NBA General

Around the Rim: The West is almost set

1. No Mailman needed for this West finals delivery
The best story in the NBA postseason is finally over as the Jazz put together a late run and sent the league’s version of Cinderella packing for the offseason with a 100-87 victory in Game 5, but, more importantly, the win put Utah into the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1998. But just because Golden State is out of the picture doesn’t mean that there are no true heroes left. At least that’s what the media keeps shoving down our throat about Derek Fisher. Handling the rock in all the critical moments and knocking down his shots with a sharpshooters’ precision (7-10 FG, 4-5 3FG), Fisher left his fingerprints all over this game. Now the Jazz are left to practice, watch, wait and repeat until the dramatics over in the other half of the West bracket finally get hashed out. But GS can still be proud of what they did this year and how they played. Unfortunately, they were just a bit too raw for the refined playoffs and while it was rabid emotion that carried the Warriors over the Mavericks, it was that same enthusiasm which would eventually be their downfall. There was a whirlwind of whistles directed at The City ballers toward the end of the third quarter and the Warriors just began to slowly unravel over the final 12 minutes. We all knew that the Golden State run would eventually end but it still doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to Jessica Alba.

2. Who’s getting Bull-ied around now?

Two games ago, the Bulls were beaten up, thrown around and left for dead on the side of the road after falling down 3-0 to Detroit. But unlike those bloated deer that get blasted by speeding SUVs on streets across the nation, these guys rose from the dead to win two consecutive games against the Pistons. Never seen road kill do that before. Ben Gordon was obviously alive and well as he scored a game-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field that included a 5-of-6 performance from behind the arc. Kirk Hinrich didn’t resemble a dead armadillo or opossum either as he dished out 13 helpers to go with 17 points in the 108-92 Chicago victory. The Pistons are known for blowing comfy leads in the postseason but they are also known for winning the games that they have to have. But if they want to end this series quickly they are going to have to take care of business on the road. And Chicago is where Ben Wallace has had his biggest games of the series. In the two games in Chi-Town, Big Ben has pulled down 29 rebound while he only has 20 boards in the three Detroit contests.

3. The commish shows no love for Amare
We all knew that there would probably be suspensions handed out by David Stern after Robert Horry sent Steve Nash flopping flying into the scorer’s table. The incident had Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw hopping mad, and unfortunately for the Suns they hopped off the bench and onto the court which earned each of them a game suspension. Guess the whole “I was checking into the game” strategy didn’t work out for Amare. On the other side of the series, Horry’s actions earned him a two game suspension. It would seem that the Suns just lost Game 5 but now there is a ton of extra pressure on the Spurs as the suspensions have put them in a must-win situation that they must capitalize on. But, hell, we think it’s pretty safe to say that any coach in the league would rather be in Gregg Popovich‘s loafers instead of Mike D’Antoni‘s in this pivotal Game 5.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Andrei Kirilenko vs. Utah 34 min, 21 pts (FG: 8-12, FT: 5-5), 15 reb, 1 ast, 3 stl

Buzzer Beater: Dwyane Wade had to be feeling like a total idiot as he started putting on that stupid paper garment before going under the knife to repair both knee and shoulder. This was a surgery that he could have done back in February but instead opted to skip the procedure and rehab his way back into shape for the playoffs. And we think everybody knows how productive that decision turned out to be for Flash. Turns out that Dwyane’s pains were primarily coming from his knee and not the shoulder that sent him sobbing from the arena in a wheelchair. The recovery will probably take the entire offseason and possibly longer. Unfortunately, for Miami the “jumper’s knee” condition is nothing new to the franchise. Jason Williams had a similar operation performed last July and he was still in pain for half of the season.

NBA General

Around the Rim: Heeee’s Baaaack

1. Waiting on Wade no more
Dwyane Wade is back on the Miami Heat’s active roster and the playoff bound Eastern Conference teams have got to be sweating bullets. Flash took the court yesterday for the first time in a month and a half and scored 12 points in 27 minutes, but the Heat were unable to welcome their superstar back in proper fashion as they fell to the Bobcats by eight points, 111-103. Wade struggled from the field (3-9 FG) but still managed to dish out eight assists in the loss. But the Heat are still in good shape as they prepare for the post season. They are currently sitting in the fourth spot in the East and appear to have the Southeast Division wrapped up after Washington’s injury problems have basically taken them out of contention. However, the loss pretty much took away any chance Miami had to gain home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

