Chat about the Miami Heat
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, we will dip into the world of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami Heat, as our gang from the "Heat Index" stop by to chat.
Brian Windhorst, Mike Wallace, Tom Haberstroh and Kevin Arnovitz all contribute to ESPN.com's home for everything Miami Heat. The Heat Index is a part of the TrueHoop blog network.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
LeBron seems uncomfortable out there. Thoughts?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:15 PM)
Matt: Disagree somewhat. Dallas is loading up and he's facilitating. Look at those 4 assists in the 4th quarter: Gorgeous pocket pass to Bosh for open slam on a basket dive. The backhanded assist out of a double-team for game-winner. These are big time basketball plays. And it's something he can do that very few 3s -- even 'superstar' 3s can do.
DK (WPB, FL)
Predictions for game 4 and the rest of the series
Kevin Arnovitz (3:15 PM)
DK: Heat and Mavs split next two.
Tim (Florida)) [via mobile]
Has Mario Chalmers proved that he can be the starting point guard for this team heading into next year?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:17 PM)
Tim: Not yet. The good news is that he doesn't have to initiate the level of offense most PGs do because LeBron and D-Wade orchestrate the offense as de facto PGs on most sets. So if Mario can develop his spot-up jumper, he can do the job.
Kenneth (Tigard, OR)
Obviously the Miami Heat have coalesced into a NBA juggernaut and is on track to win the 2011 title in their first year, their game 2 meltdown notwithstanding. The lion's share of credit for this achievement seems to be given to the two superstars Wade and James and their sidekick Bosh. The Heat's coach Erik Spoelstra seems to be overlooked despite Kevin Arnovitz's recent excellent profile of Spoelstra, and even the players do not acknowledge Spoelstra's role and contributions often, and even when they do so, they do so grudgingly. Arnovitz does not seem to address this in his otherwise great Spoelstra profile. What's the real deal about Spoelstra and his contributions to the Heat's achievements and his relationship with his players, especially Wade and James?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:19 PM)
Kenneth: I had a lengthy one-on-one conversation with Wade about Spoelstra and rest assured that he's completely devoted to Spoelstra. I'll go so far as to say that I'm not certain Spoelstra would've been named coach in 2008 had Wade not had the relationship he did with Spoelstra.
Marquis Spencer kalamazoo,MI [via mobile]
Why doesn't Chris Paul come to the heat.They juggled three im sure they can juggle four.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:20 PM)
Marquis: If he's willing to work pro bono, it's a stellar idea.
Do you think the reason why the Heat took so many bad shots was because they were making tough shots before? Is the reason this series is tied because the Heat thought they could make those tough shots?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:21 PM)
James: I think there's definitely a Heat Check element to it, yes.
Joe (New York)
I know this may be personal, but who is Chris Bosh's closest teammate? It always seems he's by himself? Is he as independent as he looks?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:22 PM)
Joe: I do think Chris is a bit of a lone wolf. He's a different bird. He reads a lot, is conversant on Malcolm Gladwell, prefers a nice restaurant to a club and is pretty cerebral.
Wasn't the play to win last night's game very similar to one used to late in a game in the Bulls series?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:23 PM)
Andres: They ran the 2-3 pick-and-roll, but Dallas covered it beautifully. But, Dallas also pulled toward the middle. Since Haslem and Bosh were stacked on the weak side, now there was only 1 defender for the 2 of them (Dirk was that guy). Once Haslem pinned Dirk, that bought Bosh space for the open baseline jumper. Great patience by the Heat.
Curious for some inside insight here guys...what do LeBron and D-Wade think about the media trying to get them to turn on eachother? It seems like every article written lately has been about who's team it is, who the alpha dog/close is, etc. Basically designed to try to breed some kind of discontent between these two. Is that why they decided to conduct interviews together? If so, brilliant move - it really makes it hard for the media to twist things and take quotes out of context when they are both sitting there next to eachother. GO HEAT!
Kevin Arnovitz (3:25 PM)
Tom: I believe the joint interviews are deliberate. Howard Beck of the New York Times wrote a smart story about this a few weeks back.
Raul (Miami, FL)
Any comments on FT discrepancy (27-15 in favor of Dallas) despite fact Miami was the team more aggressively attacking the basket while Dallas was content to shoot jumpers (Miami had 38-16 advantage on points in paint).
Kevin Arnovitz (3:26 PM)
Raul: A number of those calls were of the loose ball variety. The Heat were a bit careless in that respect.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
I am not at all a fan of the Heat (no one likes a stacked team!), but I was thoroughly impressed with Heat's defense, which made nothing easy for the Mavs. Despite the great D, it was still only a 2 point game. As much as a I hate to admit it, I would not be suprised to see the Heat blow the Mavs out in Game 4 or 5. Do you think the Heat will be able to keep the defensive pressure on the Mavs?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:29 PM)
Shane: Yes. Until the Mavs start getting solid releases on their weakside option, they're going to have trouble in the half court. Right now, the Heat are doing a nice job resisting the temptation to overhelp on ball screens. They're staying home on those weakside threats. The Mavs need to create more misdirection along the baseline and behind the Heat's D.
Do you think Bosh feels like the odd man out seeing his two counter parts get all the limelight? Especially during those post game interviews where wade and bron get to run the show?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:30 PM)
Jordan: I really don't think he cares.
Brandon (Winchester, KY)
Did the Mavs call the right play at the end last night or should they have risked something near the rim with say Tyson Chandler off the inbound?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:31 PM)
Brandon: Tyson's turnover rate makes that a little risky.
J. Ricardo (St. Charles, MO)
While most of the criticisms of LBJ are completely phony and/or overblown, the thing that drives me crazy about him is his reluctance to hit the offensive glass. I know he's probably trying to conserve energy in the beginning of the games, bu come the 4th quarter, he should be ferocious on that end.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:38 PM)
JR: You're right in that his offensive rebounding rate is obscenely low. Though I think much of that is the Heat's strategy in transition D. LeBron is often the guy in charge of running back and stopping the ball on the other end.
Rick (Long Beach, NY)
Why won't LeBron guard Dirk like he did with D Rose and shut him down. I kind of get the feeling that LeBron is afraid to guard Dirk because he feels hell get in foul trouble. Sure Dirk is taller but LeBron can guard the 1 through 5 and why would Miami even take the possibility of letting him drop 29 a game. I feel like LeBron could shut him down, and Dirk would be forced into taking step back and fade away threes because of LeBrons blocking ability and how high he could jump. What are your thoughts?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:41 PM)
Rick: The Mavs have far better shooters than Chicago. The Heat need LeBron on the wing, to use his speed to pull toward the middle AND close out if need be. LeBron isn't afraid to guard Dirk. It's simply not the best matchup right now. Meanwhile, Dirk is 9-for-23 vs. Haslem. Why change?
Kevin T (Pasadena, CA)
Mavs called the right play. Dirk got an open look, it was well-contested, and he didn't make the shot.
Thanks for posting my question so quickly! Just a follow up to that...what do LBJ and Wade think about this whole "whos the alpha dog/closer" angle that the national media is now trying to push over the last week? Do they even care?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:42 PM)
Nope. The ring is the thing.
No matter what LeBron does he is scrutinized. This became increasingly clear after last night's win with a question a reporter asked LeBron where he was in the closing minutes of game 3. Thankfully some people like JA Adande see this and brought it up in his article today, but what will it take to show the rest of the critics that LBJ is the real deal?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:42 PM)
Mitch: A title.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:43 PM)
Folks. Gotta run. Signing off from Dallas. We'll see you from Miami next Monday.