Posts Tagged ‘Miami Heat’

Horry scale: Middleton ends Bucks’ skid


VIDEO: Middleton’s 3-pointer at buzzer seals Bucks’ comeback victory

by Scott Howard-Cooper

Just being in the game was accomplishment enough for the Bucks. Just getting the final shot was improbable enough for Khris Middleton.

But then for Milwaukee to come from 16 points down with 9:53 remaining Tuesday night and from 12 behind with five minutes left to beat the Heat 89-88? For Middleton to go from missing six of seven shots behind the arc and 12 of 16 overall to the hero with the three-pointer at the buzzer? The finish was nothing short of unreal.

Given the jerking change of direction in the game, the potential long-term implications in the standings, the unlikely star of the night and the emotional value for a team that would treasure so much as an uneventful win, it would be hard to find many bigger March moments anywhere in the league.

DIFFICULTY

It had that too. Middleton was standing at the arc, a few feet left of straightaway, so he was able to have his feet set. What he wasn’t able to get was an easy look. He had to hurry to beat the clock. He had a defender charging at him, right arm extended for the block.

The only easy part — of the entire possession, actually — was the decision to shoot. With the game an instant away from ending in a Miami victory, Middleton had no choice. The result was near-perfect. The ball barely touched back rim before going down without a fight.

GAME SITUATION

It took Milwaukee outscoring Miami 21-9 in the fourth quarter just to get the Bucks within 88-86 with a final chance off a jump ball with 9.8 seconds remaining at the free-throw line close to the basket where the Heat were defending. It had taken a lot of uphill climbing just to get in position to complete the comeback. And then it took more.

Jerryd Bayless, a a 6-3 guard, won the tip against 6-10 Michael Beasley, knocking the ball backward to Middleton. Bayless’ drove down the right side of the lane and missed a layup amid a crowd of Heat defenders with about five seconds left. Milwaukee’s Zaza Pachulia saved the ball as it was going over the baseline, twisting his body back toward the court and flinging a two-hand pass in the direction of the top of the key. Middleton controlled the ball and fired from 24 feet out with about five-tenths of a seconds to go.

IMPORTANCE

The Bucks were on a six-game losing streak and staring straight at No. 7. They were sinking in the Eastern Conference standings, to where they were beginning to get a decent view of the lottery, and Miami was one of the teams putting pressure on them from behind. A lot of the good of 2014-15 was unraveling.

To say Tuesday night was an important win, then, doesn’t begin to cover it. Huge is more like it. If the shot turns out to be the launching pad to a Milwaukee recovery and the Bucks find solid footing again to reach the playoffs, it becomes their regular-season highlight.

CELEBRATION

A finish like that deserved a reaction like that. Middleton turned toward the other basket and ran into the arms of teammates who had come off the bench. The Bucks who had been near the other end rushed down to join the party. Middleton quickly disappeared under the madness of a gang tackle near one of the sidelines, at the feet of fans. Fun had broken out again in Milwaukee.

GRADE

Crazy finish, tough shot, playoff implications, bedlam on the court in all the right ways — the Bucks delivered everything. It’s still only March and not the very end of the regular season, but skidding Milwaukee needed that in a big way. Four Horrys.

 

horry-starhorry-starhorry-star horry-star

Dwyane Wade outfits local teens for success

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Miami Heat lost LeBron James over the summer, but they kept Dwyane Wade, who has become one of South Florida’s favorite sons, not only for his on-court achievements. Wade has always been involved in the community, such as two years ago when he surprised a local fan at her prom.

This year, in conjunction with Hublot, Wade surprised a group of 15 foster kids from the Voices for Children Foundation who were doing well in school. Wade invited them into the Heat locker room gifted them with watches and custom suits, and talked to them about the importance of dressing for success. Great stuff…


VIDEO: Wade Suits Up

Brandon Bass loses his shoe

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Say this for Brandon Bass: He just won’t quit. Take this play last night in the Celtics/Heat game. Somehow, after making a wild shot, Bass lost a shoe. As everyone ran to the other end of the floor, Bass went with them, shoe in hand, playing with one stockinged foot. Luckily for Bass, the Heat didn’t really take advantage of this, and Bass almost grabbed a one-handed rebound in the process.


