccably unselfish offenses we’ve ever seen.  They out-shined Miami in almost every way, getting series-changing performances from guys like Boris Diaw, Kawhi Leonard, Patty Mills, and Danny Green.

And of course there’s Gregg Popovich, who amazingly pushes all the right buttons over and over again..

Congrats to the Spurs, one of the most amazing franchises this league has ever seen.  Their sustained success and commitment to their core principles has been astounding.  Yeah, it’s a little easier when you have Tim Duncan, but the way this team has built its roster is beyond amazing.

The rest of the links:

CSNNE:  Draft prospect breakdown: Nik Stauskas  |  ESPN Boston:  (Mid-)Major chip on Payton’s shoulder

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  • adam

    i saw the score on my nba app and i was waiting for the story this morning. i thought there would have been a little more confetti.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Duncan has now won titles 15 years apart {`99-`14}…second only to Jabbar`s 17 year gap {`71-`88}….Havlicek is Celtic leader at 13 years {`63-`76}

    • eddysamson

      Only player in history to start and win in 3 different championship wins in 3 different decades. 90s, 2000s, 2010s

      • RedsLoveChild

        Are the words “to start” a reference to John Salley?

        • dk

          Sounds like it–I never gave much credence to the “different decades” accomplishment it’s essentially meaningless. So a guy plays and wins in 89 and then 90 he’s won in two different decades. to me its just a stupid technicality. It’s not as if he played and won for 20 or 30 years.

          • RedsLoveChild

            I put even less credence on a player`s W-L record in the Finals.

            Wilt Chamberlain was 2-4 in Finals…did he suck???
            Larry Siegfried was 6-0 in Finals for the Celtics {`63-`69}…was he the Michael Jordan of the 1960`s??

  • CFH

    So the last time the Spurs were defending champs, and the Celtics were terrible, and there was a guy named Kevin who wanted out of Minnesota…

    Just kidding. But it’s amazing the the entire Garnett era came and went in Boston and the champion Spurs now look very much like the champion Spurs then in terms of personnel. That is a beautifully run organization.

    • adam

      Well they do Have Duncan and have gotten lucky in the draft. Manu was drafted 57th and Parker 28th. They are a damn fine organization.

  • Mike C

    Congratulations to the Spurs on winning their fifth championship, well done! Now, onto Lebron…five trips to the finals and two wins. Jordan six trips,…Six Championships. Anyone still want to have a debate over who’s the greatest player of all time. Didn’t think so!

    • eddysamson

      You forgot…six trips, six wins, six finals mvps

      • LA Flake

        So, is LBJ better than Larry? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

        Not even close.

        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

        • tvor03

          That seems to be current debate. And the answer has to be an astounding no. Bird never gave up. Lebron has given up on his team several times.

          • LA Flake

            And that’s the biggest difference between the two right there. One went ALL OUT for his team. The other has a way to wilt and fold under pressure. That said, I’d welcome LBJ with open arms if he’s interested in coming here. Danny should at least call.

          • KGino

            I would literally stop watching the Celtics if they got Lebron. He’d be a disgrace to the uniform. Celts don’t quit, they’re not cowards, they’re not front runners…. We are not south beach…

          • eddysamson

            If we put a team around him that was worth a damn he wouldn’t quit. I’m sure many of us would be HIGHLY frustrated with our teams after a performance like that. It was literally JUST Lebron showing for the Heat, not exactly sure where the quitting is coming from, looked more like the Heat quit on Lebron.

          • KGino

            i was referring more to him quitting on cleveland, taking the easy way out and joining his buddies in Miami. But i did think he quit last night… I mean they were down 20 in the fourth, but he took himself out and started crying on the bench? What happened to leave it all out on the floor?

            And sure he got his stats, but what good is getting your stats when you can’t help light a fire under ur teammates? He wasn’t a good leader in this series at all. He cramped up game 1, let melo rumors fly, checked out early last night… When your leader is that mentally fragile, the rest of the team falls in line. Compare to Larry Bird calling his teammates a bunch of sissies when they were getting the crap beat out of them. Bron Bron just packed it in and took it

          • LA Flake

            Come on, KGino. You’d really turn LeBron down? Yeah, he’s a drama queen, kind of an a$$hole and has quit on his team a few times. But if we add the right pieces around him…

          • KGino

            No flake, and I argue about this with my friends all the time (who aren’t as big of fans). I would not sell my soul for another championship, haha. I would literally consider myself the biggest hypocrite I know if I wanted him on our team.

            I just feel so strongly about the history of our franchise, people like lebron belong in LA not Boston. The Spurs won it the same way we used to, defense, ball movement and teamwork.. So why can’t we do it again?

