Category Archives: Miami Heat

NBA placing stronger emphasis on violations

CLEVELAND – NBA referees will whistle if you walk.

That’s the message being sent by the league entering the 2013-14 season, which begins in less than two weeks.

Along with traveling, the league is emphasizing quick whistles on infractions such as carrying, delay of game and contact on jump shots.

The NBA has also instituted a new rule that will result in a foul on offensive players who step out of bounds and stay there longer than they should — which teams have occasionally done in the past for the purpose of spacing.

It’s pretty clear the league is taking these points of emphasis fairly seriously, too. The Cavaliers were whistled for two traveling violations in the first 10 minutes of their preseason game Saturday vs. the Pacers.

Key dates for 2013-14 NBA season

NBA teams playing preseason games overseas will conduct their media days Friday, kicking off the 2013-14 season. Among those teams: the Wizards, Bulls, Warriors and two-time defending champion Heat.

Those teams will start training camp Saturday, with everyone else to hold media day Monday and start camp Tuesday.

Here’s a full list of key dates for the 2013-14 NBA season:

* Sept: 27: Media Day for teams competing in international preseason contests
* Sept. 28:  Training camps open for practice for teams competing in international preseason contests
* Sept. 30: Remaining Media Days held
* Oct. 1: Remaining training camps open
* Oct. 5: NBA Global Games Istanbul (Oklahoma City Thunder @ Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey at Ulker Sports Arena)
* Oct. 6: NBA Global Games Bilbao (Philadelphia 76ers @ Bilbao Basket in Bilbao, Spain at Bizkaia Arena at the BEC)
* Oct. 8: NBA Global Games Manchester (Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester, England at Phones 4u Arena)
* Oct. 10: NBA Global Games Manila (Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers in Manila, Philippines at Mall of Asia Arena)
* Oct. 12: NBA Global Games Rio de Janeiro (Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at HSBC Arena)
* Oct. 13: NBA Global Games Taipei (Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers in Taipei, Taiwan at Taipei Arena)
* Oct. 15: NBA Global Games Beijing (Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers in Beijing, China at MasterCard Arena)
* Oct. 18: NBA Global Games Shanghai (Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai, China at Mercedes-Benz Arena)
* Oct. 28: Rosters set for Opening Day (5 p.m. ET)
* Oct. 29: 2013-14 Season Tips Off
* Dec. 4: NBA Global Games Mexico City (Minnesota Timberwolves vs. San Antonio Spurs at Mexico City Arena)
* Jan. 6: 10-day Contracts can now be signed
* Jan. 10: All Contracts are guaranteed for remainder of the season
* Jan. 16: NBA Global Games London 2014 (Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets at The 02)
* Feb. 14-16: 2014 NBA All-Star (New Orleans, LA)
* Feb. 20: 2014 NBA Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET)
* April 16: Last Day of 2013-14 Regular Season
* April 19: 2014 NBA Playoffs begin
* April 27: NBA Draft Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 p.m. ET)
* May 5: Conference Semifinals begin (possible move-up to May 3 or 4)
* May 20: Conference Finals begin (possibly move-up to May 18 or 19)
* May 20: 2014 NBA Draft Lottery
* June 5: NBA Finals begin
* June 16: NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline (5 p.m. ET)
June 26: 2014 NBA Draft

NBA team-by-team remaining free agents

A look at which NBA players remain unsigned through July 29:

ATLANTA HAWKS — Unrestricted: Ivan Johnson, Devin Harris, Dahntay Jones, Johan Petro, Anthony Tolliver

BOSTON CELTICS — Unrestricted: Chris Wilcox

BROOKLYN NETS — Unrestricted: Jerry Stackhouse

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS — Unrestricted: DeSagana Diop, Jannero Pargo

CHICAGO BULLS — Unrestricted: Daequan Cook, Vladimir Radmanovic

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS — Unrestricted: Daniel Gibson, Luke Walton

DALLAS MAVERICKS — Unrestricted: Rodrigue Beaubois, Mike James

DENVER NUGGETS — None

DETROIT PISTONS — Unrestricted: Corey Maggette

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS — None

HOUSTON ROCKETS — None

INDIANA PACERS — Unrestricted: Ben Hansbrough, Sam Young

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS — Unrestricted: Lamar Odom

LOS ANGELES LAKERS — Unrestricted: Devin Ebanks, Andrew Goudelock, Darius Morris, Antawn Jamison

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES — Unrestricted: Austin Daye, Keyon Dooling

MIAMI HEAT — Unrestricted: Juwan Howard.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS — Restricted: Brandon Jennings. Unrestricted: Marquis Daniels, Joel Przybilla

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES — Restricted: Nikola Pekovic

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS — Unrestricted: Lou Amundson, Xavier Henry, Roger Mason Jr.