VIDEO: Bass loses shoe

The Miami Heat attempt karaoke

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERShane Battier may have retired and moved into a career in broadcasting for ESPN, but he is still involved in Miami, where his charitable foundation, the Take Charge Foundation, is based. And once a year, Battier holds a charitable fund raiser in the form of an event called Battioke, where the Heat throw their pride to the wind and perform embarrassing karaoke in front of a crowd.

Last night was the most recent version of Battioke, and it provided some real gems. Let’s start with Heat president Pat Riley, who performed an ear-splitting rendition of the classic “Twist and Shout”…


VIDEO: Riley sings

Also from the Heat front office, coach Erik Spoelstra and his girlfriend Nikki Sapp opted for Michael Jackson‘s hit “Billie Jean”…


VIDEO: Spoelstra sings

New Heat members Michael Beasley and Henry Walker teamed up for Vanessa Carlton‘s “A Thousand Miles”…

Battier himself went with the karaoke classic, “I’m Too Sexy”…


VIDEO: Battier sings

Aaron Gordon loses a shoe

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s unclear exactly what has happened in this clip. I’ve watched it in slow motion about five times and am still unsure how this happened. Either way, Orlando’s Aaron Gordon is out on the perimeter when all of a sudden his right shoe shoots off his foot and flies from the three-point line, into the paint and ends up down under the basket. While the shoe is doing its thing, Gordon drives into the paint wearing one shoe and takes a shot. And as Gordon is driving, Miami’s Chris Andersen delivers a swift kick to Gordon’s bouncing shoe and boots it out of the lane. Crazy play.

(via SB Nation)

Phoenix Suns follow Miami’s inbounding lead

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week we saw perhaps the worst inbounds play of all-time, a play that topped Shaqtin’ A Fool and was, truly and honestly, one of the strangest things I’ve seen in an NBA game.

Well, last night the Phoenix Suns seemed determined to follow the Heat’s lead, and they pulled something very similar. The big difference is the Suns did it much faster, almost as if they thought doing it quickly would hide from the fact that they were trying to inbound the ball twice. For what it’s worth, it didn’t work. Good job, good effort, though.

(via TNLP)

Miami’s Tyler Johnson beat the odds

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As a kid growing up in Mountain View, California, Tyler Johnson knew he wanted to be an NBA player. He figured his best shot of getting there was to learn from the best, so he targeted a basketball camp held by his local NBA team, the Golden State Warriors. There was on problem, though: Johnson’s family couldn’t afford the camp. So he put pen to paper and wrote a letter to the Warriors asking for a scholarship to their camp. He got the free ride, kept putting in work, eventually got a college scholarship to Fresno State, this summer played for the Miami Heat’s summer league team, went to training camp with the Heat and then signed with Miami’s D-League team.

And earlier this week, all that work paid off when Johnson made his NBA debut with the Heat, in Oakland against the Warriors, with his family in the stands. As Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said, “Everything he’s got in this game, he’s earned. You can tell just from the little bit of time we’ve gotten to know him since Summer League, he’s an extremely hard worker and you root for those type of guys.”

No kidding. Here’s a video from the Warriors who got a copy of Johnson’s letter from his Mom…


VIDEO: Tyler Johnson letter

Throwback Thursday: LeBron James


VIDEO: LeBron James’ top 30 career plays

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s TBT topic: LeBron James

Back on Oct. 29, 2003, LeBron James made his NBA debut in a 106-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Since then, he’s provided his fans and the NBA with countless memories and accomplishments, including (but not limited to) championship runs, MVP awards, Olympic gold medals and more. Although he’s been in the league for 11 1/2 seasons, he just turned 30 on Dec. 30 and much of his career is still ahead of him.

To honor James’ birthday, we look back at the career of this living NBA legend:

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: LeBron James

What’s your favorite LeBron James moment? Let us know by using the hashtag #NBATBT or visit for NBA.com’s Throwback Thursday page.

