Tag Archives: Dwyane Wade

Heat Hate Bracket, Part 1

It was just a little over one year ago that music, culture, politics, society, etc. was changed when a young gentleman from the south side of Chicago recorded an innocuous yet powerful song. “That’s that shit I don’t like,” crooned Chief Keef after listing an entity that he does not like in the song “I Don’t Like.” Born from Mr. Keef’s masterpiece was a startling tidal wave of dislike that impacted Americans everywhere. Take me for example: I don’t like grapefruit, I don’t like Whole Foods, and I sure as hell don’t like Kay Jewelers and the way they tell me how to live my life.

But more than anything else, I dislike the Miami Heat. I dislike their players, I dislike their coaches, I dislike how Birdman gets to sit courtside while his non-Lil Wayne son texts through the whole damn game. Everything. One could even say that I hate them.

If you’re one of the roughly 12 people reading this, I assume you’ve had similar feelings. Watching the Heat truck through the playoffs and toward a championship last season was painful, and now that they’ve reached that doorstep yet again, I’ve spent the past few days trying to figure out what exactly I hate about the Heat. Miami is a great team, and as an objective basketball fan I should enjoy watching them play basketball. Yet each passing game, complete with Lebron’s heroics and Bosh making stupid faces and Juwon Howard pretending like he still plays, fills me with a growing Keef-ian rage matched only by my confusion: what is the worst thing about the Heat?

So, I tried to sort out my hatred of all things Miami Heat the way any rational man would: with a bracket. Without further ado—because I’m not much of a fan of ado either—I present (Part I of) your 2013 Heat Hate Bracket, conveniently divided into pre and post “Decision” regions because fuck The Decision more than anything.

Round 1

Wade County Region

Dwyane Wade (1) vs. Juwan Howard (8)

Juwan Howard is a dangerous 8 seed. He’s 87 years old, high fives everyone on the bench and probably idiotically thinks he’s some sort of mentor to Miami’s big guns. Sorta like a player coach without either playing or coaching. But Howard’s Heat Hateability doesn’t hold a candle to the Wade County Region’s top seed, a flopping prima donna who gets to date Gabrielle Union. Come on. Oh, and at least when Howard wears a suit he doesn’t wear fucking capri pants. Douche Wade advances.

Udonis Haslem (4) vs. Mario Chalmers (5)

A brutal 4/5 matchup between Haslem, a longtime Heat fan favorite and thus one of my not favorites, and Chalmers, one of Miami’s many three point shooters who are just open all the time and make me want to throw furniture across the room. Chalmers’ hate pedigree is strong, as he won that NCAA championship over that Memphis team literally everyone was rooting for and is also from Alaska which is just obnoxious. But Haslem gets the edge here because of his affinity for standing in one spot on offense and making that same stupid baseline jumper over and over again. I hate that so much. Also your facial hair sucks bro, clean that up.

Erik Spoelstra (3) vs. Pat Riley (6)

Once upon a time, Pat Riley was the face of NBA evil, and he’s likely the orchestrator of the infamous summer of 2010 events that united Lebron and his stupid sidekicks. But…damnit, have you looked at Spoelstra? Just look at him. God damn. We know you don’t call any plays dude! And he’s got a hot wife anyway? Fuck that guy.

The Fans (2) vs. The Dos Minutos Dude (7)

For those who watch Heat games on mute to avoid listening to Marv Albert verbally orgasm every time Lebron blinks, the Miami PA announcer yells “Two minutes!” to note the dwindling clock in each quarter. The fans, hopped up on molly and botox, glibly respond “Dos minutos!” because Miami is near Cuba and speaking Spanish is cool I guess. This is horseshit. Yet, as much as I hate Dos Minutos Dude, the Fans get the nod here because essentially the Dos Minutos Dude is only a tiny part of why Heat fans suck.

Lebron’s Mom Region

Lebron James (1) vs. Norris Cole (8)

Lebron is probably the worst human being on the planet ever since Billy Mays died. I actually kinda like Norris Cole. He seems like a cool dude and his flattop is sweet. Lebron in a walk, which Joey Crawford definitely won’t call.

