The Miami Heat were blown out last night by the Indiana Pacers and things are starting to fall apart. The confrontation between Coach Erik Spoelstra and Dwayne Wade shows the growing pressure on the Heat to win a NBA title. The Heat can still win this series and win the NBA title this season but it going to be difficult. There has to be adjustments and the Heat bench has to come through.
Because the Heat were constructed using the three star formula in the salary cap era there is not a lot of money to put together a competent bench. So Miami has what they have on the bench. If I were coaching the Heat I would use my big men to foul Roy Hibbert make him earn his points from the line. The Pacers are not intimidated they have a deep bench and they are physical and they can rotate nine players in and not have much of a drop off. Miami cannot match this.
In the Western Conference the San Antonio Spurs continue to fly under the radar. The Spurs are not flashy but they are consistent. San Antonio has a deep bench and three stars that have championship experience. They are going to be a difficult match up for either Oklahoma City or the Lakers. Yes this series with the Clippers is over.
The Philadelphia 76ers are showing their youth. One game they play great, the next like a bunch of rookies. The 76ers are at their best in the open court using their athleticism to score quick fast break points. Philadelphia to make a deep run in the playoffs in the future has to shoot better from the outside and get an offensive threat in the post.
In the last game between the Lakers and the Thunder Laker coach Mike Brown had the right formula. Slow the pace down, make it a half court game, and pound the post with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Kobe Bryant has to adjust his game. He has to pass the ball in the post and then adjust off what Bynum and Gasol do underneath the basket. The NBA Playoffs are not lacking in action by any means.
In the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings continue to be hot and are up 3-0 on the Phoenix Coyotes. If they can close Phoenix out in four they will be rested for the NHL Finals because the series between the Rangers and Devils has the look of a seven game series. However, there are time when a hot team can lose momentum by resting, so it will be interesting to see what happens.
I’m not a real big NASCAR fan but it looks like Jeff Gordon is fading fast. It seems he has lost the fire to compete at a high level on a weekly basis. He really needs some wins to get a wild card slot in the chase. Also I do not see him hanging on for the thrill of racing alone. If he can’t be competitive, in my opinion, he will walk away.