NEW YORK KNICKS — Unrestricted: Earl Barron

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER — Unrestricted: Ronnie Brewer

ORLANDO MAGIC — Unrestricted: DaQuan Jones, Beno Udrih

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS — Unrestricted: Charles Jenkins, Royal Ivey, Damien Wilkins

PHOENIX SUNS — Unrestricted: Diante Garrett

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS —Unrestricted: Luke Babbitt, Nolan Smith, Elliot Williams

SACRAMENTO KINGS — Unrestricted: Cole Aldrich, James Johnson

SAN ANTONIO SPURS — Unrestricted: DeJuan Blair, Tracy McGrady

TORONTO RAPTORS — Unrestricted: Mickael Pietrus, Sebastian Telfair

UTAH JAZZ — Unrestricted: Jamaal Tinsley, Mo Williams

WASHINGTON WIZARDS — Unrestricted: Leandro Barbosa, Jason Collins, Cartier Martin, A.J. Price

 

Kyrie dazzles, leads White to win in USA scrimmage

Based on the Team USA scrimmage Thursday in Las Vegas, the NBA has a dazzling future.

Perhaps no one exemplified that more than Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard Kyrie Irving, who scored a game-high 23 points and added seven assists to lead the White squad to a 128-106 win over the Blue.

The game concluded four days of mini-camp under Team USA coach Mike Krzyzyewski.

Irving did what he typically does while wearing a Cavs uniform — displaying an array of drives, an ability to take contact and finish near the basket, and stepping out for a pair of 3-pointers.

New Orleans Pelicans forward center Anthony Davis led the Blue team with 22 points and seven rebounds.

In all, the mini-camp featured 28 younger NBA players who are vying for a spot on a Team USA roster that currently boasts future Hall-of-Famers such as Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.

Twenty-five of the 28 in camp played in the scrimmage.

“For me personally, I was just trying to make plays for myself and my teammates, that’s what it’s about,” Irving told reporters in Las Vegas. “Nerves were a factor in the beginning. The Blue team got up 8-0 … but when we settled in we did a great job and picked it up on the defensive end first and the offense took care of itself.”

Irving’s Cavs teammates, shooting guard Dion Waiters and center Tyler Zeller, also saw action. Waiters started for the Blue team and scored five points. Zeller came off the bench for the White and collected eight points and five boards.

2013 Orlando Summer League rosters

The NBA’s Orlando Pro Summer League runs from July 7-12 in Florida. Here are rosters as of opening day:

BOSTON CELTICS

Tim Abromaitis, F, 6-8, 236, 09/17/89, Notre Dame
Courtney Fells, F, 6-6, 200, 09/20/86, NC State
Jayson Granger, G, 6-2, 192, 09/15/89, Estudiantes/Uruguay
Lawrence Hill, F, 6-8, 235, 09/16/87, Stanford
Eli Holman, F/C, 6-10, 260, 03/22/89, Detroit
Colton Iverson, C, 7-0, 255, 06/29/89, Colorado State
Darius Johnson-Odom, G, 6-2, 215, 09/28/89, Marquette
Fab Melo, C, 7-0, 255, 06/20/90, Syracuse
Tony Mitchell, F, 6-6, 216, 08/07/89, Alabama
Kelly Olynyk, F, 7-0, 238, 04/19/91, Gonzaga
Phil Pressey, G, 5-11, 175, 02/17/91, Missouri
Shavlik Randolph, F, 6-10, 235, 11/24/83, Duke
Omar Reed, G/F, 6-6, 210, 07/02/87, Bluefield
Nolan Smith, G, 6-2, 185, 07/25/88, Duke

BROOKLYN NETS

Keith Benson, C, 6-11, 230, 8/13/88, Oakland/Eerie BayHawks
Jamelle Hagins, F, 6-9, 235, 10/19/90, Delaware
Matt Janning, G, 6-5, 200, 6/22/88, Northeastern/Montepaschi Siena
Damion James, F, 6-7, 225, 10/7/87, Texas/Bakersfield Jam
David Lighty, C, 6-6, 215, 5/27/88, Ohio State/JSF Nanterre
Mason Plumlee, F, 6-11, 235, 3/5/90, Duke
Tornike Shengelia, F, 6-9, 240, 10/5/91, Belgacom Spirou/Nets
Dominique Sutton, G, 6-5, 212, 10/20/86, No. Carolina Central/Tulsa 66ers
Carleton Scott, F, 6-8, 218, 10/9/88, Notre Dame/Springfield Armor
Tyshawn Taylor, G, 6-3, 185, 4/12/90, Kansas/Nets
Kashif Watson, G, 6-3, 185, 1/28/87, Idaho/Windsor Express
Chris Wright, G, 6-1, 220, 11/4/89, Georgetown/Capitanes de Arecibo

