Q: Riley will give Dexter Pittman Heat tickets for the playoffs. -- Rob.
APRIL 15, 2013
Q: We all love Udonis Haslem, but hasn't Rashard Lewis impressed with defense, shot blocks, 3-pointer, rebounding and assists, making a case for Haslem's minutes? -- Jack Sanibel.
A: Has Rashard played well? Yes. But let's not overstate this time of season, when it comes to who the opposition has in the lineup, how the stakes are reduced, with the Heat's seeding locked in for weeks. But, yes, he has played well. Thing is, Haslem's per-minute rebounding has been good enough for him to retain his position. But (and this is a big "but") if Erik Spoelstra moves Shane Battier into his playoff starting lineup, then I could see Udonis' minutes possibly going elsewhere, perhaps to Rashard. So it could come down to whether Udonis starts, since he is playing token starter's minutes anyway.
Q: Nowadays a Buck doesn't go very far. -- Steven.
A: Oh, I get it. Yes, Milwaukee should not pose much of a threat in the first round. But I also do not see a sweep, not with the ability of Monta Ellis or Brandon Jennings to get hot and hit a busload of 3-pointers, perhaps both doing it in the same game.
Q; If LeBron James ever had a serious injury like Kobr Bryant's (God forbid), would ESPN televise the surgery? -- Abanoub.
A: Of course, they would call it "The Incision."
APRIL 14, 2013
Q: Let's go Hawks, make that No. 1 seed a whole lot sweeter! -- Daniel.
A: All of which is a reason that I think the Heat go hard for the win against the Bulls on Sunday, to at least try to knock Chicago into the other side of the East bracket. Of course, it's not as if Atlanta can be relied upon to take care of their end of the bargain (if the Hawks, indeed, truly even want to get to No. 5). The Heat will never come out and say it, but I'm sure they'd much rather deal with the Nets or Hawks in the second round than the Bulls.
Q: Rose, Rondo, Granger and Stoudemire. Think the road for the Heatles is a little bit easier? -- Billy.
A: And that's just the East, with Kobe out for the Lakers and the Spurs stumbling with their own injury concerns. Yet the reality is the Celtics initially played better without Rajon Rondo, the Pacers appear to be a better team without Danny Granger (at least when it comes to casting Paul George as a leading man), the Knicks haven't been nearly as efficient with Amare Stoudemire in the lineup, and the Bulls remained competitive without Derrick Rose. There still are plenty of hazards in the East if the Heat don't watch their step.
Q: Does Kobe show that you have to be careful with how old your mainline players are? -- Jabari.
A: No, because Kobe's injury was misstep, one that could happen at any age. Now, should a team be concerned about growing old? Sure. But the age issues with the Heat are not the Big Three, but rather some in the supporting cast. The key is to inject younger talent into the mix, as well, if possible.