Tag Archive: LeBron James


It is opt out season and all that ESPN is spouting about is where LBJ and Melo will land.  Most think the King will return to the paradise we call South Beach (and if you have ever seen a Pitbull video who can blame him), and ME-lo is looking to be lifted and landing in the Windy City, Chi-town!  All I hear is that both want more weapons and a place to win more rings or A ring.  When I hear this I think to myself why not the Washington Wizards?  I know I’m a homer, but now I will make an argument for why The King and Melo should seriously consider D.C. their new home:

1.  Young Talent

The Wizards have a backcourt that can become one of the greatest in the league for a few years.  John Wall and Bradley Beal are up and comers, and they could benefit from having a legitimate #1 option in the offense.  The Wizards are one of the youngest teams in the league so these guys will be around for a while and the team can grow with the eventual aging superstars.

2.  The team compliments your weaknesses

When you look at the Knicks and the Heat, rebounding and down low scoring was an issue for both, thus morphing LBJ and Melo into post up players, and having to become better at rebounding to help their respective teams.  Well if the Wiz resign Gortat and with NeNe already down there, they have size, rebounding, and scoring.  Also both of these big men can shoot the 12-15 footer.

The team weakness in the playoffs was lack of composure and no go to scorer down the stretch.  Add Melo or LeBron, problem solved.

The Heat struggled with Point guard play, enter Mr. Dougie/NaeNae Dance John Wall. They also have a wily veteran coming off the bench in Andre Miller to help too.

3.  The Bench/Depth is not San Antonio good, but they are not bad either

As I mentioned above you have Miller for leadership and veteran sensibility, but you have a young energy guy in Martell Webster as the back up SG.  I figure to get either one of these superstars we wouldn’t be resigning Ariza, but you would have  youth at the back up SF in Otto Porter Jr (who is a bust so far), Chris Singleton, and Glen Rice Jr. You then look at Old Man Drew Gooden, Al Harrington, and the younger Trevor Booker at the back up PF with Kevin Serephin in the back up C position.  Again great Depth and granted these guys would look a lot better with a Melo or LBJ on the court.

4.  The City

Growing up in D.C. (called “Chocolate City” when I lived there, or the “Gun Murder Capital”) it’s a beautiful city.  Everyone knows about the sights and history there, but it is not far off from being a legitimate major market.  Especially if one of the superstars were to grace the city and play there.  The D.C. market is as competitive as the Miami market, naturally D.C. can’t touch NY, but those stars would bring business and marketers there.  We just witnessed the RGIII craze.  Imagine the The King heading to D.C., LBJ would be come the Mayor and the President in the same year.  Imagine Melo coming here with his roots in Baltimore and not snitching.  Also his wife’s reality show would have to be filmed in D.C. bringing more awesome to the city.

Also there are very little to no sports demons of the past for them to battle in D.C.  When it comes to Basketball it is Wes Unseld, and that is it.  In Miami LBJ will always be held to D-Wade and Pat Riley’s popularity.  In NY Melo has tons of demons in the Basketball Mecca!  Washington D.C. could be the house they built, ala MJ and Chicago.

5.  You can do something Michael Jordan could not

You can accomplish something that the great Michael Jordan could not…  MAKE WASHINGTON D.C. A WINNER.  Now I know MJ was old and the air was out of the Jumpman, and he was more of a Ground man.  But MJ suited up and he couldn’t lead the Wizards to the playoffs, let alone sniff a Championship.  LeBron, you can claim a victory in a Jordan failure.  How awesome would that be?  Melo would begin to rewrite the books about his legacy with a Championship, but he can also claim that which “His Airness” could not.  That allure alone should push King James here, and that double win for Melo’s legacy should be tempting.

All I’m saying is that the Washington Wizards should be on these Superstars radar and sadly enough they probably are not.  So if everyone in D.C. or everyone that loves the Wizards could share this and build up a ground swell that maybe will reach one of these superstars we may get my wish, and eventually get all of D.C.’s wish and that is to win the NBA Championship!

