Wednesday, May 30

Rim: Riley's Heat have been horrible


I'm the Man!
(Line o' the day)

Baron Davis is just schooling poor Tim Hardaway. Stats were better in Game 1, but he's still the key.


32 5-157 417

Shoulda stayed in bed
(Stinker o' the day)

He didn't look bad at all down the stretch of the season, but now Timmy looks really bad.


19 1-34 42

Ouch, my knee! (Injury update)
Travis Best obviously has a sore back, but he managed to play one of his better games of the season against Philly in Game 1. He'll be there in Game 2. No other major injuries that would keep someone out. Marcus Camby will play Game 2 for New York. He had 18 boards in Game 1.

Number on our mind
Pat Riley's rank on the all-time playoff win list. Phil Jackson is second, and Jerry Sloan and Lenny Wilkens are also in the top 10. But only Riley and Wilkens are likely out in the first round this year.

They said it
"I hate soaps. I don't watch soaps, so I have no desire to talk about soap operas." -- Karl Malone on getting into the trash talk Mavs coach Don Nelson has started.



ESPN Experts playoff predictions
Fred Carter's first playoff points
Final regular season Power Rankings

Tues., April 24


Someone might wanna tell Pat Riley that the playoffs have begun.

But wait, he must know since the Heat actually played good ball the last two weeks of the regular season.

We hate to jump on a guy when he's down, but Riley's doing a bad job with the Heat in these playoffs. Sure, we'll give you that all his guns aren't exactly feeling good, from Alonzo Mourning still getting his legs to Tim Hardaway dealing with the fact that his legs don't work real well.

But to lose a pair of games like that at home? That's impossible. In fact, it had never happened before or even come close.

The Hornets became just the 20th team ever to win the first two games of an NBA playoff series on the road, but none of the previous 19 teams came close to putting the 52-point combined margin of victory the Hornets had over the Heat. The team that won the first two games on the road went on to win 16 times in those previous 19 occurrences.

  • Worst Home Defeats
  • '01 Hornets at Heat, 52 points
  • '47 Stags at Capitols, 32 points
  • '84 Nets at Sixers, 29 points
  • '96 Knicks at Cavs, 27 points
  • '85 Sixers at Bucks, 26 points

    Likewise, Charlotte is now the 20th team in NBA history have won the first two games of a playoff series on the road, but only the third team in NBA history to win each of those games by double digits. In fact, the Hornets became only the second team in NBA history to win each of the first two games by 25 points or more under any circumstances.

    Still think you're doing a good coaching job, Pat?

    There's more: Granted the Heat playoff history is a very small one, but these two losses represent the worst the franchise has ever suffered at home. The Bulls beat the Heat by 24 in 1997, and by 21 in 1996. The Knicks dealt the Heat a 20-point loss in 1999.

    More teams in trouble
    Of course, the Heat aren't the only team in trouble. If Philly can't get by Indiana in Game 2 and/or Sacramento has a similar problem in its series with the Suns, two other high seeds could find themselves in deep trouble.


    But since that hasn't happened yet, let's rip the Wolves. Everyone loves Kevin Garnett, but at some point he's got to get his team over the hump. That hump is always the first round of the playoffs.

    Are the Wolves good enough? Probably not, since the Spurs had the best record in the NBA. But the Wolves were the best No. 8 seed in league history. And in three games in San Antonio this regular season, the Wolves have been tied after three (74-74 on Nov. 2), behind by one (68-67 on March 14) and ahead by two (65-63 on Saturday), but they have lost all three games.

    But this game was a blowout. San Antonio's defense saddled the Wolves with a bunch of playoff franchise lows: Fewest points in a game, fewest field goals (24) and a tie for fewest shots (71). They came within one more miss of the worst shooting night of their 18 playoff games, settling for 33.8 percent compared to 33.7 percent in a 1998 game against Seattle.

    At some point, KG has to figure out how to get his team a victory.

  • Historically, in a best-of-five series, the team that wins Game 1 has gone on to win the series 84.1 percent of the time (138 of 164), and the team with the home-court advantage has emerged victorious 73.2 percent of the time (120 of 164).

  • Of the first eight games of the playoffs, seven were sellouts, with an average attendance of 21,072 and the games being played to 108.5 percent of capacity. Both numbers are increases over the first eight games of last year (18,812 average attendance; 93.5 percent of capacity). It also marks the first time opening night playoffs crowds were more than 100 percent capacity since 1997 (101.3 percent).

  • Utah's 88-86 triumph over Dallas in Game 1 of their series marked Jerry Sloan's 75th career postseason coaching victory, and tied Chuck Daly for fifth place on the all-time list.

    Riley is at the top of the list with 155 career playoff coaching wins and Jackson is second with 127.

  • Chris Webber of the Kings set a franchise playoff record with 10 rebounds in an 86-83 loss to Phoenix on Sunday. The previous mark was nine, set by Darnell Hillman on April 27, 1979, when the franchise was based in Kansas City. Webber also broke his own playoff franchise record with 32 field goal attempts, breaking the previous mark of 28 set on April 27, 2000, against the Lakers.

  • Tim Duncan of the Spurs recorded 15 rebounds in an 87-82 triumph over Minnesota on Saturday to give him 291 career playoff rebounds and lift him past Mark Olberding (286) into fourth place on the Spurs' all-time postseason list. The top three rebounders in Spurs playoff history are David Robinson (982), George Gervin (340) and Sean Elliott (315).

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