2. Suns burn LA

Kobe Bryant scored 34 points and handed out seven assists but it wasn’t enough to knock of the Suns. In what could be a first round playoff preview, Phoenix beat the Lakers 115-107 in the star studded Staples Center in Los Angeles. Steve Nash continued his trek for a third consecutive MVP award as he led the Suns in scoring (25) and assists (11). Phoenix has now beaten LA in nine of the last 11 regular season contests between the two clubs and what’s worse for the Lakers is that the loss moves them into the seventh seed in the West, just three games ahead of the teams who are on the outside of the playoff picture. The Lakers must now win all of their five remaining games if they are going to prevent Phil Jackson from setting a new personal low for wins in a season.

3. Double triple-doubles
On Saturday, Vince Carter racked up big, fat triple-double with 46 points, 16 rebounds and ten assists. But he wasn’t the only Net to scoop up a triple dip. Mr. Triple-Double, Jason Kidd, amassed the 86 triple-double of his career and his 11th of the season as he went off for 10 points, 16 rebounds and 18 assists. The Nets superstars became the first teammates to accomplish the lofty feat since another well known duo pulled it off in 1989. That was when Michael Jordan (41 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists) and Scottie Pippen (15 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists) blasted the Clippers for a pair of TD’s. Now Kidd and Carter just need to win six championships and they’ll really be like Mike and Pip.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Tracy McGrady @ Sacramento 40 min, 40 pts (FG: 14-28, 3FG: 3-6, FT: 9-12), 8 reb, 10 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk

Monday’s Game to Watch: Utah (48-28) @ Golden State (37-40) The Warriors are coming off a tough loss to the Spurs on Saturday but they have still won four of their last five games as they continue to keep their playoff hopes alive. But if Golden State wants to close the one game gap between them and the Clippers, Baron Davis is going to have to lead his team past a playoff quality team in the Jazz. Utah has already wrapped up their division crown but they are still in a must win situation because they are currently in a battle with Houston for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Even though the Jazz have locked up the fourth seed in the West, the Rockets can steal the right to hold the majority of the series in Clutch City if they finish the season with a better record.

Buzzer Beater: Normally a rally from 17 points down to grab a five point victory would be considered a pretty sweet comeback. But Philly fans have got to be cringing as they watched their Sixers fight all the way back to beat the Hawks by five, 109-104, in overtime. The win gets them one step closer to nowhere and one step away from the possibility of grabbing Kevin Durant or Greg Oden in the draft this summer. Thanks to a late hot streak in which the 76ers have won 13 of 20, Philadelphia now joins four other teams in a tie for the fifth fewest wins in the league. Can you say Joakim Noah?

NBA General

Around the Rim: Shaq was right, they should be called the Queens

Can’t I just get suspended again?

1. Hotlanta finally deserves their moniker
Usually teams can’t wait to play against the Atlanta Hawks because it typically yields a victory and some huge numbers for the opposing team’s best players, or worst for that matter. It’s not too often that the Hawks get to be the bullies, but then again, they only get to play the Kings twice a year. Luckily last night was one of those games and Atlanta pulled out a 23 point victory, 99-76, over Sacramento that was never in doubt after the Hawks held Sac-town to only eight points in the third quarter. Potential future superstar Josh Childress scored a season-high 25 points for Atlanta in their fifth consecutive victory and Josh Smith came up just a point shy of a triple double with nine points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. But what’s unacceptable for the Kings is allowing some guy named Zaza to go off for 23 points on 11 of 12 shooting.

2. No date set yet

The story surrounding Dwyane Wade of late has basically been more of a lack of a story. It’s has been about a month since Wade made a tearful departure from the court in a wheelchair of all things and after passing on surgery so that he could make an attempt at returning to the team later this season, Wade told a group of reporters, “I’ve been working out every day and doing what they’re telling me to do.” Thanks Flash, that’s what you’re suppose to do when undergoing rehabilitation. But no rush, Miami is rolling without Wade and have pulled to within one game of the Southeast Division crown by going 10-3 with no Wade. Looks like the Heat are doing just fine without Dwyane in their Fave 5.