Written By:

Jason Allen

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

You Like Man Stuff?  I’m sure you do so follow me for me of it @UnsportsmenBigJ

By: Jason “Big J” Allen, Follow Me @UnsportsmenBigJ

“Charges don’t stick to dude, he’s Teflon” Jay-Z “The Ruler’s Back” This is the NFL, John “Teflon Don” Gotti, nothing seems to effect the NFL image, EVER!  I have felt this way for a while but recently reading Joseph Haas (great follow too @JerseyHaas) Dings & Dents: The NFL Image Problem it made me think “Why can’t the NFL go the way of the MLB, and NBA image wise?”  What makes the NFL so untouchable?  At one time or another both the NBA, and MLB was considered untouchable, but boy how the mighty have fallen.  So what sets the NFL apart?  Why does the bad image never hurt the NFL?  One huge reason is the NFL is marketed as the “Ultimate TEAM SPORT!”

Let’s start with the NBA, during its heyday the talent was great and the technical part of the game was amazing.  Less athletes but you had more skill on the floor.  The first hurdle the NBA hit was a drug problem in the 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s.   Say what you want about the David Stern, but he spent a whole career as a Commish cleaning up that image.  Luckily with emerge of Magic/Bird, and later MJ he had the great thought to promote “SuperStars”.  Yes, come one come all and see these extraordinary men play basketball.  The NBA is the most “Star studded” league out of the majors three, and that was by design.  Stern basically said look at how my league just produces stars you can follow from college up to the big leagues.  Well eventually that backfired with straight from high school jumps, which lowered the skill on the court, and the adding of more franchises (less is sometimes more).  Also the drug image got replaced eventually over time with the “Thug persona”.  Who could forgot players coming to the arena looking like rappers?  So you marketed a league around individual SuperStars and when the SuperStars were not as talented, or represented a certain aspect of the society that the masses couldn’t relate to, the league, got a bad rap (no pun).  Now the NBA is making every player go Justin Timberlake “Suit and Tie” and we are starting to see the NBA fashion atmosphere come straight from the runway to the Press Conference.  I’m not to keen on the 1 year rule the league has mandated I think it should be closer to the NFL with 3 years so we can see these players grow overseas, or in college.  Also with the Stars actually being talented, and LBJ taking the spotlight to lead the league we are seeing a revamped image similar to the dare I say MJ years.

MLB is the perfect example of duality in image.  The MLB loved its status of “America’s Pasttime”, it had stars, excitement, and history.  The thing that hurt the MLB saved it all at the same time.  It’s history and reliance on numbers.  The MLB is probably the slowest evolving sport, look at its stance on replay.  Look how it refuses to put a better product on TV.  You have officially divided your fans MLB, the younger generation looks at you like a dinosaur because of your lack of technology and advancements, while the older generation looks at your PED issue as the destruction of the beloved stats.  When you have a drug problem that enhances performance, which enhances stats, it hurts the history of a sport that is so numbers and history orientated to a mockery.  Right now as I write your Home Run King was a PED user, and the league lacks the guts to do anything about it, because that would be change and we know the MLB is slow to do that.  So for the foreseeable future whenever we see a player jump in stats we will ask questions of how legit it is (Please let Puig be the real thing).  The MLB is directly responsible for its image of cheaters and old geezers, because it turned its head during the early reports of PED use.  The MLB turns its nose up at tech that can make the game better, or at least help get the call right (Angel Hernandez anyone).  Now because of the image you have made part of your culture you have a generation of kids growing up in the “Steroid era/PED era” and we are starting to see an apathy when it comes to cheaters.  Now the MLB is cleaning house and trying to slowly introduce technology, but it maybe a little to late to reclaim the #1 spot in America’s heart.

