“It’s been a pleasure to bring my talents to South Beach. Now on to Memphis.” I don’t know a comedian alive today who could have come up with a better line than Paul “The Truth” Pierce did after his Celtics destroyed the Heat in Miami last week. Speaking of the Heat… 

Despite losing to the Celtics (again) Thursday night, they can still break the 1995-96 Bulls single-season record of 72-10. All they have to do is go 68-5 over the last 73 games of the season.

Chris Bosh, who just two years ago was posting YouTube videos pleading for All-Star Game votes, is finding out that it’s one thing to be the best player on a bad team – Toronto – and quite another being part of the so-called “Big 3” in Miami.

Let The Sniping Begin

LeBron questions Spoelstra

The second of two bad home losses didn’t bring out the best in the Heat. “For myself, 44 minutes is too much,” James declared. “I think Coach Spo knows that. Forty minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out.” There you go, Coach Spo. Get to know him well. … No one exposes the flaws of these Heat like the Celtics with their brilliant passing, precise shooting and ferocious physical play. Boston believes it can bully these Heat, believes they’re susceptible to games of the mind and body. (Yahoo! Sports) Tick. Tick. Tick. That’s the sound of the “When Does Pat Riley Take Over As Coach Again Clock” ticking in Miami.

NBA approves Golden State Warriors sale to Lacob group

So, if the Warriors who haven’t won a title or even been back to a Finals since 1975 – for perspective, consider that Gerald Ford was president – are worth $450 million, what are the  Lakers, with 10 titles since Jerry Buss bought the team in 1979, worth? $700 million? $900 million? A billion dollars?

Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony Hold Court After Nuggets Upset Lakers  

Why do I have a nagging suspicion that ‘Melo knows EXACTLY what he’s going to do and when he’s going to do it, but loves the attention he’s getting these days while playing in Denver so much, that he’s just stringing everyone along?

Bill “The Sports Guy” Simmons’ take on Carmelo Anthony’s Situation:

It was surreal watching Carmelo Anthony play the Lakers on Thursday night. He notched 32 points and 13 rebounds during a dramatic home victory, but he seemed slightly detached, like a college boyfriend two weeks away from dumping his girlfriend because she’s going away for a semester, and all his friends know that he’s dumping her, but he feels bad because it’s her birthday and he doesn’t want to break up with her quite yet. Just a weird vibe. I wondered if I was over-thinking it, but the TNT guys jumped right on it after the show. There was just something … off. He knows he’s leaving, we know he’s leaving, the fans know he’s leaving. So what’s the point? Why stay? Why go through the motions?

I don’t blame the Nuggets for hoping Anthony changes his mind; he’s one of the 10 best players in the league, and they could never get equal value for him in a trade. They should keep him until February and hope he has a change of heart. But Carmelo’s wishy-washy routine is exceptionally lame. Melo, if you want out, say it. If you want to stay, say it. But say something. Your fans stuck with you through the MSG bitch-slap, the “Stop Snitching” disaster and a slew of playoff no-shows (even in 2009, your only legitimate run, you disappeared in the last two games against the Lakers). Now you’re putting them through this?

My advice: Instead of emulating your boys Bosh and LeDecoy and jumping to a higher-profile situation, you should emulate a guy like Paul Pierce, someone who had similar ups and downs in Boston, had chances to leave and wanted to stay because he valued being a Celtic, and because he valued the unwavering support of Boston fans. If none of that stuff matters to you, then ask out right now. But don’t keep everyone in limbo because you want a $65 million extension (that only Denver can offer you) AND you want to play for the Knicks (a team that doesn’t have nearly enough to trade for you). You’re rocking a 9.9 out of 10 on the “Time to Man Up” scale right now. The Denver fans deserve better.

Isiah’s bid for Walsh’s job rebuked by Timberwolves GM  

Zeke, Zeke, Zeke. (SMH) When you’re being rebuked by quite possibly, the dumbest GM in the league (except for whoever’s in that position for the Clippers), it’s time for a long, soul-searching session with yourself and a good therapist.

LeBron James clears up postgame comments about playing time

One of these days, and hopefully it will be soon, James will learn the same lesson Kanye West learned on the “Today” show last week: just because someone asks you a question doesn’t mean that you HAVE to answer it out loud. Sometimes, just say “No comment” and keep moving.

Why does Greg Oden look much older than Shaq? I remember saying to my buddy Jaymo during the ’07 draft, Kevin Durant’s mom leaned over and whispered in his ear, “You know Kevin, I think I may have dated that Mr Oden in high school.” Or here’s another way to look at: when Bron Bron entered the league at 18, everyone said he looked “Mature for his age.” When Oden entered the league at 19, everyone said “He looks old for his age.” BIG difference.

Some more advice for dear Donald Sterling  

Some more advice for dear Donald Sterling  “Man, what I wouldn’t give for a bunch of tall Koreans right about now.”

Love’s mentors played big role  

Miami Heat has become a national punch line  

Pat Riley  Riley: “Is Pat Riley going to have to ‘Stan Van Gundy’ this little MF before Christmas?”

Andrew Bynum continues rehabilitation under Lakers’ watchful eyes  We may see peace in the Mideast, or between President Obama and John Boehner, before we see Bynum playing again.

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE SEASON SO FAR – Erik Spoelstra is still coaching the Heat; Hornets are 8-0; Steve Nash files for divorce the day AFTER third child (first son) is born, Blake Griffin of the Clippers hasn’t been injured yet (tie).