LeBron, Wade use social media to react to reunion

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Yesterday the Miami Heat hosted a special holiday matchup against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was, of course, LeBron’s first game back in Miami since leaving in the offseason to return home to Ohio. The Heat may have won, but after the game, LeBron and Dwyane Wade each took to Instagram to let people know that while they’re now on opposite teams, they’ve remained friends off the court…

Day 1 until it's all said and Done! @dwyanewade #Brother #TreyBall #GoesBeyondHoopsYouClowns #FamilyOverEverything

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

Bigger than basketball… #mybrotherforlife this game is a stepping stone for what's to come in the future..

A photo posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

The NBA on Christmas Day: Talking with Kristin Chenoweth

KCHeadshot_2014

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The holidays are not only a time of being with friends and family, they also bring about one of the marquee moments on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day, when the NBA is giving us five big match-ups to keep you glued to your couch all day long.

To celebrate the upcoming day, we’re talking with a few famous NBA fans about what the NBA and the Christmas Day games mean to them. We’ve already spoken with John Leguizamo, Mario Batali and Anna Chlumsky, and today we wrap up by talking with Emmy and Tony award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth. An Oklahoma native, Chenoweth has starred on TV in shows such as “The West Wing” and “Glee!,” in movies like Rio 2 and on Broadway in shows including “Wicked” and “Promises, Promises.”

Chenoweth will next be seen on-screen in the Universal film The Boy Next Door, alongside Jennifer Lopez, and in the animated Lucasfilm fairy tale musical Strange Magic, both set to be released on January 23. She’s also completed production on an indie teen drama entitled Hard Sell and the Disney Channel’s live-action original movie “Descendants,” in which she will play the classic Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent. Chenoweth will also return to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company‘s 20-week limited engagement of “On the Twentieth Century” in early 2015.

Christmas2014ME: Hey Kristin! So I just wanted to talk basketball with you. You probably don’t get to do that that much, right?

KRISTIN: (laughing) Nobody thinks that I can talk basketball. This is a very good gift of a call for me to have.

ME: I know you’re originally from Oklahoma, but were you a basketball fan before the Thunder were there?

KRISTIN: I think I should tell sort of how it came for me, like, this love of basketball. I was always scared of basketball growing up. I was a cheerleader, but I knew I could never play basketball because I’m 4-11. But I always liked cheering at basketball games because they were exciting. I loved the game in and of itself, but I never played, and we never had a professional team, as you know. So, I started dating someone a few years back, six years ago, and he was a humongous L.A. Lakers fan. And I knew that I had to start watching the Lakers. So I did that so I got to know who he was talking about, and I started to fall in love with the players. I really liked Pau Gasol a lot. He’s no longer there, but anyway, we got the Thunder right after that. And my boyfriend was such a big basketball nut he would watch with me, and started to like the Thunder. I started to fall in love with Westbrook and Durant, and I’m still not over Harden. I feel a little bit badly about it, but my Dad tried to explain to me about it being a business decision, and I get that, but I don’t know, it was a little heartbreaking to see him leave. But since that I’ve become an even bigger fan and bigger fan, and I’ve really enjoyed watching basketball.

ME: Are you a Thunder loyalist?

KRISTIN: I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of a lot of teams, because I’m very loyal to my Thunder, but I have a little bit of love for the Spurs — a little bit, even though they’re in direct competition with us. I’m not really loving the Heat, and I’m a little torn about how I feel about LeBron. He went to the Heat and now he’s back in Cleveland, God bless him, but I’m not really a fan of the Heat. I’m not really a fan of the Nuggets. I can’t tell you why, either, other than I just feel like, No. I like the Clippers and the fact that we have an Oklahoman on that team — Blake Griffin. I’m just proud of the Thunder. I’m proud that Oklahoma has such a good team. The beginning of this year did not look good, and we had a lot of injuries and we’re kind of overcoming that. I think Coach [Scott] Brooks is very smart and is grooming the younger players. I’m pretty impressed with Reggie Jackson — I love him and Ibaka, and I love Perkins. Of course I love Westbrook and Durant, but I gotta give love to the entire team, because I see them coming together, and in the beginning of this season, even though we were losing without our guys, I was so proud of how they were learning and how quickly they were learning. To me, that’s the definition of a team, and I think that’s where Scott is so good. Even though he’s a California boy, I’m glad he’s embraced Oklahoma.