Now I know the NFL has had 30 arrest since the end of the Super Bowl, and right now one of the NFL’s stars is going through a trial that is revealing more horrendous acts every day.  Yet the Shield takes a bump, and like a good blacksmith the league continues to smooth it out.  Because the NFL is promoted as a team sport, and a next man up mentality its hard to associate the league with the acts of individuals.  Yes, the NFL promotes stars, you have your Peyton Manning who had a million commercials and SNL appearances, but did we forget that just 2 years ago we had a league with no Peyton Manning in it, and we still watched.  Imagine if the NBA lost LBJ for a year, would YOU watch?  Probably not.  In the NFL numbers don’t matter only wins Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning have some of the worse regular season stats of QB’s but yet they sit with 2 rings each.  We don’t call them a bum, because they win.  MLB you can have nasty numbers but turn up in the postseason and all everyone will point to is your average regular season’s when it’s HOF time (Curt Schilling is still not in HOF yet he helped revive and lead two snake bitten franchises to a World Series Championship).  Hell the NFL touted out Replacement players in 1987 and even Replacement Refs in two separate occasions (Fail Mary, the Nation will never forget) and we still watched.  This is all because the NFL never rests its head on one gimmick to be marketable.  The NFL never forgets its past, but always tries to push the envelope into the future, all while reminding America this is a team sport and one player will never destroy that image, even if its been 30 so far.  The NFL has Stars, the NFL has Stats, and the NFL has a image that everyone can get behind “Teamwork”.  So when it comes to an image to quote Lebron James and Lil’ Wayne the NFL “Ain’t got no worries!”

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

By Raymond “Big Play” Miller @bprunsportsmenm

What’s Up DOC
My, my, my how the times have changed in professional sports.  No longer is it all about the history, the tradition, and the success of a franchise under your leadership.  When a coach would leave the Celtics for the Clippers!  Yes the CLIPPERS (which is the second team in there own city) somethings wrong.  I know the Celtics are rebuilding, but Doc had 3yrs left on his deal.  The hypocrisy is if a player did that he’d be crushed #Melo.  Should we blame Rajon Rondo?  It’s no secret Doc wanted him gone (for all of Rondo’s talents, he’s still known to be an ass and a hard player to deal with), trying to trade him for Russell Westbrook (Durant might have been happier, but wasn’t happening) and CP3 (guess the Pelicans didn’t want him).  So in hindsight is Doc just leaving for the point guard he REALLY wants.  Furthermore can Doc win without the Big Ticket (Kevin Garnet).  Doc knows he can’t so look for KG to be a Clipper to toughen up a soft, flopping Blake Griffin (if that is possible).  At the end of the day we can’t rip players like Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony for wanting to leave there respective teams while under contract when coaches such as Doc Rivers are allowed to do the same thing.

Onto my thoughts:
1.Congrats to LBJ and the Miami Heat for winning back-back championships.  This Finals finally answered the question that had been burning up fans and media alike, “What does Lebron look like playing without his Headband?”
2. What can you say about the Aaron Hernandez situation but DAMN!!!
3. First buttfumble now you showing ass Mark Sanchez.  C’mon Son!
4. Arod (Alex Rodriguez) on twitter that’s a joke right?  He can’t be serious right…  Right?
5. Serena and Sharapova going at it.  I love it!
6. Does your parents have to be millionaires to have the balls to name you North West (Kim and Kanye).
7. Who’s getting fired first in L.A. Sciossia, Mattingly, or D’Antoni?  My moneys on D’Antoni.
8. Enough with comparing Oladihpo to D. Wade please.
9. Happy for Brian Shaw finally getting a chance in Denver.  Now when will Patrick Ewing get one?
10. Hockey is hockey but props to Chi-towns Blackhawks on winning the Cup!

Raymond "Big Play" Miller @bprunsportsmenm

Raymond “Big Play” Miller
@bprunsportsmenm

By:  Jason “Big J” Allen @unsportsmenBigJ

“All you need is LeBron, and you can win”; “If I had the big 3 they could coach themselves”; “Man, Spoelstra can’t coach Pat Riley is making him great”.  -Comments from the peanut gallery.  I know some of you reading this have made comments like this or at least very similar.  I’m here to say stop that crazy talk.  Don’t let your hate/love of LeBron overshadow how Great Erik Spoelstra is as a coach.  Yes I just said Great!  I will examine the knocks on Spoelstra and why they are just simply crazy.

