Neil Paine of Basketball Reference examines whether the Heat's inability to win close games against quality opponents says more about the team's long-term prospects than their capacity to destroy bad teams. One morsel: "In the NBA, dominating good teams is clearly the best indicator of postseason success. Teams that had more regular-season dominations (big wins over good teams) won 64.8% of their "final four" series, including 73.3% of their Finals matchups. But the second-most predictive attribute of "final four" success was having more stomps -- that is, destroying the league's weaker teams."
Scott Raab of Esquire -- incidentally, author of some of the best guerrilla food writing around -- on the vibe in the press room following the Heat's win over Toronto on Saturday: "Nobody asks LeBron whether playing 39 minutes and 20 seconds is too much, too little, or just right. Nobody asks him about the Toronto coach, probably because no one can remember his name. It's a long, long season, the Heat are 6-4, and nobody wants to piss off anybody, least of all the kid glowering onstage, who took his talents to South Beach and left his smile behind." Raab tweets that the post got him banned from AmericanAirlines Arena.
Zach Lowe of The Point Forward explores Michael Beasley's early-season success, and projects that, if Bosh continues to struggle, we'll be reading a lot about how the Heat would've been better off just hanging on to the mercurial young forward.
When he's not seething about Donnie Walsh, Charles Oakley says he knew LeBron James would never come to New York and that Chris Bosh should be benched.
At Deadspin, Eric Freeman critiques the Heat's gratuitous "Fan Up" motivational campaign that tries to lure fans to show up on time with discounted soft drinks.
Matt Moore of NBA Facts & Rumors writes that ball movement ranks as the Heat's biggest problem.
From ESPN Stats & Info: "[James] Jones has attempted 64 shots this season and 56 of them have come from beyond the arc (87.5%)." The only player within shouting distance of Jones is Indiana's James Posey. Can you name the next three players in line?
Once Mario Chalmers' ankle is fully healed, will the Heat have a quarterback controversy?
The Heat currently rank 24th in the league in pace. Some believe that's a problem, but if I have three skill players who can dominate one-on-one matchups, I want to force the opponent to defend them.