          • LA Flake

            “people like lebron belong in LA not Boston.”

            You got a point there.

  • bill_nair

    Congrats Spurs. Glad the Heats run is over (for now).

  • KGino

    Spurs = Patriots of the NBA

    • LA Flake

      Spurs=The Celtics of the 80s.

      • Graham Brunell

        Spurs=a team of their own breed. Closest comparison would be Russell’s Cs.

        • KGino

          I’d say my comparison is spot on ya jabronie. Best coach in NFL? Belichick. Best coach in NBA? Pop. Duncan and Brady play the roles of each other. Sustained excellence over a decade plus, always a top record in the regular season, always a threat in the playoffs. If theres two things you can count on in sports right now, it’s the Patriots winning at least 10 games and the Spurs winning at least 50.

          There will never EVER be another comparison to Russell’s C’s. 8 Championships in a row… nuff said

          • eddysamson

            I think the Spurs is the team we need to hold high and compare others to (other than Russell’s C’s). The amount of time the Spurs have been excellent for has been ridiculous and its far longer than Brady/Bill’s Pats.

          • KGino

            yep, you’d have to think the Pop/Duncan era will end a few years before Bill/Brady though, so it will even out a little bit.

  • Suarez

    Lebron seemed a little more coy about the future after last night’s game. But Wade was speaking of their partnership in the past tense. Certainly sounded like he was ready to move on.

    • LA Flake

      Wade mailed in the series. There’s no doubt about that.

      And LBJ has one foot in and one foot out the door right now. Last year was a fluke. The Heat should’ve NEVER won it all. It was the Spurs who gave the series away. This year’s spanking was just inevitable because the Heat is one of the softest teams in the league and anyone with size can push them around. LBJ knows this. He knows that even if the Heat retained all its players, they have no shot to win it all with the same group. Adding Melo won’t change that. What they need is an inside presence. And unless Pat Riley can pull off a miracle, LBJ is going to walk.

  • Rich Jensen

    I am so impressed with the clinic San Antonio put on.

    And they provided about a hundred minutes of film on how to breakdown Miami’s defense. Miami is, collectively, too old to play that trapping D anymore, and they need a whole new system.

    Finally: In 2007, LeBron scored 27.33% of his team’s points in their four games against the Spurs. In 2014, LeBron scored 30.8% of his team’s points in their five games against the Spurs.

    • eddysamson

      Anyone who says Lebron quit on his team in this finals run is ignorant, an idiot, and a hater. The HEAT quit on Lebron. Still hate him, though.

      • Rich Jensen

        I don’t think the Heat quit on LeBron, so much as they just kind of quit period. Ran out of gas. Hit the wall. Even accounting for that, they’re going to have to get real young in a hurry or totally overhaul how they play defense. LeBron aside, they’re no longer a particularly athletic team.

  • art

    Let’s not get carried away here. The Spurs have been unbelievably lucky with the draft lottery. But they have drafted well with low picks. The C’s chose Joe Forte in the 2001 draft well before the Spurs chose Parker. Popovich has probably read lots of Red’s books but forgot to open them when he was coaching last year’s game six. Don’t agree with the multiple use of “amazing” nor “astounding”. More like “good fortune”. The Celtics as an organization have graciously acknowledged the opposition’s success over the years, but Red would never gush. With that being said, thank you Spurs for putting Miami, LBJ, and Mr. Riley in their place.

    • LA Flake

      The C’s also drafted Joe Johnson and Kedrick Brown in 2001 which is kinda like how the T-Wolves wasted their two lotto picks on Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio. But that’s not all. Tthe C’s drafted Antoine Walker over Kobe Bryant. And let’s say we did end up with Tim Duncan way back when. Pitino would’ve traded him in 6 months.

      • forever_green

        Amen on DA, I have many problems with the way he handled our big three era. I hate how everyone kisses his ass.

        Yes I give him credit for getting Ray & KG here. After that he F’d so much up. Drafting what he thinks is the “best” player available instead of position of need. Trading for the best player in a trade but losing a player in a position of need. Not resigning players that should have been resigned. And so on.

        If he drafts Smart and keeps him I don’t have confidence that DA can put a complete team together again.

        • RedsLoveChild

          If McHale had not traded KG to Boston 7 years ago….does anyone seriously believe Ainge would still have his GM job today??

          • forever_green

            Easy Answer. .NO. He wouldn’t.

      • art

        There were plenty of mistakes prior to Danny. Red had a hard time finding his successor. Not sure what opportunities Danny missed. My only problem with Danny was the Perkins trade. His drafting has been mostly good/excellent (Rondo, Perkins, Baby, Bradley, etc.). You can’t be right all the time. Red made his share of mistakes too (Forte).