Let’s attack the elephant in the room and that is the Big 3 MADE Erik Spoelstra talk.  Yes do Superstars make winning easy?  Yes Sir, ask Rick Adelman how many Championship chances he would have had if not for Shaq/Kobe, MJ/Pippen, Magic, Isiah Thomas.  See a trend here?  The Superstars, or better yet some of the 1, or 2 best players in the game at the time held Adelman back.  Who coached these teams, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Chuck Daly, all time greats that we don’t knock because they had Greatest Players in the World in their era.  So stop the Big 3 talk, if you exclude the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons, every team in the last 20-25 years who won titles have had Superstars not a Superstar, but SuperstarS (most had Big 3 of thier own).  We don’t take away from Phil for MJ/Pippen/Rodman, Reily for Magic/Jabar/Worthy, so why do we reduce Spoelstra’s ability for LBJ/Wade/Bosh (and some of you don’t respect Bosh as a Superstar).  We do this because LeBron is not Jordan and Spoelstra is not Phil Jackson type personality.

The first two years before LBJ took his talents to South Beach, and we had the Heatles, Spoelstra won about 56% of his games with one Great and a ton of average players (Michael Beasley, Jermaine O’Neal, Quentin Richardson, and Carlos Arroyo).  I know you look at the 1st rd exits in both years, the Atlanta Hawks I can’t defend, but the next year the Celtics bounced Spoelstra and the Heat.  Give him credit he still got the team above .500 in the East and we know you can make the playoffs with a sub .500 record.  In Spoelstra’s first 2 years as head coach Dwayne Wade had the best years of his career and Wade credited Spoelstra for helping smooth out his shooting form.  Once again you need multiple superstars to make championship runs, but with one superstar Spoelstra continued to keep the Heat above water.

“No rebounding, No Ring” words spoken by Pat Riley, but the Heatles are one of the worse rebounding teams ever.  Why would Pat Riley make a team that went against his philosophy?  Because Pat Riley deferred to Erik Spoelstra to build this two time championship team.  For the last time world please repeat after me “PAT RILEY IS NOT BEHIND THE SCENES COACHING THE HEAT!”  Stop that talk, this is Spoelstra’s team and it shows.  They devalue rebounding and post play.  Say what you will about “Showtime” Lakers, but they were a down low post playing team, don’t believe me see the name Kareem Abdul-Jabar.  Spoelstra’s team is not built that way, he believes in the new wave of the NBA.  Wingman scoring, huge emphasis on the Guards and Small Forward play, with situational defense, and three point shooting.  This is not the Riley way, but the Spoelstra way, because its coached by SPOELSTRA!

Lastly, if you watched the Finals, Spoelstra out coached Popovich in situational moments, and for a good majority of the series.  You want to know why Tony Parker didn’t play down the stretch of Game 6 and 7, because LeBron James wore him down.  A move Spoelstra made, he decided to have LeBron switch onto Tony Parker earlier.  How about the small line up Spoelstra forced Popovich to have to play?  Spoelstra neutralized the Heat’s weakness of rebounding by making the Spurs go small or move their bigs out of the lane to respect shooters.  Also how about the Game 6 decision to let LBJ go “Cleveland” style in the 4th quarter by giving LBJ isolation and a running start from just below half court to attack the basket.  Another great testament to Spoelstra’s coaching is his ability to watch and breakdown tape, so his team will be prepared for the next game.  This NBA Playoffs, anytime the Heat lost a game they won the next game.  Also an interesting stat is outside of these Finals if the Big 3 lost game won in the playoffs they usually went on to sweep the next four games.

So before we give all the credit to LeBron, and Riley.  Before we disregard Spoelstra’s coaching ability.  Before we start wondering if Spoelstra is a Hall of Fame coach.  Let’s just respect what this man has done thus far in his young coaching career.  The Zen Master didn’t have his team do Yogi for 1 ring, but 11.  Pop didn’t lose his hair on his way to 1 ring, but 4.  Riles didn’t keep dying his hair black for 1 ring, but 4.  And Spoels didn’t watch hours of tape, take a LBJ shoulder bump, and a Dwayne Wade cursing out to just win 2 rings, but….

