Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com on Udonis Haslem's injury, what it means, the prospective timetable and possible options.
Rob Mahoney of the New York Times' "Off the Dribble" blog on why the Heat will sorely miss the many facets of Haslem's defensive game: "Haslem understands how to use his speed when defending opposing big men, a facet of the game which looks to be lost on Bosh. Also, Haslem doesn’t go block-chasing like Joel Anthony, nor is he as limited defensively as Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Haslem has enough savvy to defend the pick-and-roll, the foot speed to keep up with face-up forwards, and the know-how to rotate on time. All of those things make him a quality defender, but more importantly, they make him a versatile one."
Last week, Tom Haberstroh and I debated whether the Heat should fashion themselves as an up-tempo outfit. Right now, the Heat are the 20th-fastest team in the league. M. Haubs agrees with Tom that the Heat should pick up the pace. He files a smart, concurring opinion at The Painted Area. I argued that, given their personnel, Miami has decisive one-on-one advantages and should favor a traditional half court game. Haubs argues that given the Heat's size, they should be the guerrilla warriors against more conventional, elite frontcourts: "But in playoff series against elite teams like Boston, L.A. and even Orlando, I think Miami's peculiar personnel dictates that *they* are the ones who will need to employ asymmetric warfare. I believe they are too undersized, and under-talented up front, to be able to consistently get easy baskets and beat Boston or L.A. in a half-court game. Even against Orlando, whom Miami has already dismantled, I think it's in their interest to get a running game going to reduce the huge advantage that Dwight Howard has against their bigs on both ends of the court."
Do the Heat have buyer's remorse on Joel Anthony? From the Miami Herald: "Even one Heat official last week privately questioned the size of the deal it gave to Joel Anthony (five years, $18.2 million). 'That was a ridiculous contract,' one NBA scout said. 'He's so limited and undersized for a center. You can get a guy at the minimum without much difference. Erick Dampier would be an upgrade.'''
Rudy Gay nailed the game-winner on Saturday night for Memphis over the outstretched arm of LeBron James. Gay on the final shot: "I don't care if James Naismith was guarding me. That would be scary because he's dead."
Basketbawful on the Memphis loss: "I don't know what the best part of Wade-less Miami's loss in Memphis was -- the fact that they lost to a sub-.500 Grizzlies squad or that Rudy Gay buried the game-winner over LeBron James and then gave the Heat bench the stink eye ... Another great, great moment in this game was when Zach Randolph -- one of the worst shot-blocking big men in league history, who has averaged 0.3 BPG over his career -- swatted King Crab's layp attempt with less than a minute left to play." Video evidence of Randolph's block.
Via e-mail, a Heat season-ticket holder tells Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel that he shows up for the game with plenty of time to spare, but still gets to his seat inside AmericanAirlines Arena late: "The Heat could open up more gates and have more people wanding to move the lines faster. For one game, I was in line at 7:15 and missed the 7:30 tip off. "
The Cleveland Cavaliers: No longer a draw on the road.