3. Shhhhh! No talking
Danny Ainge always has been a guy who likes to bend the rules, so it should be no surprise that he was fined $30,000 by the league by the NBA after the Celtics GM was seen with Texas superstar freshman Kevin Durant’s mother during the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. But in all reality, what does it even matter? How can Ainge talking to Durant’s momma have any influence over his decision to enter the draft? After all, it’s not like Durant gets to choose where he goes. Boston holds all the power so there is really no reason why good ol’ Danny boy can’t shoot the breeze his mom, dad or Kevin himself. But just like in his playing days, Ainge is so damn annoying that nobody is even going to complain on his behalf.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Paul Pierce @ New Orleans 29 min, 28 pts (FG: 11-18, 3FG: 4-7, FT: 2-3), 1 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Minnesota (28-37) @ Phoenix (50-16) Every win is becoming critical for the Timberwolves as the season begins to rapidly come to a close. Currently the T-Wolves are just 2 ½ games behind Golden State for the final playoff spot in the West, which is an amazing feat by itself considering that they have lost 10 of their last 13 games. But this still might be the most advantageous opportunity for Minnesota to knock off the Suns because Phoenix has lost consecutive games for only the third time all season. And if you overlook the three game slide they suffered through when playing without the league’s current MVP, it’s only the second pair of back to back loses since the team opened the year with a four game losing streak.

Buzzer Beater: While the talk is still only in its infancy, the NBA is beginning discussions to take the All-Star game overseas. It sounds like a good idea but things like travel time and jetlag could become sticky points between players and owners. But hey, they are all big boys and why should we let rowdy NBA fans destroy our cities when we can unleash them on those poor, naïve chaps across the pond. And if the players don’t like traveling overseas for an All-Star weekend just wait until David Stern decides to expand the league beyond the Canadian and American borders. After all, it is just a matter of time until Stern & Co. welcomes Tegucigalpa and Milan into the association.

NBA General

Around the Rim: Playing the Wade-ing Game

1.  The Dr. Will Be In Shortly
If you’re a Miami Heat fan, then today is a big day.  That’s because Dwyane Wade will receive the much anticipated second opinion on his left shoulder.  After that, D-Wade will make his decision between beginning a straight rehab program or opting for a season ending surgery.  Obviously, fans want Wade to return this year so that the Heat will have a shot at defending their title, but, in reality, it’s all about the dolla dolla bills, ya’ll.  Just ask Pacman Jones.  Like all athletes, health is Wade’s most valuable asset, so don’t be surprised when he decides to undergo the operation and leaves Shaq to carry on the hopes and dreams of an entire city.  The Heat have moved past Orlando and now sit four games behind the division leading Wizards.  But catching the Wiz isn’t going to be easy since they are expected to have their tremendous trio reunited on Friday as Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison both return from injuries.

2.  What’s My Name!?!
LaMarcus Aldridge showed everyone why he was selected second overall in the draft.  Last night, Aldridge scored a career-high 30 points as the Trailblazers utterly destroyed Charlotte, 127-90.  By the end of the third quarter, Aldridge had already put in all of his points while helping Portland build a 37 point lead.  His previous high of 18 was achieved in a pair of games against the Wizards and the Lakers last month.  The 30 points marked the best offensive game by a Portland rookie in 22 years!  But Aldridge wasn’t the only young gun on the Jailblazers to bitch slap the wretched Bobcats.  Martell Webster came off the bench to score 20 points and Brandon Roy blew up for 14 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.  While Aldridge still has a long way to go before he lives up to his high selection in the draft, it’s good for Portland to see a solid performance out of the franchise’s future; even if it is against Charlotte.

3.  Jazz Hole
As the media blitz continues to rush at John Amaechi, he continues to answer the endless questions coming from reporters, and he continues to do so honestly.  When on Fox Sports Radio, host Andrew Siciliano asked Amaechi if Utah coach Jerry Sloan is the worst coach he’s ever dealt with.  At first, Amaechi took the high road — “No, he’s the best coach I’ve ever played for in terms of his technical ability.”  Then John revealed his true feelings about the old-school ball coach.  “And without a doubt, he’s the worst person I’ve ever met in my entire life, in terms of dealing with people.”  At least nobody can accuse Amaechi of sugar coating the situation.