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen Prediction:

Heat win Game 7

Game 7!!!  but I’m still exhausted from Game 6.  Big Play and I watched Game 6 (shout out to Jack Daniel and BP hospitality) and I’m sad to report that was the Spurs one chance to close the door on the Big 3 in Miami.  Que up “Eye of the Tiger” for me because the LeBron we saw in the 4th and OT, that was demanding the ball and yelling at teammates for not giving him the rock (very Kobesque).  This final game will dictate the legacy of a King or the downfall of a Prince.  I’m with the Heatles showing up and taking care of business, but it won’t be Lennon or McCartney (LBJ or Wade), its going to be Harrison and Star (Chalmers, Miller, Allen, and Birdman Birdman).  Let’s not forget in close out games with the Heat the role players play their roles and shoot the lights out.  I see the same thing tonight.  Forget dinner with the players Pop, forget the pity party in the press conference, forget the Ray Allen saved LBJ legacy (I don’t hear anyone dissing The Dream, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan and etc when Robert Horry and Derek Fisher hit clutch lucky bounce shots so stop with the Ray Allen crap, LBJ don’t ball out in the 4th there is no need for a late 3 to tie), and forget the NBA is fixed talk (Spurs win LBJ is a choke artist, Heat win NBA is fixed give me a break people).  In the words of Jay-Z “We are about to WITNESS a Dynasty like no other” (well except Mr. Russell’s). I’m taking the Heat as the repeat NBA champions, Got 1, Got 2…  Now you just have 6 more to go LeBron!

What do you think let me know @UnsportsmenBigJ

Raymond “Big Play” Miller prediction:

Spurs win Game 7

So it comes down to this… 1 game… 48 minutes…  championship on the line.  Who wants it bad enough?  I know D. Wade will show up after having a bad Game 6 and Tony Parker will do the same.  Bosh did his thing last game (but we still don’t respect him after his comments to the fans or rather ticket holders) and Ginobili didn’t.  LeBron has to and WILL be LeBron (brother please keep that headband on MERCY!!!! didn’t know if that was LBJ or Joel Anthony on the court and shoutout to Hawk Harrelson).  Greg Popovich normally makes great adjustments after losses as we’ve seen in this series and Erik Spoelstra putting birdman, birdman back in the series gave the team some energy, which was great for the home crowd early.  However, I believe this game will come down to x-factors who between Mike Miller and Gary Neal will be the difference in the game. My head tells me this is easy Mike Miller and Heat win going away right; but this series hasn’t been that way, GUT FEELING Neal is the difference and Timmy!!! and Pop win ring #5

Just my thoughts right or wrong tell me what you think @bprunsportsmenm

Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas prediction:

Spurs win Game 7

Does LeBron James have a heart of a champion?  That  anwser  all depends on how LeBron handles the pressure in game 7.  I wrote an article stating that LeBron may not be the one (LeBron James more Mr. Anderson than NEO).  Its not about the headband or Ray Allen saving his legacy, its about how aggressive can LeBron be by attacking the basket.  If LeBron is passive or settling for jump shots then you can’t expect the rest of the team to carry him or the Heat to win.  The Spurs want it more than the Heat, is just the feeling I get.  After Game 6 the Spurs decided to have a dinner together to clear the air and to talk about what happen and what is expected for the team.  Now you know the Heat are not going to do that.  I’m not saying in order to win a championship your  team has to go out to dinner with each other, but it still builds team chemistry.  On that note Heat fans should be more worried about LeBron anxiety instead his headband. I’m taking the Spurs.

I’m just saying, but what say you @coolreece15

We are missing the old man of the group James “JD” Davis, but maybe I will update this with his take in an hour or so.  We all will be watching the game so feel free to tweet and harrass us.  Here’s to a Great Game 7! UnSportsMen Mic Crew

After Game 6 we should be All Hail the King.  Except for 3 quarters LeBron refused to show up.  Lose the headband and enter the Cape.  Yes LeBron became a superhero all in one quarter.  We will excuse the 2 or 3 turnovers down the stretch, we will excuse the deferring to Wade when he reentered the game, hell I will just totally excuse majority of this series when it comes to King James.  Why you ask?  Because I had an epiphany last night while watching the game.  Maybe LeBron James is a Great player not an All-Time Great Player!

