Lebron James scored 42 points to help the Cleveland Cavaliers come back last night in Miami from an 11 point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 107-100. Mo Williams scored 15 out of his 30 points in the final seven minutes to lead the Cavs rally. Despite Dwayne scoring 41 for the Heat he was unable to get it going in the final minutes of the game. Miami shot 2 for 17 from the floor and turned the ball over four times in the last eight minutes.
Lebron James supplied the dagger with 43 seconds left, cruising past Jamario Moon for a huge right handed dunk to put Cleveland ahead 100-95. The Cavaliers are now 35 games over .500, marking the most successful season in their franchise history.
Lebron James reflecting on the game stated “It was Tough. It’s probably one of the better wins we’ve had all year.” This was the second time James and Wade scored 40 plus points in the same game. The last was on April 1, 2006 in Cleveland where James had 44 and Wade
44. “We don’t want each other to have bragging rights,” said James. “We definitely go at it when we play each other.
Wade and the Heat will be looking for revenge soon as the Heat travel to Cleveland to square off again.
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Eddie House scored 20 points in the second quarter alone last night in a 98-83 Boston Celtics victory over the Miami Heat. House shot 7-11 from 3 point range and finished the game with 25. Ray Allen scored a game high 27 for the C’s, contributing to the teams 15 for 25 3-point shooting percentage. Kevin Garnett scored 16 points, and pulled down 13 rebounds. Paul Pierce added 14 points.
House, who was with the Heat for his first three seasons in the league says although he’s used to Miami’s American Airlines Arena, his performance didn’t have much to do with the gym itself. “I don’t think this had anything to do with the building,” he said. “I was just getting open looks. We concentrated on moving the ball, and this is what happened.”
Dwayne Wade received the NBA player of the month award for December at the half as the Heat trailed the Celtics 57-34. Wade scored 25 points for Miami followed by Deaquan Cook who finished with 20.
Up next for the Celtics is a tough match up tonight against the Orlando Magic; a team currently leading the league with a 33-8 record.
The Celtics beat the Magic earlier this season, making this a payback game for Orlando. Looking ahead Celtics coach Doc Rivers states “We’re obviously not where we want to be but we’re starting to trend in the right direction.”
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The San Antonio Spurs got more bad news than going to 1-4 on the year. They also had to deal with the fact that Tony Parker could be out for a significant amount of time. Parker, who was coming off a spectacular 55 point game left this game with a sprained ankle. Parker could be out 2-4 weeks, making it a possibly long month for an already struggling Spurs team.
The Miami Heat improved to 3-2 on the year and got a great game out of Dwyane Wade. Wade dropped 33 points and had 10 rebounds for the Heat.
The Spurs will host the Knicks on Tuesday 11/11 which can’t hurt their chances of picking up a win. They’ll play in Milwaukee the following night before returning home to host the Houston Rockets on 11/14. San Antonio Spurs tickets are available for all remaining games.
Less then one month after the Boston Celtics captured their 17th NBA Championship, many teams around the league are already beginning to try and make some adjustments so that they can put themselves in contention for a title run. Many teams have begun to sign their lottery draft picks and several free agents are close to signing multi-year deals with new teams.
It is expected that the Golden State Warriors will sign Corey Maggette to a five year deal estimated right around $50 million dollars. Last season, Maggette averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for the struggling Los Angeles Clippers. At 6-foot-6, great speed and a soft perimeter touch, he would fit right into Golden State coach Don Nelson’s run and gun style of play.
The Philadelphia 76ers continue to make moves, freeing up salary cap space which many suspect is so that they can make a strong offer to Elton Brand to come and play for them. On Tuesday the 76ers traded away forward Rodney Carney, a future first round draft pick and reserve forward Calvin Booth to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a future second round draft pick and $2.8 million dollars. The Sixers now have another $2 million in salary cap space to add to the $11 million in space available that they hope will land them the post player in Brand that they desperately need to become a contender in the East.
First round draft pick O.J. Mayo (third pick overall) signed a multi-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. The Grizzlies pulled off an eight player trade the night of the NBA draft to acquire the rights to the third pick and land Mayo. Memphis also announced the signing of Darrell Arthur, the 27th overall selection of this year’s draft.
The number one and two picks of this years’ NBA Draft have been in the spotlight in the early action of the NBA’s summer league games. Michael Beasley (2nd pick in the draft) scored 28 points in the first game of the summer season for the Miami Heat but then followed it up with only a 9 point outing in the second game a night later. Derek Rose of the Chicago Bulls (1st pick in the draft) scored 10 points in his NBA summer league debut against Miami and Beasley and then followed it up with 9 points in his second game against the Indiana Pacers.
In other league news, the NBA set the new salary cap at $58,680,000 for the 2008-2009 season. This year’s cap went up by more than $3 million dollars over last season’s, which was set at $55.630 million. The minimum team salary for 2008-09 was 75 percent of the cap, or $44.010 million.
On Sunday in Orlando, Michael Beasley made the case for why he should have been picked number one in the NBA draft. Beasley looked confident on the floor; racking up 29 points and 9 rebounds in just 23 minutes of play.
