This week in Heat schadenfreude

Last night in a … tweet

by Micah Hart

Very perceptive. Since LeBron James‘ tweet about the Cavs’ karma, things haven’t been going so well for Miami. LeBron sprained his ankle, Chris Bosh sprained an ankle (and caused a stir of his own in the process), and the Heat lost four straight, including last night’s 93-89 OT loss to the Hawks in Miami.

LeBron may be right. Karma is a…

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Chris Bosh sprains ankle, worsens health by shoving foot in mouth

by Micah Hart

Chris Bosh had a rough start to the season. With Miami struggling out of the gate, a lot of the agitas was thrown his way, with people claiming he wasn’t as good as the other members of the SuperFriends, that he was soft, and that he couldn’t handle the increased pressure of performing in the spotlight.

Most of that was forgotten as the Heat shrugged off their mediocre 9-8 start by winning 21 of the next 22 games, and Bosh, by averaging 18.6 ppg and 8.2 rebounds, answered those criticisms.

Well, two of the three anyway.

Bosh is taking heat today for his postgame comments after Saturday night’s 99-96 loss to the Bulls in Chicago, a game in which Bosh appeared to hurt his ankle after Chicago’s Omer Asik accidentally rolled onto his leg chasing after a loose ball.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Bosh didn’t take too kindly to Asik’s tenacity:

“C’mon, that is how guys get hurt, that is how serious injuries happen. You’ve got to watch people’s legs. I know guys want to hustle and everything but we all want to play and provide for our families and have a job. …We all want to be healthy and that is very important. If it is by somebody’s leg, don’t dive for the ball, it’s too close.”

Needless to say, this has caused quite a bit of snickering on the Interwebs, with our own John Schuhmann leading the charge on Twitter:

@johnschuhmann “If it’s flu season, don’t defend me too tightly. That’s how germs are spread.” #chrisboshquotes

@johnschuhmann “If you cut back door, I might hurt my neck. That is how guys get hurt.” #chrisboshquotes

@johnschuhmann “If you might accidentally poke me in the eye, don’t try to block my shot. That’s how injuries happen.” #chrisboshquotes

Pretty funny stuff. By the way, here is the play in question — you be the judge if Asik is playing dirty or not:

I dunno — I understand Bosh wanting players to take care not to injure each other, but seems to me that diving after loose balls is what often separates winning from losing, or at least that’s what I’ve been led to believe by every single postgame press conference ever ever.

I don’t really think Bosh means to imply that players shouldn’t hustle for loose balls, and I am sure he’ll spin a different story when he is inevitably asked to comment on his comments in the next day or so. But it made for a few good chuckles on a basketball-lite Sunday, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s all good.

What do you think? Was Asik’s play fair or foul?

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This week in Heat schadenfreude

by Micah Hart

I’ll be honest. I was all set to show up on Wednesday and enjoy tearing the Miami Heat to shreds. The Pacers? Really?

At least, that’s what I was planning to do.

Then my humble bloglord Sekou Smith tweeted to me that I should take it easy on Miami, being it’s Thanksgiving after all, and they are kind of having a rough go of it these days. So I did. I gave them Thanksgiving.

But now it’s Black Friday, and what could be better than the most miserable shopping day of the year to delve into a week’s worth of Heat suckitude?

  • Phil Jackson is going to retire for good someday, and I am going to miss him. The man plays the best head games in the world. He is completely aware of everything he says and how it will play, and I refuse to be convinced otherwise. Which is why I found his comments this week on a Chicago radio station so amusing, when he brought up the topic of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s hold on his job.

On Chicago’s “The Waddle & Silvy Show”, Jackson dropped this juicy nugget of speculation:

“The scenario that sits kind of behind the scene, is that eventually these guys that were recruited — Bosh and James — by Pat Riley and Micky Arison, the owner, are going to come in and say, ‘We feel you [Riley] can do a better job coaching the team. We came here on the hopes that this would work,’ and whatever, I don’t know,” Jackson said. “That’s kind of my take on it, is that eventually if things don’t straighten out here soon, it could be the Van Gundy thing all over again.”

I love it! Jackson knows that Miami is (despite their play so far this season) one of the few teams that could challenge his Lakers for the title, so anything he can do to foster dysfunction there, it’s all for L.A’s greater good.