Now if your computer/phone/pad or whatever you are reading this on is still working because you spit out a beverage on it from shock, let me explain.  What if LeBron is just (and I use JUST very lightly when it comes to these people) Charles Barkley, Elgin Baylor, James Worthy, or Clyde Drexler Great?  These players are some of the 50 greatest to play the game, so there is no dishonor in that, but we have compared LBJ to the best to EVER to play the game.  We put him on the level of His Airness, Larry Legend, Magic, Wilt, Mr. Sky-Hook, The Logo, and Mr. Russell.  Maybe just maybe he is not in that caste.

I question this notion not because of the talent, physical ability, stats, and accomplishment, but I question this because of what he sometimes lacks from the shoulders up.  The Mentality is what I question.  Can you imagine MJ disappearing for quarters on end in the Finals?  Bird and Johnson have lost Finals but yet they were still an impact in each and every quarter and game.  That is the mentality they have/had they refused to ever be eliminated from a game and if they were taken out of  their game they went down swinging.  Even Kobe Bryant has that will to win at any cost, sometimes to the detriment of his team and teammates.

 I have just seen to many times with LeBron his impact on the game being nullified.  A huge bulk of his problems deal with his limited offensive repertoire.  Teams that play team defense give LeBron fits, because LeBron basically has 3-4 offensive moves.  The dribble pull up for 3, the drive to the lane layup, and the short jumper in the paint.  He has no real shake or bake, no comfortable spot or shot he can go to when the chips are down.  This lends itself to LeBron being unsure of himself and killing his psyche in stretches of games.  These David Cooperfield like disappearances in games is what separates All-Time to just Great.

Would there ever be a question of who is the leader of the team with an All-Time great on it?  No, but when Barry Allen (or Wally West) decides to be Flash again, it becomes D. Wade’s team, Period!   We have seen clips of LeBron being vocal and trying to lead, but how much of that do we really believe or buy into?  There should never be a question of who is Batman and who is Robin.  When West joined the Lakers it became his team over Baylor.  Clyde joined the Rockets it was The Dream team no questions asked.  We knew it was Dr. J team when he was on the Sixers with Moses Malone.  When an All-Time Great is on your team they are the leaders, even when there is a Great player on the team too.  Yet in LeBron’s case we still have questions to who is the real leader of the Heatles.  Sounds more like Great not All-Time.

We have touted LeBron as the Greatest Player on the Planet.  I just think the mental toughness, and over all passion to lead and win is something LeBron wants, but doesn’t know how to manifest.  So maybe we should stall all the G.O.A.T. talk and focus on what he is, a Great player chasing Greatness, and right now the jury is still out if LeBron will land in the top 5 or top 50 of Greatest Basketball players.  Remember every King wasn’t the greatest some Kings are just…  Good.

Jason “Big J” Allen

@UnsportsmenBigJ

By: Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas

Follow me @CR_Unsportsmen

LeBron James reminds me of Neo in the Matrix Trilogy. From the beginning of his career everyone knew he was the ONE, except for him.  His early years he was Mr. Anderson, not Neo.  In the 2011 Finals Agent Smith finally got him and killed Mr. Anderson, but it was needed so LeBron could be reborn in the 2012 Finals as Neo and realized he was “The One”.  This year LeBron has been playing like he is “The One”, but just like the Matrix Trilogy Agent Smith returned, but Agent Smith is no NBA opponent, Agent Smith is LeBron’s LEGACY and GREATNESS!

Since last year in the  2012 NBA Finals Lebron James had that killer instinct, attack mode.  You could see that drive and confidence written all over his face. All the LeBron haters had to keep their mouths closed.  Now in this year’s NBA Finals has the pressure of being Great started to erode him?  Has Agent Smith started to multiple and become a bigger force?  After Game 3 it seems that way, Neo is being cornered and has no where to run or fly away.  LeBron’s biggest nemesis is himself.