“It’s just basketball, man. Played it in college, high school and middle school,” Beasley said in a post-game interview. “The same game, same concepts, the same rules. I was just out there having fun.
Beasley did not seem to be bothered by the cracked sternum he suffered Wednesday in a practice session with the Heat.
“I felt like me, man… I don’t play to get injured, and if it happens it just does. I just go and play.”
Number one pick Derrick Rose, on the other hand, seemed a step behind the game. He seemed tentative and slow in his professional debut, with only rare flashes of the speed and athleticism that the Bulls were expecting
The 2008 NBA trade deadline is over and has left some teams feeling confident about making a run into the playoffs, and left others wondering how long it will take the potential talent they traded for to actually turn into the superstars they were hoping they might become.
Sorry Timberwolves fans, but that’s just never going to happen for you.
Unlike years past, the league saw some big names relocate from struggling franchises onto playoff contending teams which is not only great for those organization’s playoff hopes, but its great for the NBA as well. Maybe for one month now we can forget about how overpaid Isaiah Thomas and the Knicks are and focus on the fact that there is actually a race going on in the West this year for the top spot in the playoffs, and the best team is the league, the Celtics, are coming out of the East. Who would have thought?
A huge winner in this years’ trade deadline has to be the L.A. Lakers. Landing Pau Gasol makes them instantly a Western Conference finalist contender. The Lakers have gone 8-1 since they acquired the big man, and that is without a healthy C Andrew Bynum. Pretty much all they had to do to get Gasol was give up Kwame Brown, yea remember him, first pick in the 2001 draft (HA!). That may go down as the worst first pick in the history of the NBA draft, but regardless, dishing him out to Memphis was brilliant because his contract expires at the end of the year anyway.
Another huge trade that was really unexpected, and at this point no one knows how it will pan out for either team, was the Shaquille O’Neal trade to the Phoenix Suns. Shaq is averaging career lows in points and rebounds, hasn’t been completely healthy for two years, and is going to be 36-years old in a few weeks. The Suns gave up former all-star power forward Shawn Marion and a talented point-guard in Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat in exchange for O’Neal. The former league MVP leaves the team with the worst record in the NBA to join the Suns who have the 2nd best record in the West. If neither team makes out in the deal, the person who did was Shaq.
Ben Wallace has found a new place to call home… again. The defensive specialist joins Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after he was dealt from the Chicago Bulls for four players in total including Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden. The Cavs also traded for Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and Joe Smith so the team chemistry may be off for a few weeks, but hopefully they begin to click before the playoffs. The moves they made are definitely an upgrade, but you may not see the results this season.
The biggest name to move right before the deadline may have been future hall of fame point guard Jason Kidd. Kidd was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in an eight player deal that left the New Jersey Nets hurting…even more then they had already been, but with $3 million dollars more in their pockets. The deal also left the Mavs excited for the second half of the season to get underway with Kidd running the show. Mavericks GM Mark Cuban finally got something he wanted, if he couldn’t buy the Cubs, well at least he could buy Jason Kidd… like Jay-Z really needs the money!
Some other moves that were made that wouldn’t be considered blockbuster deals, but are definitely worth mentioning include the San Antonio Spurs landing PF/C Kurt Thomas from the Seattle Supersonics. It’s not a flashy name, but a good move for the Spurs who needed some more size to compete with Shaq and Gasol who they will now be seeing more often playing in the West.
Mike Bibby was traded to the Atlanta Hawks which is an upgrade at point guard from Tyronne Lue who is now with the Sacramento Kings, and the move shows that Atlanta still has signs of life in them and wants to try and sneak in the eight and final spot for the Eastern Conference playoffs. They will need to play better basketball on the road where they are currently at a pathetic 6-19, but Bibby’s leadership could help turn that around.
So when all is said and done with, who were the biggest winner and loser after this year’s trading deadline?
Biggest Loser: The Minnesota Timberwolves – They traded away Gerald Green whom they had just traded for in the off-season when they gave away Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. It seems like this team has been rebuilding for ten years now, and its not going to stop anytime soon.
Biggest Winner: The Los Angeles Lakers – Pau Gasol is going to take a little pressure off of Kobe Bryant, help their team defense, and be the spark to drive the Lakers to the top spot in the Pacific Division. They didn’t give up hardly anything, and they became instant contenders with his addition.
The final two months of the NBA season are going to be filled with lots of action so make sure to contact Ace Ticket if you want to be there and a part of it all!
If the rumors prove to be true, Shaquille O’Neal will be heading to the Phoenix Suns in a trade that no one saw coming. The Miami Heat have agreed to trade O’Neal to the Suns in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. The deal is pending an O’Neal physical later in the day today.
Many are wondering why the Suns would make this deal considering Shaq’s age, contract, and decline in production. Shaq is averaging career lows with 14.2 points a game and 7.8 rebounds a game. In a year where he will turn 36, Shaq is also a constant injury risk. The apparent upside is that Shaq will be reinvigorated when he’s playing with a contender. Time will tell.