Wednesday night. Miami at Cleveland. The Heat’s epic win streak in serious jeopardy, as the lowly Cavs surged to a 27-point third quarter lead.
And you could almost see the relief on Erik Spoelstra’s face.
Miami’s coach would have been perfectly content to end the streak, to take all pressure off his team as the playoffs approach and to give him the opportunity to rest key players down the stretch. After all, the Heat have already clinched the Southeast Division. They’ve got an 11.5 game lead over second-place Indiana for the top seed in the East … with 15 games remaining. It would take a disaster of Hindenburg proportions to knock them out of the top spot. And while LeBron James is only a little less durable than Wolverine, the other two thirds of Miami’s “big three” – Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – have extensive injury histories.
Given the choice, I’m sure Spoelstra would be very happy to take a loss, and then put Wade, Bosh, and Ray Allen on modified duty for the rest of the season. Not that he’d admit that with Miami chasing the Lakers’ all-time NBA record for consecutive wins. But LeBron and company took that option away. In the second half, they played like the squad we’ve come to know and love or is it fear, erasing the deficit and surging to a 98-95 win.
It seems likely that they’ll make it 25 straight on Friday in Detroit. And with Charlotte, Orlando, Chicago, and New Orleans on the schedule after that, odds are good that the streak lasts for at least another week.
via Waiver Wire: Will Rose Blossom in Spring?.
A typically excellent piece from SBNation’s Tom Ziller on the most cost-effective players in the Association… with Houston’s Chandler Parsons topping the list:
Chandler Parsons is the most cost-effective player in the NBA.
Through March 10, Parsons had cost $1,165 per unit of production. The average cost of a unit of production this season is $13,938. Based on that price, Parsons’ production this season has been worth $10.6 million. He’s making $888,000. So he’s currently worth roughly $10 million more than he’s being paid. That’s huge. That’s like a free All-Star, almost.
via Value added: Late draft picks, cheap veterans the most cost-effective producers in the NBA – SBNation.com.
Biggest surprise? The top ten includes a Knick… which might be the first time a New York player has been described as “cost effective” since MSG plucked Anthony Mason and John Starks from obscurity.
Best thing the Knicks have done this month. (Actually, that’s not saying much…)
GREENBURGH — About 150 amateur basketball players filled the Knicks’ training courts on Sunday, shooting for the hoops, while keeping a higher goal in mind.
They faced off in a round-robin tournament to benefit Backyard Sports Cares, which offers children with autism and other special needs.
“We all play in our schoolyards and our driveways, with the vision of playing in a professional sports facility,” said Danny Bernstein, head coach and executive director the organization.Youngsters from Backyard Sports Cares got to show their hoops skills, too. And several former Knicks, including John Wallace and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, came to lend support.
via Special needs kids try out Knicks’ training center | The Journal News | LoHud.com | lohud.com.
There’s just over one month remaining in the regular season – a crucial time for fantasy owners trying to finish in the money. Unfortunately, many NBA coaches won’t make things easy for you.
A couple of things to think about as you plan for the stretch drive:
Extra rest for aging superstars
Tim Duncan was dominant Thursday night, carrying the Spurs to a narrow 92-91 win over Dallas with a 28-point, 19-rebound explosion. Of course, there’s a good reason Timmy had a little extra jump in his step – he skipped San Antonio’s previous game entirely. He didn’t even make the trip to Minnesota. Pay close attention to updates on players like Duncan, especially during back-to-backs and stretches with three games in four nights.
via Rotowire.com – Waiver Wire: Final Month Push.
Rotowire injury guru Jeff Stotts breaks down exactly what’s going on with STAT’s knee:
The former All-Star will undergo a right knee debridement to clean up the effected joint. Reports suggest Stoudemire had developed a Baker’s cyst in his knee, the same condition that required surgery on his left knee prior to the start of the season and ultimately cost him 30 games.
This wouldn’t be the first time Stoudemire has dealt with a Baker’s cyst in his right knee, undergoing the procedure in the 2005-2006 season. He has since had an additional right knee debridement, making this latest surgery his third right knee surgery in the last eight seasons.
via Rotowire.com – Injury Analysis: Rose and Irving, STAT and ‘Melo.