Thursday night’s game 4 of the NBA Finals is without a doubt a must win for the Miami Heat, who trail the San Antonio Spurs 2-1 in this championship round. The Heat won’t be eliminated if they lose tonight but a 3-1 deficit would be too much for them to overcome. They would have to beat the Spurs three games straight and that is a very tall task that I don’t believe the Heat are capable of getting done.
We've all heard about how the Heat haven’t lost two games in a row since early January, but what most people don’t realize is that the Spurs haven’t lost two games in a row, with the big 3 healthy, since early December … an even longer streak than the Heat.
So obviously beating the Spurs three games straight is highly unlikely. Speaking of the Spurs big 3 being healthy, the question of the day is how healthy is point guard Tony Parker? Parker suffered a strained hamstring in game 3. Parker left the game early after the injury, then returned to in the fourth quarter to play two minutes before resting for the rest of the game due to the blowout. Parker says that he'll play in game 4, but how healthy he is remains to be seen.
We all know that LeBron James is one of the greatest players to ever step on a basketball court. He is the consensus greatest player in the game today. He’s a four time MVP and a one time NBA champion. None of this can be disputed.
Some even say that James is on the level of, if not better than, the great Michael Jordan as the best player to ever play the game. This is where I strongly disagree, for various reasons. Reasons I won’t explain today, that’s for another article.
But I will say that IF he is even close to Jordan then tonight’s game 7 matchup, between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat, is where he can somewhat justify that ridiculous claim. James has to show up tonight, take the game over, and win at all costs.
A teary eyed Kobe Bryant gave possibly his last postgame interview of the season, early Saturday morning, after a 118-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant described the injury that forced him to leave the game as probably being a torn achilles.
There is still some hope for Lakers fans that it’s not an achilles injury, Bryant will have a MRI done Saturday to confirm the injury. But Kobe doesn’t seem too optimistic. He said he knew right away what the injury was and when asked if he could possibly play with the injury Bryant replied “I can’t walk”.
On Wednesday it was reported that the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2013 2nd round pick and a later conditional pick. This is a mistake by the Chiefs. Yes they do desperately need a quarterback but Smith isn’t the guy for the job.
Smith was pretty much a bust in San Francisco until miracle worker Jim Harbaugh was hired as the Niners head coach two seasons ago. He turned Smith’s career around, mainly by believing in him, giving him confidence, and tailoring the offense to his abilities. The Niners ran a ball controlled offense, pounding the rock for the majority of the game. Smith’s job was pretty much to be a game manager for the most part.
Veteran point guard Derek Fisher was signed by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. Fisher fills a void left at the position after the Thunder traded guard Eric Maynor to Portland. Fisher played for the Thunder for 40 total games last season. 20 in the regular season and 20 in the playoff run to the NBA Finals.
This is a smart move by OKC because Fisher is what I call a “championship player”. He isn’t a star but he is one of those consistent players that all championship teams need. The guy that not only knows his role, but also accepts it. Sometimes young guys come into the league thinking that they’re supposed to be stars right away, this prohibits them from excelling in the specific role the team wants them to fill. This is not the case with Fisher, as he has won five championship rings by playing his role.