Shane Battier (4) vs. Ray Allen (5)

Perhaps the most difficult first round matchup to call. Ray Allen lowkey pulled a Lebron in the summer of 2012, abandoning the Celtics to play on a loaded Heat team for less money. I also kinda hate his mom now that he’s on the Heat, even though she previously seemed like a nice lady. Battier, on the other hand, is the quintessential dirty role player for the Heat, constantly being lauded by announcers for taking charges and making threes with a shooting stroke that makes Jason MacElwain’s look pretty. This one’s tough. Battier advances by virtue of having gone to Duke. What an asshole.

Birdman, white (3) vs. Birdman, black (6)

Baby is a fixture at Heat games, sitting courtside throughout much of the playoffs and presumably having enthralling discussions with the little white lady to his left. While he raps like a toddler, I suppose when you’ve got Money to Blow you can park yourself courtside as long as you want. Conversely, not even the world’s biggest skinhead would tat himself like Chris Andersen has. Easy win for White Birdman here.

Chris Bosh (2) vs. Mike Miller (7)

Bosh is the third member of the alleged Big Three, and very little is more infuriating than seeing him celebrate the good play he makes once every 12 games by opening his mouth to the heavens and yelling nonsensically over the quiet din of the wine and cheese party at American Airlines Arena. But the Boshtrich is not one to carry a team past the first round of anything by himself, and this bracket will be no exception. The reason? For all of Bosh’s antics, it was Mike Miller who drained 19 threes in the clinching game of last year’s Finals—the last basketball game I could bear to watch before collecting all of my belongings and moving to Canada—and grabbed his back in agony after each one. So Hillbilly Miller pulls the upset here, and to be honest I sort of feel bad for Bosh. After all, Lil Wayne did fuck his wife.

PART II COMING FRIDAY

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Heat Hate Bracket, Part 2

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Round 2

Wade County Region

Dwyane Wade (1) vs. Udonis Haslem (4)

Haslem is no easy matchup for Wade, with the whole having been in the league for over a decade despite lacking any discernable talent thing. UD is a straight thug, forming one half of the Heat’s obnoxious goon tandem with white Birdman. (If Haslem and Birdman starred in a buddy cop movie, would you watch it? I would. But I digress.) Still, Wade has to advance here. Long before Lebron’s arrival in South Beach, Flash (nice nickname you dildo) was known for getting every call (see: 2006 NBA Finals) and whining when he didn’t. Most telling about Wade’s hateability? In the 2011 Eastern Semis, a Wade cheap shot injured world-renowned little bitch Rajon Rondo—and everyone sided with Rondo. Boom.

The Fans (2) vs. Erik Spoelstra (3)

A very tight second round matchup, complicated by Spoelstra doing that thing where he thinks he has any impact on his team’s performance. Dude could be the water boy and I would bet Lebron would still be doing his thing. There is something remarkable about the empty suit on the Heat sidelines though: his smoking hot wife, a former Heat dancer 18 years his junior. Walking into work in 2006 and scoping out a then 18 year old team dancer? That’s…hold on, I don’t think I have the word yet…I respect that, as much as it pains me to say. Sigh. This sliver of apparent respect I have for Spoelstra probably means I need a stronger drink, but it also means the Heat fans—not respectable in the slightest—advance to the semis.

Lebron’s Mom Region

Lebron James (1) vs. Shane Battier (4)

You can tell that Battier really wants this one. He wants to be the bad guy. All those thoughtful and insightful interviews, his reputation as the cerebral player and team mentor, the fact that he almost definitely reads books. Fuck you dude, I haven’t read a book in three years! But Lebron’s public image is second to none in hateability; for every douchey Battier quote, we get five Lebron gems of insipid paranoia like this quote that I couldn’t make up if I tried: “You could be watching cartoons with your kids and you don’t like it, you say, ‘Blame it on LeBron.’ If you go to the grocery store and they don’t have the milk that you like, you just say, ‘It’s LeBron’s fault.’” Riddle me this Queen James: you’re the best basketball player in the world (sigh), so under what circumstances would you EVER say things like this unless you want me to hate your guts? Jordan would NEVER say stupid shit like this, and that’s the only argument I need Sean. Lebron moves on.