  • We all know that injuries, should they occur, could potentially wreak havoc on the Heat, but I think the consensus going into the season was those kinds of injuries would need to happen to one of the Superfriends; presumably, injuries to role players could be withstood. But with news that Udonis Haslem could miss the rest of the season, some are thinking otherwise, like Rob Mahoney for the NY Times Off the Dribble blog:

Miami can win right now without Haslem. He’s not essential for regular-season success. To succeed beyond that, Haslem’s presence is an absolute necessity.

I don’t disagree with much of what Mahoney says, but I do find it funny how the narrative seems to be changing. This summer, it was that Bosh-Wade-James and two schmoes off the street would win 55 games minimum. Now Haslem, a great role player but a role player nonetheless, is the piece the team MUST have to succeed.

  • Remember when we thought the Miami thrice might kick off an entirely new era where superstars do whatever it takes to join forces and create their own superteams, perhaps starting as early as next season in New York with Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Chris Paul? Well apparently the Heat’s less-than-impressive start so far has seemingly already put that potential plan on hold, according to Jarrett Jack:

“I don’t know if (Paul) is (wanting to stay with the Hornets long-term), but you can look at the experiment out in Miami and see how that’s going,” said Jack, whose family has been close with Paul’s since they were 13 years old and who is described by his new teammate as “like a brother.”

I know it’s easy to kick Miami while they are down, and in some ways I feel bad to keep doing this every week, but as my man Sekou pointed out in the office last week, they asked for this.

Well Miami, you asked for it, you got it.

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This week in Heat schadenfreude is like a Bosh

by Micah Hart

Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski (current BSOP* title-holder) made an interesting point about the Heat last week. He said that, unlike the Yankees, Cowboys, and Dukes of the world, who are hated by many, many people but also loved by many, many people, this Miami Heat team is almost universally loathed. Outside of a small pocket of fans living in Miami, the Heat don’t have a fan base that extends across the nation like a Notre Dame or the Lakers.  Outside of South Beach, pretty much everyone is rooting for them to fail and fail miserably. It’s a very interesting point — a lot of teams develop an “us against the world” persona, but in the Heat’s case it is probably pretty accurate.

*Best sportswriter on the planet

Anyway, on to this week’s hate.

– First up, Skeets and Tas from The Basketball Jones have produced their latest bit of genius, giving words to what Raptors fans around the world are probably feeling. And maybe everyone else too.

I can only hope that “like a Bosh” becomes a permanent part of the NBA vernacular.

– Heat hate is fun, but you can take it too far, as Esquire Magazine‘s Scott Raab is finding out. Raab, who is covering the Heat beat from the angle of a spurned Cavs fan for the magazine’s website, was politely told he was no longer welcome around AmericanAirlinesArena after writing a lot of nasty tweets about LeBron and company (but mostly LeBron). Methinks this won’t cause too much problems for Raab, who is writing a book about LeBron and the Heat — all press is good press right?

– Even David Stern got a little dig in, saying that the Heat are “probably not as good as they expected to be” during his appearance on The Colbert Report on Monday. Hey, if the Commish says it, it must be true.

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This week in Heat schadenfreude

by Micah Hart

What a perfect day for Heat hate, coming off Miami’s home loss to the Jazz in overtime Tuesday night. One fascinating subplot to the Heat’s season so far has been the over-analysis of every loss, dissecting the team’s performance  for clues about how it will affect the Big Picture.

One thread that seems to be congealing into a narrative is the play of Chris Bosh — specifically, whether he is deserving of being a part of a Big Three, and whether or not he has the intestinal fortitude to withstand the onslaught of negativity heaped on him from the outside world.

Jason Whitlock of FoxSports, never one to shy away from making a grand statement, makes this suggestion to Miami: If you want to win, trade Bosh.

The relevant text below:

Bosh has to step up. This week.

By Christmas, if he hasn’t drastically changed his approach and production, Pat Riley will surely explore every option to move Bosh and acquire a goon.

–//–

If I’m Pat Riley, I watch the next two games very closely. If things go poorly for Bosh, I bring Dwyane Wade into my office and question him about how upset he and LeBron will be if the “Big Three” undergoes an official name change.

The “Big Two” makes the most sense.

Now that is some Grade-A hatin’. Bosh has played all of eight games in Miami, and Whitlock is already ready to cut bait.

