Saturday, May 13, 2006


The second round of the playoffs hasn't been real interesting, but Friday night's games finally gave us some quality entertainment value. The first game featured a nice comeback win on the road by the Heat and here were some things I feel compelled to mention:

- Pat Riley is ridiculous. We all know he's keeping half of the tanning salons on South Beach in business and that he completely screwed up Miami's title chances by breaking up a fantastic team last summer. However, we are also seeing how bad of a coach he's become. He can't get figure out to enter the ball to Shaq from the top of the key (while he's moving across the lane, making it much harder to square up for a flop), his rotations are bizarre, and he was trying to guard Richard Jefferson with Gary Payton for much of the second half. However, the biggest indictment came when D-Wade caught an elbow to the face and was lying prone on the ground. Somehow, Riley failed to call a timeout, letting Jason Williams kill a limo driver (oh wait, wrong Jason Williams), I mean shoot a three-pointer, and then he failed to order an immediate foul. Wade nearly got his head stepped on during the ensuing fast break. Just moronic coaching.

- I'm sick of big men flopping. Block a shot one time, for crying out loud. I can understand Collins trying to flop on Shaq, because he has no other choice, but if he injures Wade in this series with one of those cowardly step-under moves, I swear I am going to burn his basketball card in effigy. Is anyone else sick of big men sliding under airborne guards, trying to take charges? Grow a pair and block a shot.

- While we're here, get rid of the backup point guards trying to "man up" on defense. First it was Sasha Vujacic in the Phoenix-Lakers series, now it is Jacque Vaughn of the Nets. Look, I know that you are barely in the NBA, but if you have to come off the bench bodying everyone up to try to get a paycheck, it is time to hang them up. No one wants to see a crappy guard out there chest bumping everyone across the court. And for the love of Derek "Patron Saint of Chest Bumping Defense" Fisher, please don't complain when you get called for doing it.

- Vince Carter should never pass, because he seems to turn it over every time that he does. However, he should shoot, A LOT, for two reasons: 1) No one else on this team can, and 2) he never seems to miss. Other than maybe Kobe and T-Mac, nobody makes more difficult shots than Carter. Some of his baskets late in the game were just ridiculous.

- Don't look now, but Wade might be developing a three-point stroke. He made another one tonight after hitting three in the first quarter of Game Two. If he adds this to his game, there will be no stopping him.

- Just a reminder to Heat fans: every time GP makes a dump pass or bricks a three, and you feel a sense of dismay, just remember that last year the backup point guard was Keyon Dooling - a negative force so great that I had to start tallying his +/- and reporting "The Dooling Factor" after every playoff game. I remain convinced that it was Dooling's mere presence on the roster, rather than Wade's injury, that single-handedly cost Miami a title last year.

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