ME: I was wondering, because I know you spend a lot of time in New York, do you follow the Knicks as well?

KRISTIN: The Knicks are another team I have love for, because I’m a New Yorker as well. I live in New York and L.A. both, but I’m always gonna follow the New York Jets, Giants — even though that doesn’t really work for a lot of people — Yankees, Mets and Knicks. I’m always gonna do that — New York is like my second home. But if I had to pick, there’s no competition.

ME: You mentioned being 4-11, which made me wonder: Is Nate Robinson your favorite Thunder player of all-time?

KRISTIN: How tall is he? Isn’t he like 5-10?

ME: No, he’s like 5-8, 5-9.

KRISTIN: Nate Robinson is that short? Didn’t he win the dunk contest? Yeah, I loved him. What happened to him? Where is he now?

ME: He’s on your not-favorite Denver Nuggets now.

KRISTIN: That’s! Right! That is right! I still have love for him. He’s short — well, for a basketball player. But it just goes to show, to me, that it doesn’t matter how tall you are. He has the heart of a basketball player and he’s so good. I’m sad to see him with the Nuggets, but again, you lose some and we’re training these awesome players. Like Jeremy Lamb, he’s a baby, but in five years what’s he going to be doing? I’m excited to see.

ME: So do you feel like this is the year for the Thunder to finally break through and win a title?

KRISTIN: Well, that’s a tough one. Because I’m always going to want to say yes. I think there’s still time to prove ourselves, yes, I do. I think that we have to overcome a lot. I think we have to overcome injury. If we can do that, and we don’t lose anybody, then yeah, I think we have a shot. The Spurs are making me nervous. Of course, any team that LeBron plays on makes me nervous. Two years ago was really painful. And I was on tour and they had said if we make it to the Finals will you sing the National Anthem? And I had said, ‘Hell yeah! I’m in the middle of tour but I’ll move a show.” I might have cried, I’m not going to say. But I have these really high heels, these Oklahoma City Thunder pumps, but I wore them on stage, just to show my love. I think like three of my shoes could fit in Kevin Durant’s shoe.

ME: So let’s get your Christmas Day picks. First game is Washington Wizards at New York Knicks.

KRISTIN: I’m gonna have to go with the Knicks.

ME: Second game is Oklahoma City Thunder at the San Antonio Spurs. No contest here, I’m guessing.

KRISTIN: The Thunder all the way. We’re gonna kick San Antonio’s [butt]. I predict it. Take that, San Antonio [laughs].

ME: Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami Heat?

KRISTIN: Oh man, you know I’m watching that game. Um, I’m gonna have to go with the Cavs. A) I’m not a fan of the Heat, and B) LeBron’s on the Cavs.

ME: Two more. The Los Angeles Lakers at the Chicago Bulls?

KRISTIN: The Bulls, they’re gonna win. They’re having a good year, I forgot about them.

ME: And then the last one is the Warriors against the other team from Los Angeles, the Clippers.

KRISTIN: I like the Clippers, I like the Clippers. By the way, the first game you mentioned…

ME: Wizards at the Knicks?

KRISTIN: The Wizards are better than I thought they would be. Is that new this year?

ME: They were pretty good last season, made the second round of the Playoffs, but this season they’re better than they’ve been in a long time.

KRISTIN: I know, right? I caught a little bit of their game and I forget who they were playing, but I was like, What the hell is going on here? They’re not bad, not bad. Well, let’s see how close I get, I may have just called all five games.

ME: You did pick the Knicks.

KRISTIN: I know, I know, but I did that out of loyalty.

ME: Understood. Last thing: On Christmas Day will you actually sit at home and watch the games?

KRISTIN: I’ll watch the Thunder because I’m going home to Oklahoma, and everything stops in Oklahoma when the Thunder play, as well it should. So I’ll be watching with my Dad and my cousins and everybody. And I really want to see the Cavs/Heat game.