Bosh is an easy target (and before we start feeling too bad for him, he most certainly asked for this), but as my main man Sekou Smith illustrates, he’s not Miami’s biggest problem by a long shot:

This notion that either James or Wade can handle those duties and all you need is a warm body to put in the starting lineup at point guard is faulty logic, especially after watching Deron Williams shred the Heat the way he did last night (following the lead of fellow elite point guards Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul in their dismantling of the Heat in the only other losses Erik Spoelstra‘s team has incurred this season).

The math doesn’t match up either:

– In that season-opening loss to the Celtics, Rondo scored just four points and had two steals but controlled the game with his defense and 17 assists while Heat starter Carlos Arroyo managed just three points and didn’t have a single assist (compounded by 14 turnovers from James and Wade).

– When the Hornets ambushed the Heat over the weekend, Paul destroyed them with 13 points, 19 assists and five steals while Arroyo went scoreless and managed just one assist, with Wade and James putting together another double-digit (10) turnover performance.

– Williams abused them for 21 points and 14 assists last night before fouling out late in regulation, with Arroyo fighting back with 10 points and two assists while James (triple-double) and Wade (season-high 39 points) kept their turnovers to a minimum (just four), but the result was the same.

For those math-challenged members of our little club, that’s a healthy 38-10 scoring advantage for the opposing starter at point guard in those losses and a staggering 50-3 assist advantage for the opposing starter.

Miami’s issues in the paint and at the point are what threaten to derail their championship aspirations, but as long as Bosh is aligned as part of a superstar triumvirate with Wade and James, he’s going to hear it any time things go south on South Beach.

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This week in Heat schadenfreude

by Micah Hart

Get used to this Miami:

With the regular season starting, and Miami on the brink of disaster losing its first game last night to the Celtics, there is plenty of hate to go around. Once again, we take a look at some of the best the web has to offer:

– A Cleveland radio station hired a witch doctor to put a curse on LeBron James. The hex was broadcast Tuesday morning, with the witch doctor using exactly what you’d expect him to use: bones, blood and a LeBron James jersey. Hey, it’s worth a shot, right?

– Lackluster performances by at least two of Miami’s big three has SLAM’s Ben Collins already asking if this whole thing is really going to work.

– Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert? He has no regrets.

– Finally, in case anyone wasn’t caught up on how this whole thing happened, fortunately Ben Stiller‘s parents are here to break it all down.

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This week in Heat schadenfreude

by Micah Hart

The 2010-11 season is almost here, and the Heat hate is starting to ramp up accordingly. When Dwyane Wade was lost for the preseason, there was some rejoicing. When LeBron James tweaked his hamstring, there was a little more. And after Mike Miller rolled his ankle in Tuesday night’s preseason game against Charlotte (UPDATE: Miller now has a hand injury as well that may cost him several weeks), a question flashed across my mind:

What if Miami’s season gets derailed by injuries?

How would you, the Miami misanthropes out there, feel about that?

Some would say that seeing the team injured and having to rely on the minimum-salaried players they assembled to complement the Superfriends would be somewhat poetic justice; that the gamble of spending such a huge portion of your allotted salary on just three players deserves to fail.

On the other hand, some might argue that the last thing they want the Heat to have are excuses — ask Lakers fans how much they enjoy hearing Celtics fans pin last year’s title loss on the absence of Kendrick Perkins in Game 7. If Miami fails, and injuries play a large part in that failure, apologists will have the “if only they’d been healthy”-card to play. I say that’s too easy.

There is a scene in the movie The Count of Monte Cristo (presumably it’s in the book as well, I just never read it) where the Count, having escaped from prison and bent on revenge against the people who put him there, has the option put before him to have his enemies killed swiftly. He forgoes that option, saying “Death is too good for them. They must suffer as I have suffered.”

If I am a Cleveland or Toronto fan (but more Cleveland), I don’t want to see Miami struggle through injuries and flame out in the first round because they are at less than full strength. I wouldn’t complain, but it’d still be a disappointment.

If you really want to be spiteful and vindictive (and really, isn’t that what hatred is all about?), you don’t want Miami’s success to be curtailed by a collection of rolled ankles and twisted knees. You want the Heat to be awesome. Devastate the league. Win 70 games. Cruise to the Finals. THEN lose. That is revenge, my friend.

At least, that’s how I see it. What say you?

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