Thursday’s Player of the Day:  Rashard Lewis vs. Los Angeles Clippers 45 min, 31 pts (FG: 10-19, 3FG: 2-5, FT: 9-10), 7 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk

Friday’s Game to Watch:  Orlando (28-31) @ San Antonio (39-18) These two had quite a contest back on February 9 when Dwight Howard’s last second inbounds slam capped off an 18 point comeback as the Magic slipped past the Spurs, 106-104.  But after losing four of five, San Antonio has ripped off a six game winning streak.  Orlando desperately needs a victory as they have fallen to third in their division, five games behind Washington.  The Magic have lost 17 of their last 23 games, but it’s not due to a lack of effort from their All-Star.  In February, Howard averaged 23 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks per game, and threw down a couple of sick slams over All-Star weekend.  Who knows, maybe Howard will “kiss the rim” on a breakaway during the game.

Buzzer Beater: Dennis Rodman is undergoing negotiations that would enable him to get back on the court this season.  Where is the Worm heading, you ask.   Maybe Dallas since the whole Reggie Miller talk fell through?  Or Cleveland who was pursuing Scottie Pippen?  The Lakers perhaps?  Nope, Rodman is in talks with the ABA’s Rochester Razorsharks.  If everything works out for Rochester, the eccentric rebounder would suit up as the team’s celebrity “13th Man” in one of the two final regular season home games which will be played on Tuesday and Thursday.  But the Razorsharks might want to consider shying away from the term “celebrity” in their promotions.  While Rodman is one of the best defensive players the NBA has ever seen, he is now joining local bar owner Moe Alaimo as the most recent “celebrities” to hoop it up with the defending league champions.

NBA General

Around the Rim: There’s No Crying in Basketball!

1. Tears of a Clown
Just when it looked like things were going to start turning around for the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade injures his left shoulder and a loss spoils Pat Riley’s return to the bench. Wade got wrapped up with Houston’s Shane Battier in the fourth quarter and appeared to be in pain as he headed for the bench with 27 points and nine assists. Eventually he was taken from the court in a wheelchair. Geez, what a drama queen. And we thought your new Eurkel commercial was the extent of your thespian talents. Seriously though; a wheelchair? But despite his theatrical exit, should this injury prove to be serious, it could spell the end of any legitimate hopes Miami had for a title defense. Before last night, the Heat had been, well, hot, winning six of seven since the Daddy made his way back into the lineup at the beginning of the month.

2. Two Games, Five Players, 178 Points
Last night’s game between San Antonio and Atlanta saw a trio of players combine for whopping 100 points as the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili put up a season-high 40, while Tim Duncan scored 30. On the other side of the court, Joe Johnson had a team-high 30 points to match Duncan’s output. But two is always better than one and the Spurs took the contest, 103-96. During one stretch in the first half, Ginobili scored 24 consecutive points for San Antonio as he took a 27 point performance into the locker room at halftime. But that wasn’t the only game had an impressive offensive output. The New Jersey Nets’ Vince Carter (46 points) and the Hornets’ David West (32 points) combined for 78 points. Guess Vince figured that if he’s going to go out, it might as well be in style. Today at 3:00 p.m. ET marks the deadline for teams to make any trades before the postseason push begins.

3. Shining Sun
Maybe there’s something to this Steve Nash for MV-Three talk after all. As Nash rested a sore shoulder for two weeks, the Suns were outplayed by some of the more miserable teams in the league. By the time Nashty returned, Phoenix had dropped three of four games by a combined 46 points. Since emerging back into the lineup, the Suns have won their last two games by a total of 35 points. Against the Clippers, Nash scored 13 while dishing out 12 assists; he followed that with a 14 point, 13 assist effort against Boston. On a team that is as loaded as the Suns are, it’s pretty amazing that subtracting one player can create such a striking difference in performance. This isn’t like Minnesota losing Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant going down on the Lakers. Phoenix has two additional All-Stars in Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion on their ultra talented roster. Hell, even Van Halen was able to make some good music after David Lee Roth left.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Mike Miller @ Golden State 49 min, 45 pts (FG: 16-27, 3FG: 9-17, FT: -6), 5 reb, 6 ast, 1 stl

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Miami (26-27) @ Dallas (44-9) Everything had been lining up perfectly for an awesome Finals rematch; until last night. Pat Riley’s back, Shaq’s coming off a 20 point, 16 rebound performance, Dallas has put together a nine game win streak and Mark Cuban is taking shots at players’ leadership abilities. But a majority of the luster was removed from this match-up when Dwyane Wade started sobbing like a baby before being wheeled off the court like a geriatric coot at Country Meadows nursing home. However, the emotions should still be high as this young rivalry continues to develop. Unfortunately, without their star, the Heat are facing the difficult task of defeating the best team in the league on their home floor, where they hold a 24-3 record. But as Rudy T once said, “Never underestimate the heart of a champion.”

