Game 4: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs
9 p.m./ABC — Spurs lead 2-1
15 points. 7-for-21 shooting. 1-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. And, most importantly, Spurs 113, Heat 77.
These are the numbers undoubtedly rattling around in LeBron James' head after his Game Three disaster of a performance that now has Miami almost with its backs to the wall facing two more road games and the possibility of losing this championship series. James was cursing himself for his passive play and his inability to get going for his team. He either has not accepted or is coming around to accepting the fact he must carry this team across the finish line to win a championship.
Sure, everyone has their bad days. Magic Johnson had a horrible performance in several blowout losses to the Celtics. The great ones though find a way to bounce back and be even better, making up for a game of heartbreak with a game of brilliance and take control of the series.
Miami is changing things up, going all in with this small ball identity that helped it attain the best record in the league during the regular season. Erik Spoelstra may start Mike Miller and shift LeBron James to one of the post positions, hoping to jump start the offense some and give James maybe a more favorable offensive matchup against a slower post player.
There are changes that need to be made. The biggest one for Miami though remains LeBron James playing with more aggression and looking to attack more. If that happens, the Heat can get back into this series.
Howard's list of suitors grows?
Dwight Howard's free agency will not be kept down by the NBA Finals. Howard is going to be chased after by several teams including the Lakers, Rockets, Mavericks and Hawks by all reports. Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld adds two more to the list. The Spurs could end up as a possible landing spot (not likely) and, yes, the Nets. Howard made it known during the 2012 season that Brooklyn was always his preferred destination. The cap-strapped Nets though likely cannot make a sign and trade deal work to get it done. But gosh darn it, they will try.
Clippers circling potential Celtics departures
The Clippers sharks are circling Boston right now, smelling blood in the water and hoping to cash in on any decision the Celtics might make. Boston has a lot of uncertainty right now with their future. There is some talk Boston will buy out the final year in Paul Pierce's contract (guaranteed at only $5 million) and Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld reports the Clippers would be interested in pursuing Pierce if that happens. If Rivers ends up leaving the Celtics, then the Clippers are rumored to be ready to pounce and bring him in.
Victor Oladipo gaining heavy consideration from Cavs, Magic
The Magic are patiently waiting for the Cavaliers to make their decision about the first overall pick. Cleveland could pick anyone from Nerlens Noel to Ben McLemore to Otto Porter. Now add Victor Oladipo. The Indiana guard has entered Cleveland's deliberations according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com. That leave sthe Magic patiently waiting. Ford reports the Magic also have a lot of interest in Oladipo. They are the hands of the fates now.
Mavericks still trying to sell 13th pick
The Mavericks are trying to sell the 13th pick int he Draft. That has been pretty well known throughout the league for a while. Dallas is trying to clear cap space to go after big-name free agents in the summer. That means they want to avoid the guaranteed contract that comes from a first round pick. So, yes, Dallas is trying to trade the 13th pick as Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports. If they cannot trade the pick, he reports the Mavericks are high on Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
Nuggets discussing GM job with Tony DiLeo
The Denver Nuggets are discussing their vacant general manager position with former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Tony DiLeo, Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest reports. The Nuggets are looking for both a new GM and a new coach after Masai Ujiri left for the Raptors and George Karl was fired witha year left on his contract. Denver is pretty much back to square one. DiLeo will be a good start. He put together a mish-mash of a roster that got to the second round in Philadelphia and could be good at helping Denver build off its talented base.
Knicks and Lakers to pursue Will Bynum
Pistons guard Will Bynum is going to get plenty of interest when he hits free agency. Vincent Ellis of The Detroit News reports both the Knicks and the Lakers are planning on going after the combo guard in free agency this summer. There is no word whether Detroit will try to bring him back. But he played a big role in helping stem the tide with Rodney Stucky and Brandon Knight in the backcourt. That just seems like one too many combo guards though.
Grizzlies to interview George Karl
Fresh off the heels of the report that the Memphis Grizzlies will interview Bulls assistant coach Ed Pinckney, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports George Karl will be making a trip to Memphis to interview for their open coaching gig. The NBA's Coach of the Year certainly has the pedigree to help Memphis take the next step if the organization keeps its team together. Either way, Karl seems like a natural fit for an organization on the cusp of its championship window.
Kings narrow in on GM choice
Sacramento nearly has its choice locked down for a general manager. Sam Amick of USA TODAY reports the Kings brass is down to former Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace, former Pacers general manager David Morway and former Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden. That is a very accomplished group of experienced general managers for Vivek Ranadive to begin his tenure as Sacramento's owner.