I’m betting that Allen Iverson is back from Turkey before Christmas. Look, the guy could barely handle life in the NBA, which except for a few scattered exhibition games each year, is played in North America where English is still the primary language. Does anyone with the sense God gave a seedless grape honestly think that the NBA’s poster-child for “Thug Life” is going to be able to maintain his sanity (or a reasonable facsimile) in a place like Turkey? I guarantee you he sits around at night looking at old DVDs of he and Larry Brown during Philly’s glory days, crying his eyes out. Either that, or haunting Turkish tattoo parlors.

Don’t be surprised if Steve Nash is traded to the Knicks before Christmas. You read it here first.

Mark Heisler’s NBA power rankings

November 14, 2010

Records and statistics through Friday (last week’s ranking).

1. Celtics 7-2 (4): Opening night was one win at home. Win in Miami makes it a trend. To coach again or not to coach again; that is the question facing Pat Riley right now.

2. Lakers 8-1 (1): Luckily for them, this isn’t Kobe at 100 percent, unless he now shoots 42 percent. He is what he is at this point of his career. Which is still better than 95% of the rest of the league.

3. Hornets 7-0 (2): Young coach Monty Williams gets credit for No. 1 defense. Monty? What the hell kind of name is that for an NBA head coach?

4. Spurs 6-1 (7): Argentine Kobe — Manu — is at 100 percent, averaging 22, 5 assists. A healthy Manu is a dangerous Manu. That’s from the Gospel according to Charles Freeman.

5. Mavericks 6-2 (8): Rally from five down in last 1:44 to beat Celtics shows they’re real. And yet, they won’t win a ring. Ever.

6. Jazz 6-3 (13): Came from 18, 22, 18, 11 down to beat Clippers, Heat, Magic, Hawks. Hell, me and four other guys in our mid-50s can come back from 18 down against the Paper Clips.

7. Magic 5-3 (5): With Raptors in after Jazz loss … they somehow lose to them too. Google the word “Overrated” and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that a picture of Dwight Howard pops up.

8. Heat 5-4 (3): On bright side, they still have a legit shot at 57 or 58. Hell, the Cavs won 66 last season.

9. Thunder 5-3 (10): Ginobili, Parker took summer off, but Durant, shooting 39 percent, didn’t. AND, teams are focusing on him now.

10. Hawks 6-4 (6): After beating six Smurfs, lost to Suns, Magic, Bucks, Jazz. Cue the strip joint music!

11. Trail Blazers 6-4 (9): With Roy hurting, Oden still out, better figure out Plan B. More like Plan C.

12. Nuggets 5-4 (11): Little girl with little curl gives up 144 to Pacers, beats Lakers. It’s the altitude stupid!

13. Grizzlies 4-5 (12): Zach Attack back, averaging 22-13 in last three. Hey, whatever happened to Zach’s weed-smuggling case back in Indy?

14. BULLS 4-3 (18): NBA’s No. 2 center? Joakim Noah averaging 16-14, 2.1 blocks. Number 3 at worst.

15. Bucks 4-5 (17): Skiles rules: Pouty Delfino averaged 5.5 before, 11 as Buck. Scott Skiles will kill you with his bare hands if you don’t do things his way. In fact, I almost wish the Clippers would trade Baron “Fat Daddy” Davis to the Bucks just to see how long Skiles would let him live. My Over/Under would be 5 days.

16. Suns 4-4 (19): Hurting Robin Lopez got 18 vs. Lakers in home opener, 21 since. Trini Lopez could do better.

17. Warriors 6-3 (15): Fast-talking Smart convinces them they’re no longer carnival act. A leader leads and that’s what Keith Smart is doing right now.

18. Cavaliers 4-4 (21): Byron rules: “Cav-nots” in a playoff slot? See #15 and replace Skiles with Scott.

19. Pacers 3-4 (22): I knew they’d break out — just not this decade: Hit 20 in row vs. Nuggets. It was absolutely breathtaking.

20. Nets 3-5 (20): Avery benches Brook Lopez at end of game for toreador defense. Of course, the ‘Lil General had to have his voice Auto-tuned so dogs within a 20 mile radius wouldn’t go deaf, but he got his point across.

21. Kings 3-5 (16): Once a sure thing at Arco, just lost three in row at home after 3-1 start. “The Kings are exactly what we thought they would be!”

22. Bobcats 3-6 (25): With Tyrus’ new contract, odds on Brown saving/killing him 20/80. Why doesn’t MJ just fire LB, hire Scotty Pippen and get on with things?

23. Rockets 2-6 (27): Things were tough before Aaron Brooks, who makes them go, went. That sound you hear in the background is Trevor Ariza laughing his ass off from N’awlins.

24. Timberwolves 3-7 (28): Rambis stops yo-yoing Love long enough for him to get 31-31. Why does that sound like the logline for a porn film?

25. Knicks 3-6 (14): If Wilt faced their defense, he’d have averaged 31-31. In his sleep.

26. Pistons 3-6 (29): Busy Tweeting? Villanueva says he doesn’t want to start. Well, what does Charlie V want to do?

27. Wizards 2-5 (23): Like Wall, fellow points Big O, Magic started at 18, 10 assists. I know John Wall can play but, can we wait a bit before inducting him into the Hall of Fame?

28. Raptors 2-7 (26): Expansion Raptors II. Bryan Colangelo casts a wistful eye towards the  Valley of the Sun.

29. 76ers 2-7 (30): Iguodala told not to rush back — since they’re better that way. Ouch. That’s like being designated an non-essential government employee.

30. Clippers 1-9 (24): Two words: Can’t shoot. No. 29 in 3-point accuracy at 29.3 percent. Two more words: Can’t win.


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