Buzzer Beater: We all knew that it was going to happen eventually. We all knew that “Dancing With The Stars” would come looking for NBA talent after the NFL’s Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith showed the world what twinkle toes were all about. But that still doesn’t keep you from scratching your head at the selection. Prepare yourself to witness retired baller Clyde “The Glide” Drexler performing the electric slide in a sailor suit or the two-step dressed in the traditional attire of crotch-hugging Wranglers on NBC’s primetime lineup. Drexler could prove to be Baryshnikov, but does it really matter? At this point, he’s just another sporting icon reduced to reality-show celebrity status. And plus, how much satisfaction can he get by beating a one legged Heather Mills?

NBA General

Around the Rim: All-Star Weekend Recap

1. The Game
Vegas is supposed to be a city that never sleeps, but a last night’s All-Star game changed that. The game was never even close as the West destroyed the East by 21, 153-132. The West was up 20 at halftime and would eventually stretch it out to 30 thanks to a trio of players with at least 20 points. Kobe Bryant picked up the MVP trophy with 31 points while Amare Stoudemire had 29 and Carmelo Anthony put in 20. Every player on both rosters scored in the contest, but it was a struggle for Caron Butler to get a bucket in his first All-Star appearance. Butler connected on his only hoop (1-7 FG) with just 4:07 left in the game, while his Wizards teammate never heated up in the game either. Gilbert Arenas was just 3-8 in the game for eight points.

2. Dunk Contest
Gerald Green won the slam dunk contest as he did his best Dee Brown imitation while leaping over tiny Nate Robinson. He then went on to jump over a table. It was a decent performance but nobody is going to be ranking it up there with Vince, ‘Nique and Mike. Dwight Howard got screwed because he’s tall as he slapped a sticker onto the backboard just a mere 12 ½ feet off the ground. But it was lost on the judges who seemed to kinda stingy with their scores. The commentators even began referring to Michael Jordan as “the Russian judge.” The Mount Rushmore of dunkers probably wasn’t impressed with very many of the slams because it’s hard to give someone a 10, knowing that you could have thrown it down better.

3. 3-Point Shootout
Jason Kapono easily won the 3-point contest over big names like Gilbert Arenas, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry as he put up 24 points in his final run. That ties the record for most points in a final round and was just one point away from tying the most points ever. But it really shouldn’t have been a surprise as Kapono is leading the league in 3-point shooting by nailing 56 percent of his attempts. He has hit 89 of 159 from downtown this season, which is the best first half shooting performance in the history of the league by anyone who has shot at least 75 treys. In all, it was a good weekend for the Heat as Dwyane Wade defended his crown in the skills competition. Now, let’s see if All-Star successes can jumpstart the Heat down the stretch.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Kobe Bryant vs. The East 28 min, 31 pts (FG: 13-24, 3FG: 3-9, FT: 2-2), 5 reb, 6 ast, 6 stl

Buzzer Beater: Every year he gets a little bit older and a bit more out of shape, but every year Shaq proves that this is still his league. Even if you don’t like Shaq, he’s an entertaining guy and he understands that the All-Star game is about having fun and putting on a show for the fans. From break dancing during practice, to unveiling his latest concept shoe that doubles as a slot machine, to kissing Tracy McGrady on the head after a slam; he makes it fun. And he’s always going to bring the ball up the court on at least on possession and try to cross somebody over; last night it was Mehmet Okur, and even though he missed the shot, that’s a play that the fans are going to remember. But now that the game is over, Shaq’s going to return to his serious self as the Heat make a push toward the postseason.

NBA General

Around the Rim: David’s Dilemma

1. Save Face or Send a Message?
In an ironic twist of fate, commissioner David Stern now holds Carmelo Anthony’s All-Star future in his hands. Earlier in the season, Stern dished out a 15 game suspension to Melo for his involvement in the New York brawl. Now, the commish is responsible for assigning two players to the west’s team to replace the injured Yao Ming and Carlos Boozer. Anthony got snubbed by the coaches and the fans this year despite leading the league in scoring. Stern backed off the synthetic ball issue after player complaints continued to mount; will he be able to forgive and forget when it comes to Melo? If Anthony doesn’t make the squad, he would become the first player ever to miss the All-Star game while leading the league in scoring.

