Posted on March 15, 2012 by jimberrysports
I hate to sound like a pessimist, but my gut is telling me something I can no longer ignore. The Heat will NOT win an NBA title unless they find a big man. No one in particular…just SOMEBODY who can give them SOMETHING. A few rebounds and blocked shots. Somebody who can catch the ball and dunk it.
Erik Spolestra chastized his team for not giving enough “effort” against Chicago. Effort wasn’t the problem. SIZE was the problem. The Bulls are too big for the Heat, just like the Lakers were a couple of Sundays ago, and just like Dwight Howard is every time they play Orlando.
Joel Anthony is not a true center. Dexter Pittman isn’t the answer. Eddy Curry remains anchored to the bench, meaning the Heat are no better in the middle this year than they were last year with Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Erick Dampier.
The Heat passed off the offseason acquisition of Shane Battier as the move that would get them over the top. I wondered then and now why they didn’t get a big body. Heat fans should stop complaining that Chris Bosh is too “soft”. He’s a finesse player, not a banger.
What to do ? Pat Riley better get on the job and find a big man. Erik Spolestra better play the big men he has and challenge them to produce. While you’re at it Spo, tell your bench to wake up.
Udonis Haslem…make a shot. Shane Battier..make a shot. Norris Cole…where have you gone ?
Mike Miller..can you PLEASE stay healthy ? I’m not hatin’ on the Heat…I’m just sayin.’ My heart wants them to win it all, but my eyes haven’t failed me yet.
Filed under: Articles, Basketball | Tagged: Erik Spolestra, jim berry, Miami Heat, Pat Riley | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 3, 2012 by jimberrysports
Attention NBA K-Mart shoppers. K Mart is now available. Forward Kenyon Martin has been granted basketball freedom by FIBA…the governing body for international hoops.
K Mart ran off to China for a payday when the lockout hit, and thought he would be stranded over there for a while longer. But now, Martin is a free agent ready to latch on with an NBA team…and the Heat’s Pat Riley is dangling a contract offer.
Riley has also offered a deal to Joel Pryzbilla…a seven foot lug who last played in Portland. I doubt Martin’s ego will allow him to settle for being fourth fiddle on a Heat team with three big stars. My guess is he signs with the LA Clippers.
What I am more intrigued by is the Heat admitting what other teams around the league undoubtedly know…the Heat is still lean up front.
Chris Bosh has plenty of skill, but he’s not a banger. Udonis Haslem bangs, but is undersized. Eddie Curry is still a work in progress. Did Dexter Pittman MAKE any progress ?
That leaves only Joel Anthony..a hard working guy other teams are not afraid to leave open to double team Heat stars. To become truly unbeatable, the Heat need a big man who can catch it and dunk it. Period !
K Mart is not what he was from his alley oop days with Jason Kidd, but I would take the chance. The Heat must pull out all the stops this season, because if they don’t win it all this year…..I don’t EVEN want to talk about it.
They SHOULD be K Mart shoppers..even if means overpaying a little bit for the merchandise.
Filed under: Basketball, Uncategorized | Tagged: Chris Bosh, jim berry, Kenyon Martin, Miami Heat, NBA, Pat Riley | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 30, 2012 by jimberrysports
The young Dwyane Wade was one of the most exciting players in the NBA. The aging D-Wade..one of the most unpredictable.
There are times he still looks like the dazzling daredevil who can make tough shots, and take tough licks. And then, there are times Wade is a turnover machine who spends too much time whining to the refs. With all due respect to Erik Spolestra, there’s only one person on the Heat who can tell him that….Pat Riley.
The Heat will NOT win an NBA title if Wade is less than himself. Teams will take Lebron out of the game (if he doesn’t take himself out). Chris Bosh is talented, but not a true 4th quarter go
to closer. Wade is…but he’s got to clean up his game. Get a better handle on his handles, and put the purity back in his jump shot. Maybe he’s being a warrior fighting through injuries, and I’m being too unsympathetic.
Or maybe he needs to buckle down, and maybe deep down he agrees. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t bet against Wade. He’s still got the closer mentality, and certainly seems to have lost no level of desire. He just needs to re-discover those parts of his game that once made him Jordan-esque.
If the NBA miles have added up and taken that away from him, then its up to Wade to re-invent himself into a different kind of player. He’s still stronger than most guards who try to stop him..still quicker than any forward trying to check him. Dwyane Wade is still a great athlete, and by far, the Heat’s most popular player. He’ll get a pass for his past heroics….for a while.
But come money time…the Heat will need the real Dwyane Wade…to be the REAL Dwyane Wade.
Filed under: Basketball, Uncategorized | Tagged: Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, jim berry, Lebron James, Miami Heat, NBA title, Pat Riley | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 19, 2011 by jimberrysports
Two Miami Heat events this weekend re-affirmed what I have felt for some time. When it comes to great PR, no sports team in South Florida gets it like the Heat.
Thursday, the team played an intra-squad scrimmage on the American Airlines arena floor and let season ticket holders come watch. I know fans feel a little basketball-starved because of the lockout, but I was surprised to see thousands of folks turn out. When the players were introduced, they didn’t come out of the locker room. They came down from the stands..high fiving the fans.
Saturday, the team again opened the arena to show its highlight movie “Into the Fire”, a somewhat fluffy documentary about Year one of the Big Three. The turnout was smaller, but fans were just as enthusiastic. They got revved up when Heat players Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, and Chris Bosh came out for a little post-movie roundtable discussion.
The Heat always seems to understand that little things mean a lot, not only to the fans..but to the players. What other organization has sent its entire staff out to a players home for a surprise birthday party, as they once did for Udonis Haslem.
I was also personally impressed when Pat Riley and the Heat PR staff trucked out a cooler of Heinkenen for a group of reporters to toast the memory of Jim Mandich shortly after he died.
It was such a thoughtful and classy move, and felt totally genuine. Pat Riley might be a cold-blooded wheeler dealer who was a taskmaster as a coach, but he’s got a human side..and he has passed it on to his organization. Go Heat.
Dolphins, Marlins, and Panthers…take note.
Filed under: Articles, Basketball | Tagged: Chris Bosh, jim berry, Miami Heat, NBA lockout, Pat Riley, The Big Three | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 7, 2011 by jimberrysports
You can’t help but look up to Shaq..physically. My neck is still craning from our one-on-one interview at his book signing. As I read more of “Shaq: Uncut…my story” , I’m also starting to look up more to him as a person.
He’s far from perfect. By his own admission, he wasn’t the best husband. However, he shows a refreshing lack of self-centeredness that can be hard to find in superstar athletes. He seems to look at things the way I would if I were in his shoes. He didn’t dig Pat Riley’s my-way-or-the-highway coaching style. I probably wouldn’t have either.
I chuckled when he described former Heat center Alonzo Mourning as a “robot.” Zo certainly had a cyborg-like physique and workmanlike approach to playing, almost the exact opposite of the fun-loving O’ Neal.
Shaq got chastized for coasting by on his considerable talent. “If only he worked at it”, critics said. Shaq, however, understood how HE needed to prepare. It was better to be beefy at the start of the season to take all those licks he knew were coming. Come playoff time, the diesel was chiseled. In his prime, he steamrolled everybody.
I respect a man for knowing his limits…good and bad. Shaq seems to get it. I didn’t like covering him when he intentionally mumbled through interviews with the Heat. But now that he’s got something to say…I’m listening. I actually think it will be worth it.
Filed under: Basketball, Uncategorized | Tagged: Alonzo Mourning, jim berry, Miami Heat, NBA, Pat Riley, Shaquille O' Neal, Shaw, Uncut | Leave a Comment »