I keep hearing about the Spurs defense or Wade being hurt, or even the experience of Popovich and the Spurs’ Big 3, child please, everyone stop it!  Its Lebron! I saw it in the Pacer series in Game 1 even though the Heat won LeBron to me looked unsure of himself.  In my opinion Lebron James is scared of failing.  Lets face it LeBron had only became a finisher last year.  Remember the 2009 game winning three in Game 2 against the Orlando Magic.  You would have thought LeBron was just a fan who won a 2500 dollar check during halftime.  Even he was shocked that it went in.  When the going gets tougher it seems LeBron is very passive or shook!  Or it could be that if he can’t drive to the basket he begins to fold.  If LeBron can’t see inside “The Matrix” he becomes ordinary, and Agent Smith starts to take over.  Eventually we all hope LeBron can live up to the savior we were all told he would become.  Maybe he will but I don’t see it happening this year Spurs in 5.

Maurice "Cool Reece" Thomas @CR_UnSportsMen

Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas
@CR_UnSportsMen

We got another BLOW OUT!  Really NBA Finals, David Stern you can’t even rig the game to be more competitive.  Hell even Roger Goodell cut the lights in the SuperDome so the Super Bowl wouldn’t be a blow out.  Now back to reality of the Game 3 debacle, just like Game 2 this recap will be easy.  I wrote an article last week called “Game 1 cost the Pacers the Series” and this series is following suit, but the Spurs won Game 1 and since then we have seen the Coaching Chess match between the Jedi Master (Pop) and the Jedi Knight (I know you want to call Spoelstra a Padawan or Youngling, but give the man respect.)  Game 3 was definitely a recover from a Spoelstra “check” in Game 2.  Now on to the breakdown:

In Game 2 I mentioned how Spoelstra went to a small line up on the Spurs to give LeBron mismatches, well Popovich took the strategy and spun it on Spoelstra.  He let the Heat run the small line up and instead of adjusting he basically said “LeBron beat us with a jumper.”and since we are not going small against you we will dominate the boards after the LeBricks.  Now Popovich was even more disrespectful to Wade and basically gave Wade what we call in the hood a “self check”.  Basically giving Wade all space and no respect because Popovich feels Wade CAN’T beat them.  The Heat have been a terrible mid range shooting team all year.  Don’t let the shooting percentage fool you, those shoots were mainly in the paint.

Now we all know the real story of the game was Neal and Green shooting the lights out.  Now I don’t expect them to ever have games like that again, but WOW what a display.  The Heat had a refusal to close out shooters.  With a hobbled Tony Parker the cut and dish was not going to be effective but since Miami decided to let shooters shoot, they got shot out the game and gym.  Still let’s give a shout to the MVP of the Heat right now, Mike “I’m always injured until the Finals” Miller, he was the peasant that tried to save the King, but had no help.

Now a couple of non coaching moves that disappointed me with Spoelstra. The continued reliance on Chalmers was embarrassing, he was a turnover machine, didn’t push the tempo, and he was allowing penetration which was setting up the 3 point barrage from the Spurs.  I also thought he should have thrown LeBron on Parker to stop penetration and just had the wing defenders deny the shooters.  Another suggestion is after you realized that the Spurs were going to make the Heat a jump shooting team, he should have adjusted the line up.  Sit LeBron for a few minutes and go all shooters (Allen, Miller, Battier, Cole, and Bosh) and let LeBron see that he has to penetrate and kick out to shooters.  Then sub LeBron in for Battier and let those shooters try to get them back in the game.  Now I know defensively they would have been suspect, but you have to change it up when your getting destroyed.  Now all of this is for nothing if LeBron wakes up and realizes that he is the best player in the world and get over the fact that he has no help or rather elite help.  Wade is beat and Bosh is just mentally not there and it is showing in his game.

So here’s to a competitive Game 4!  Let’s see what Spoelstra has up his sleeve, because right now Popovich is up 2-1.  Side note is it me or does Popovich remind me of Darth Sidious/Palpatine.  He sits in the press conference and praises LeBron and how great he is and how dumb the rest of the world is, very Palpatine.  Then he gets to the game and the hood comes over and he disses Doris Burke, shoots lightening out of his fingers and laughs all the way to victories.