2. Wade’s Way
Dwyane Wade carried the weight of his entire team during the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Cavs as he single-handedly outscored the entire Cleveland team. In the final 12 minutes, Wade went off for 24 points while LeBron’s boys could only muster 23. Making matters worse for Cleveland is that they held a 12 point lead with less than eight minutes remaining. The 24 points were also a Heat record for points scored in the final quarter. Wade finished with a fat 41 point game to go along with five assists, three steals and two blocks.

3. Low Blow
After writhing around on the floor because of an allegedly inadvertent pop to the face by Kobe Bryant on Sunday, Manu Ginobili decided to dish out a little “unintentional” punishment of his own last night. With about nine minutes remaining in the game, Ginobili drove to the hoop and delivered a running knee shot right to Amare Stoudemire’s unborn children. As most men would do, Stoudemire crumpled to the ground before jumping up and looking to throw down. After the game, Stoudemire said that he thought the knee was on purpose and called Ginobili a flopper; he was right on both counts. (We also want to point you to this hilarious video of Avery Johnson getting too excited and hitting Josh Howard in the nuts by accident.)

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Amare Stoudemire vs. San Antonio 43 min, 24 pts (FG: 9-18, FT: 6-7), 23 reb, 1 stl

Friday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (28-18) @ Indiana (24-21) The Kobe Show has hit the road, and it’s going to be a while before the performance returns to Hollywood. Tonight’s game is the third in an eight game road trip for the Lakers; so far they’re 1-1. The Pacers have only lost seven games at home this year behind the great play from Jermaine O’Neal, who was named an All-Star last night. Indiana has also won four of their last five with the last win coming at the expense of the pathetic Celtics. The same Celtics that Kobe scored 43 against on Wednesday.

Buzzer Beater: How did the fans get the West so wrong? Steve Nash has won the last two MVP’s and his biggest competition for this year’s award seems to be Dirk Nowitzki, yet both players were forced to make the team via a coach’s vote. The fan vote has become a pathetic popularity contest where performance is apparently irrelevant. Heck, health doesn’t even matter to the fans; Shaq got voted in despite playing in only four games by the time the votes were due. To borrow a phrase from Bill Walton; “How sad.”

Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade vs Dirk Nowitzki

While everyone is writing volumes about the “Air Apparent”, we thought a simple chart might do the trick. Stepping up when it counted, D-Wade was simply the best player in the playoffs, outlasting LeBron James and putting Carmello (who?) to shame. On the flip side, we also have the Incredible Shrinking Nowitzki!

If you must read people gushing about Wade and the Heat, here are some selections from the blogosphere.

[Complete Sports]: Your 2006 NBA Champion… Dwyane Wade (er, the Miami Heat)

[Straight Bangin]: NBA Finals: Wade 4, Dallas 2

[The Assimilated Negro]: Final Thoughts On The Finals

[Reggie’s Extra Points]: Wade’s class worth emulating

Miami Heat

Odds and Ends for Mon May 1 2006: "just like Donovan McNabb and TO"

Babysitting headaches

The players on the Heat are busy trying to pass off the Dwayne Wade – Gary Payton incident as just teammates getting into it in the heat of battle, but Gary Payton compared it to the sideline disagreement between McNabb and TO in the Pittsburgh game. And while that incident was the definition of the media trying to make something out of nothing, we need to remind Payton that things didn’t exactly end up well for DMac and TO. And we also should remind GP that despite his hall of fame career, this is Wade’s team . It’s not even Shaq’s team. It’s Wade’s. And unless Payton wants to play Italian league ball next year, it might be smart to let the next bad pass from Wade just go unmentioned.

In other news…

[]: The Bengals draft Chad Johnson again… this time to play CB.

[Detroit Free Press]: Matt Millen says the Lions had a good draft. Must be on the George Bush mission accomplished plan.

[]: So much for McNair mentoring Vince Young. Titans might trade Air to the Ravens.

[UPI]: Polish soccer fans planning a tournament to fight other fans. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

[]: Matt Leinart says he’s happy to leave LA. “I’ve dealt with everything you possibly can in that city. I love LA. I was born and raised out there. But I’m definitely ready. It’s time to move on.” By this, he means he’s already slept with all the chicks in LA. But he could’ve nailed all the chicks in NYC as…

[NY Daily News]: The Jets tried to trade up to get Leinart after drafting Ferguson.