Birdman (3) vs. Mike Miller (7)

I give Miller plenty of credit for pulling the first round upset on the Boshtrich. His uncanny ability to drain a high volume of his three’s despite playing through rigor mortis is hateful, and I would not be excessively sad if lightning struck his mobile home. Let’s be honest with ourselves though, Birdman is a powerhouse of hatefulness. Beyond his physical appearance—my disdain for his tattoos and Mohawk could fill this space until Tuesday—dude is the quintessential dirty Heat bench player. Nothing was worse than watching him lose the ability to miss shots in the Pacers series, and I couldn’t have been the only one just praying that asshole would miss a layup. Evil White Birdman is onto the semis.

Round 3

Wade County Region

Dwyane Wade (1) vs. The Fans (2)

Friends, follow me into a deep, dark place in my past to a time when I—gasp—didn’t hate Dwyane Wade. Before Lebron rolled into town, Wade was a very good player carrying the Heat. Yeah, he got all the calls and yeah, he could at times be a whiny bitch, but without Lebron, Wade’s identity was primarily that he was simply a good player. The Fans, on the other hand, are monsters. They show up late to playoff basketball games when I don’t even have the nerve to show up late for my summer internship. They text through crunch time from the second row seats. They wear all white like the complete assholes they are. Heat fans are a mercilessly hateable group of people who make any real basketball fans cringe, and for that, it’s The Fans who advance to the finals.

Lebron’s Mom Region

Lebron James (1) vs. Birdman (3)

A grudge match of pure hatred that can only be broken down with statistics. (Yeah, I know statistics, fight me.) Like his shooting percentage and like he was during much of his time in Denver, Birdman’s hate percentage is stupid high. That is, given that I see Birdman in the game, hear about him being discussed on SportsCenter, or run into him during one of my weekly meth runs, I will invariably hate him. But one of the ways that God makes a case for existing is by ensuring that we don’t see too much of the Birdman—he doesn’t play that much, is discussed only in passing by the media, and I don’t do meth. Lebron actually has a lower hate percentage than Birdman, but his existence beats us to death. The last time Lebron went a full 24 hours without being mentioned on ESPN was 2005, and when it comes to hatred, I’m a volume guy. Also, The Decision.

Finals

Lebron James vs. The Fans

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This is it folks. The heavyhate title bout. Basketball’s biggest villain vs. a mass of douchebags who collectively would rather go to Ultra than a playoff game. Asking me to hate one of these entities more than the other is a tall order, but because this is my bracket and I can do whatever I want I’ll make it easy—if a bit painful. See, I hate Lebron James with every fiber of my body and I’m not really sure why. I’m not from Cleveland, Lebron hasn’t really done anything to me, and in a league full of thugs, Lebron doesn’t actually seem like a bad human being. More importantly, if I didn’t hate Lebron, I would objectively view him as a great basketball player, the best since MJ, and a joy to watch because of how damn good he is. And as much as I’d rather drag my unprotected testicles through a mile-long patch of steaming coals that write this, Lebron James is an awesome basketball player and basketball is better because of him.

Heat fans suck. Maybe I’m jealous, and rightfully so. Lebron’s Heat team is the best NBA team in at least a decade, and Heat fans will never truly appreciate what they’re watching. Lebron is a super douche, but facing an army of douches clad in all white just waiting for the game to end so they can hit LIV is too steep a challenge even for LBJ. (Yeah, LIV is a nightclub in Miami. Do you know what kind of an asshole you have to be to go to Miami nightclubs?)

So there you have it guys. Everything that’s wrong with the Miami Heat can be traced back to their abysmal fans. In a perfect world, their white clothing would be shit-stained and Flo Rida would be deported, but for now, we normal Americans have nothing to do but root for the Spurs.

Sigh.