        • RedsLoveChild

          Red retired as GM in 1984, when Joseph Forte was 3 years old.

          Chris Wallace was the Celtic GM in 2001 when Forte was drafted.

          • LA Flake

            And Forte wasn’t the biggest mistake. Kedrick Brown was a bigger mistake because he was the 11th(?) pick in that draft. And trading Joe Johnson away was by far the biggest mistake.

          • Curt Hays

            at least we didn’t pay Joe Johnson 30M per year.

          • LA Flake

            Okay THAT is the biggest mistake. Not by us. But damn that’s gotta hurt if you’re a Nets fan.

          • Curt Hays

            Atlanta did it first. Think how good they could’ve been. Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Josh Smith, Joe Johnson. And then…nothing.

          • RedsLoveChild

            I agree!

            But, to be clear….Red was NOT the Celtic GM in 2001.

            He was 83…deep into retirement…had not been the GM for a full 17 years.

          • art

            Red was President and Vice Chairman right up until his death. The GM worked under him. Weather or not he was the GM at the time of the Forte draft is irrelevant.

          • RedsLoveChild

            I understand what you`re saying.

            Yes, Red did have his “title” restored after Pitino left in `01. However, that was purely a “figurehead” position. They were merely paying homage to him, giving him a title but not the power. Much like a college awarding an honorary degree.

            Red was living full time in DC, watching games on TV, no longer going to the Garden. Forte was from the DC area, Red offered his opinion, the Celts picked him at #21 out of respect, when they really had no strong feeling as to who to select.

          • art

            Forte was a Red favorite. Red pushed for this pick. Red is the godfather of the Green and titles and picks do not go hand-in-hand.
            Familiarize yourself with the history.

          • LA Flake

            Red picking Forte didn’t bring this franchise down. And Red’s entitled to make a small mistake at #21. It was Chris Wallace’s stupid idea of picking Joe Johnson *and* Kedrick Brown when Zach Randolph, Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas could’ve been had with the 11th pick. Hell, Wallace could’ve used the 11th pick to select Brian Scalabrine and it wouldn’t have been as stupid.

          • art

            As we now know, the Johnson pick was pretty good. They took a chance with Brown which you sometimes do when you have back-to-backs, like the Fab Melo pick. But agreed. They had a lot of good choices in that draft and struck out big time two out of three picks. I was not a fan of Chris Wallace.

          • LA Flake

            I agree about taking a chance with back to backs but Kedrick Brown was an unbelievably stupid pick for many reasons. He played the same position as Joe Johnson who was a highly touted and accomplished player. And remember what they said about Brown at the time? They acted like they got the steal of the draft and said he could turn out to be the best player of the draft. SMFH…And Joe Johnson played what, 20 games before being shipped out of town?

            That whole era was wildly disappointing and set us back, man. The only good that came out of that era was Paul Pierce slipping to us at number 10 in 1997. I can’t credit Pitino for that because it was like, “What? Pierce is available??? Uhh…yeah, we’ll take him.”

          • art

            Yeah. That was a tough period. Leadership was lacking which is why Pitino was brought in. But that’s why I have faith in Danny. He’s the best they’ve had in charge other than Red himself. Danny can judge talent and potential and can assemble a championship team. He’s proven it.

          • RedsLoveChild

            You should`ve made yourself more clear.

            When you write : “Red made his share of mistakes too {Forte}”….most would take that to mean that Red actually drafted him.

            Yes, Red did favor that pick….and, no, there is no living soul who can possibly teach me anything about Celtic history that I don`t already know.

          • Curt Hays

            Dude. You just told @RedsLoveChild:disqus to familiarize himself with Celtics’ history? Oh, you only have 36 comments. Rookie mistake. At least he didn’t bite your head off for it. RLC is like the elder around here who knows all. I guess now you know.

        • LA Flake

          Danny’s made his share of mistakes. In addition to those guys you mentioned, Danny picked up Kelly O, Fab Melo, JJJ, JR Giddens and Bill Walker over Giannis Adetokoubo, Mason Plumlee, Tim Hardaway Jr., Miles Plumlee, Draymond Green, Jae Crowder, Norris Cole, Jimmy Butler, Chandler Parsons, Lavoy Allen, Isaiah Thomas, Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan, Mario Chalmers, Omer Asik and Goran Dragic.

          That’s A LOT of BIG misses right there. But…I still trust Danny. Crazy, I know, but like you said, he got us Rondo, Big Al, Perk, AB and of course, KG.

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