Jason “Big J” Allen

@UnsportsmenBigJ

“If I ain’t better than Big I’m the closest one ” Jay-Z

You can take this anyway, sub “Big” with Michael Jordan and then you would have Kobe Bean Bryant’s legacy.  Last night “The World’s Greatest Basketball Player On The Planet” was a total no show.  So it begs the question, “WWKD” what would Kobe do?

I’m not a huge Kobe fan but I respect the Black Mamba.  When you have a chance to win a championship and your the #1 (LeBron James) guy for your team numbers go out the door it’s about mindset. The mindset that everyone in the building, players, fans, and coaches know that I’m the best player in the gym and I’m about to take this damn game over. 

I felt that Lebron had that chance in the beginning of the 2nd half to do just that.  Neal hit that big 3 pointer to get the Spurs and fans excited going into the half.  James needed to hurt their feelings coming out of the locker room, like the Mamba would.  Unfortunately, he came out like a Prince who was disinterested and upset about the efforts of Bosh and Wade.  Instead of getting in those guys faces LeBron showed them that the Heat are nothing without him (we’ve seen this Cleveland #DelonteWest #Gloria).

Kobe would’ve cursed them jokers out, he also would have forced his opponent to adjust to him instead of settling for jumpers.  Losing by 36 is not what kills me, it’s seeing a great player seem like he’s ok with having an average game.  At the end of the day to heck with being liked, your legacy is on the line.  Kobe wouldn’t and won’t let anyone dictate his legacy but him.  Even if that means snitching on Shaq, playing with Kwame Brown, pissing off Phil Jackson (and reuniting), or even shooting his team out of games.  At the end of the day that’s what the Mamba is and will always be.  If the Heat lose this series what will LeBron’s legacy be known for?  He might not even know from the way he played in Game 3.  So again ask in Game 3 WWKD?

Raymond “Big Play” Miller

@bprunsportsmenm

This will be easy.  Basically the Heat BIG THREE out played the Spurs big three.  Even Spoelstra out coached Popovich for stints during the game while the game was close. What did Spoelstra do?  First he forced Popovich to go to a small line up, this is effective because one it allows LeBron to play the 4 (complete mismatch for whoever has to check him.  If its Splitter LeBron steps out on the wing, it was Leonard he got put in the post), but the most important thing going small did was allow the Heat to have an advantage on the boards.  The Heat out rebounded the Spurs in this game.

Spoelstra also noticed that the Heat were getting good looks in Game 1, but didn’t take great advantage of it.  Enter sharpshooters (Miller, Allen, and even Cole has been effective from 3) and exit no legs Wade.  Great adjustment, and the scary part is Popovich is still not pulling the trigger on a no game remaining Manu Ginobli.

Turnovers Turnovers and Turnovers…  4 in Game 1 and the Spurs had 4 in the first quarter and 6 in the 35-5 run the Heat went on.  No one expected to see the Spurs to repeat the amazing 4 turnover stat from Game 1, but you can’t have 17 turnovers and win.  Hell the Pacers, who play better defense than the Spurs, couldn’t win with 16 turnovers, so the Spurs had no chance.

Last moment of note in Game 2 (not the overrated block on Splitter), the way the Heat defended the pick, screen, and roll with Tony Parker.  They flashed high and trapped on Parker and help defense stopped the cutter from getting a the ball in the paint for a high percentage shot.  That is why the Spurs got some great 3 point looks in the first half.  The shots they missed in Game 1 they made in Game 2.

Overall this was a great first half, but a terrible second half for fandom and the Spurs.  The Heat got their legs back (still don’t buy the tired thing, if they were tired Gatorade and Powerade need to get their money back from Wade and James), and were able to force the Spurs into silly turnovers.  I mentioned in the “Outside the Box Predictions” for the series that Spoelstra has to out coach Popovich.  Well Spoelstra did it in Game 2, and the Heat weakness in Rebounding was a strength in Game 2.  May we see a Blair in Game 3 to combat the small line up and give some physical play?  Another “Outside the Box Prediction”.  We will see, here’s to a competitive Game 3!

Jason “Big J” Allen

@UnsportsmenBigJ

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