PART 1

NBA 2013 Finals- Miami Heat Preview

2013 NBA Finals Preview: Miami (re)Heat?

Tyler Geocaris

The most hated team in basketball has done it again, making it to the NBA Finals for the third time in three tries in their Big Three era. The Heat easily cruised through the best regular season in franchise history and the first two rounds of the playoffs until they ran into the upset-minded Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers may exposed some of their weaknesses in taking them to seven games, but we knew that either LeBron and/or David Stern (NBA conspiracies…they’re true!) wouldn’t let them advance to the Finals. Now it is time for Miami’s biggest challenge of the season: the old and crafty San Antonio Spurs.

Keys for Miami:

The Health of Dwyane Wade:

As seen in the last series against Indiana, Wade’s knee is definitely going to be an issue throughout the Finals. Wade averaged just 15 points along with fewer than five rebounds last series. Whether he is battling another knee injury, or simply in a race with father time, the days of “Flash” seem to be slowly fading. Like many physical guards that have played in the NBA (Allen Iverson is a good example), Wade’s body could very simply be breaking down due to his running back-style approach to the game. It is very odd to see a 20+ PPG scorer be so absent on the offensive end with so much on the line.  Wade will need to be a lot more productive on both the offensive and defensive ends if the Heat want to repeat. If he is not able to perform, I find it very hard to see Miami coming away with a victory. Jordan needed Pippen – LeBron needs D-Wade.

Rebounding:

“No rebounds, no rings” is a phrase coined by the Heat’s very own Pat Riley. Ironically, it is quite clear that this is his team’s major weakness. Despite their incredible season, the Heat ranked dead last in the rebounding department. The Pacers were predictably able to dominate on the glass throughout the series, showing that this might be the way to take down the almighty Heat. Due to Miami’s small-ball style of play, along with Chris Bosh being incredibly soft, a team that has any sort of height will be able to give them a good run. With the Spurs owning a size advantage at the front court with Tim Duncan, TIAGO SPLITTER (Stephen A. voice), and the slow but effective Boris Diaw, I expect the Heat to have another tough time on the boards. Miami does not necessarily have to outrebound San Antonio, they just need to keep the margin small. A team’s defense is only as good as a team’s rebounding, meaning Miami will have to put forth a lot of effort to keep the Spurs bigs off the offensive glass.

Forcing Turnovers:

This aspect of the game has been Miami’s bread and butter all season. Although they have struggled with keeping teams off the glass, they have been able to make up for it by forcing a reasonable amount of turnovers. Creating turnovers allows Miami to push the ball into transition, leading them to use their athleticism for easy buckets on the offensive end. During the season, the Heat averaged 18.6 points off of turnovers, ranking third in the league. Miami is at its best when the tempo is fast, so the Spurs will be sure to try and slow it down throughout the game. The Spurs are exceptional at keeping turnovers to a minimum, averaging only 12 turnovers a night. This means Miami will have to raise their defensive intensity to maintain their same success rate. With the experience of Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs, this will be a difficult task to overcome.

Matchups to look out for:

Lebron James vs. Kawhi Leonard

It was difficult for Gregg Popovich to part ways with George Hill, but having a guy to guard elite perimeter players is imperative in this league. This was the sole reason why the Spurs acquired the athletic Kawhi Leonard. Leonard will take on the impossible task of slowing down the four-time MVP, something that very few people on this planet are capable of doing. LeBron seems to be maintaining his quality of play at the peak levels of his career, using his strength, speed, and intelligence to allow him to score at will. Unless James mentally checks out like he did in the 2011 Finals (highly, highly unlikely), I find it hard to see Leonard being able to contain him.  Look for Leonard to try and force LeBron to take difficult fadeaways, contested jump shots, and keeping him off the low block. This is a lot easier said than done, folks.

Mario Chalmers/Norris Cole vs. Tony Parker

This might be the most important matchup for the Miami Heat. Tony Parker had an incredible season, and could very well have been in the MVP race if it weren’t for injury. Parker has been great throughout the entire playoffs, averaging 23 points along with seven assists per game. After 10 days of rest and recovery, he should continue to perform at a very high level. Point guard play is not one of the Heat’s strengths, meaning Chalmers/Cole must contribute in order to bring home another title. If both point guards are able to combine to match the play of Parker, the Heat should find themselves with another NBA championship. This may be unlikely, but that is why Chalmers/Cole are my x-factors of this series for the Miami Heat.

My Prediction:      Spurs in 7

Ed. note: Steven Kerstein’s San Antonio Finals preview will run tomorrow.

Game 7 Recap: If You Can’t Take the Heat…

HEAT 99, PACERS 76
Dead even after six games, last night the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers geared up for a deciding Game 7 to decide who would face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. Just like last season against Boston, LeBron James and the Heat pulled away at home to clinch their 3rd straight berth to the Finals.
-The big debate going into the game was whether James would/should “go back to his Cleveland days” and dominate the ball to ensure a victory, or trust the Big 3 that has had so much success by continuing to try to find the right looks for the struggling Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. It was clear what King James had decided as soon as the game started–Wade and Bosh combined for eight shots before James took even one. While Wade looked to have a spring in his step once again and got off to a quick 3/5 start, Bosh missed seven of his first eight shots in the first quarter. Nonetheless, James stuck to his gameplan of trusting his teammates–although he did score 18 points in 17 minutes to end the half. James, who averaged 4.9 three point attempts per game against Indiana, only attempted two three pointers in Game 7 while systematically pounding the ball inside and challenging Roy Hibbert. Hibbert, the breakout defensive star of this series, did a solid job inside with an efficient 18 points and eight rebounds but found himself in foul trouble with the Heat team crashing the glass hard. Furthermore, James clearly intended to and succeeded in shutting down Paul George on both ends. George had no answer for James’ drives and ultimately fouled out midway through the 4th quarter. On defense, LeBron held George, who averaged 19.4 PPG on 43% shooting in his own breakout playoffs, to seven points and seven rebounds on 2-9 shooting. After a massive Game 6 performance, George never got in any kind of a groove and James is undoubtedly the reason why.
-While James dominance was clearly the difference in the game, the most important development for Miami was the reemergence of Dwyane Wade. Wade finally notched his second 20 point game of the playoffs (first since 4/23), which is kind of insane when you consider his 21.2 PPG this season and 24.7 PPG career scoring average! What stood out about Wade’s game was his energy on the offensive glass (six OREB!) and his lift when attacking the basket. Wade made plenty of his signature bank shots and got to the line more times (still only seven attempts to James’ 16) than he had since Game 1 against Milwaukee, six weeks ago. However, Wade still missed nearly all of his long jumpers and looked creaky at times. Perhaps this was the signal of a breakout for the struggling star, but it might’ve just been one night where pride overtook pain.
-Chris Bosh continued struggling but at least showed up for this game, unlike the last three. After seeing his rebounding decline to 6.8 RPG (career 8.9), Bosh only notched 3.7 RPG in this series coming into Game 7. While the flurry of early shots wouldn’t fall for the escaped dinosaur, he made up for it with great energy by grabbing seven first half rebounds. He only finished with eight, but Miami dominated the 2nd half to an extent that overshadowed this completely. Bosh, who before the game asserted that he would “play without thinking”, still only finished with nine points. Perhaps he was intimidated by Roy Hibbert, but Bosh’s offensive struggles this series kicked into gear when he sprained his ankle in a Game 4 loss (16.3 PPG Games 1-3, seven PPG Games 4-7). If Bosh is hurting this badly against San Antonio, expect Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter to make him pay. Of course, we have plenty of time to discuss that team from Texas that just won’t go away–for real though, five finals (4-0 in first four) in 14 years is pretty damn impressive for Coach Popovich and Timmy D.
-Meaningless Statistic: James started the game 13-13 from the FT line, which would have tied his own record for most FT without a miss in a playoff game (May 2011 against the Bulls–ugh). However, Bron missed his 14th FTA, missing his shot at breaking his own record. He finished 15/16. (Does it feel like LBJ kills the Bulls at the FT line in the playoffs? Quick research shows that he shot 81% against Chicago this year (77% overall) and 86% in 2011 (76% overall). So yeah, he does kill us.)