DETROIT PISTONS

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G, 6-6, 205, 2/18/93, Georgia
Andre Drummond, C, 6-11, 279, 8/10/93, Connecticut
Kim English, G, 6-6, 200, 9/24/88, Missouri
Ryan Evans, G/F, 6-6, 212, 6/19/90, Wisconsin
JaJuan Johnson, F, 6-10, 221, 2/8/89, Purdue
Viachelsav Kravtsov, C, 6-11, 253, 8/25/87, Ukraine
Korie Lucious, G, 5-11, 170, 11/5/89, Iowa State
Khris Middleton, G/F, 6-7, 217, 8/12/91, Texas A&M
Tony Mitchell, F, 6-9, 235, 4/7/92, North Texas
Travis Peterson, F/C, 6-10, 240, 5/18/85, Samford
E.J. Singler, G/F, 6-6, 215, 6/6/90, Oregon
Kyle Singler, F, 6-8, 228, 5/4/88, Duke
Peyton Siva, G, 6-0, 185, 10/24/90, Louisville

HOUSTON ROCKETS

James Anderson, G/F, 6-6, 215, 3/25/89 , Oklahoma State
Patrick Beverley, G, 6-1, 185, 7/12/88, Arkansas
Vander Blue, F/G, 6-4, 200, 7/17/92, Marquette
Isaiah Canaan, G, 6-0, 188, 5/21/91, Murray State
Jack Cooley, F, 6-9, 246, 4/12/91, Notre Dame
Robert Covington, F, 6-9, 215, 12/14/90, Tennessee State
Jordan Henriquez, C, 6-11, 250, 8/29/89, Kansas State
Tyler Honeycutt, F, 6-8, 188, 7/15/90, UCLA
Terrence Jones, F, 6-9, 252, 1/9/92, Kentucky
Toure’ Murry, G/F, 6-5, 200, 11/8/89, Wichita State
Tim Ohlbrecht, C/F, 6-11, 255, 8/30/88, Skyliners Frankfurt/Germany
Greg Smith , C/F, 6-10, 250, 1/8/91, Fresno State
Casper Ware, G, 5-10, 177, 1/7/90, Long Beach State
B.J. Young, G, 6-3, 180, 5/26/93, Arkansas

INDIANA PACERS

Rasual Butler, F, 6-7, 205, 5/23/79, La Salle/Tulsa 66ers
Chris Daniels, C, 7-0, 265, 4/19/84, Texas A&M CC Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Micah Downs, G, 6-8, 200, 9/8/86, Gonzaga/Maine Red Claws
Jonny Flynn, G, 6-0, 185, 2/6/89, Syracuse/Melbourne Tigers
Austin Freeman, G, 6-3, 226, 5/6/89, Georgetown/Maccabi Ashdod
Steven Gray, G, 6-5, 205, 4/8/89, Gonzaga/Chorale Roanne
Ben Hansbrough, G, 6-3, 203, 12/23/87, Notre Dame/Pacers
Justin Harper, F, 6-10, 225, 8/30/89, Richmond/Idaho Stampede
Solomon Hill, F, 6-7, 220, 3/18/91, Arizona
Ron Howard, F, 6-5, 185, 11/4/82, Valparaiso/Ft. Wayne Mad Ants
Orlando Johnson, G, 6-5, 205, 3/11/89, Cal-Santa Barbara/Pacers
Jerome Jordan, C, 7-0, 240, 9/29/86, Tulsa/Los Angeles Defenders
Julian Mavunga, F, 6-8, 255, 1/24/90, Miami (OH)/Angelico Biella
Miles Plumlee, F, 6-10, 245, 9/1/88, Duke/Pacers
Travis Releford, G, 6-6, 210, 2/22/90, Kansas
Donald Sloan, G, 6-3, 205, 1/15/88, Texas A&M/Pelicans
Djibril Thiam, F, 6-9, 195, 7/6/86, Wyoming/North Dallas Vandals
Christian Watford, F, 6-9, 232, 4/28/91, Indiana
Chris Wright, F, 6-8, 225, 9/30/88, Dayton/Maine Red Claws

MIAMI HEAT

Jackie Carmichael, F, 6-9, 240, 01/02/90, Illinois State
Ian Clark, G, 6-2, 173, 03/17/91, Belmont
Vincent Council, G, 6-2, 180, 10/15/90, Providence
Dewayne Dedmon, C, 7-0, 255, 08/12/89, Southern California
LeRon Dendy, C, 6-9, 230, 12/18/88, Middle Tennessee State
Larry Drew, G, 6-2, 180, 03/05/90, UCLA
Michael Dunigan, C, 6-10, 238, 07/02/89, Oregon
James Ennis, G/F, 6-7, 210, 07/01/90, Long Beach State
Eric Griffin, F, 6-8, 189, 05/26/90, Campbell
Scotty Hopson, G, 6-6, 204, 08/08/89, Tennessee
Cedric Jackson, G, 6-3, 200, 03/05/86, Cleveland State
Myck Kabongo, G, 6-1, 180, 01/12/92, Texas
D.J. Kennedy, G/F, 6-6, 215, 11/05/89, St. John’s
James Nunnally, G, 6-7, 205, 07/14/90, Santa Barbara
D.J. Stephens, G/F, 6-5, 188, 12/19/90, Memphis
Jarvis Varnado, F/C, 6-9, 210, 03/01/88, Mississippi State

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Steven Adams, C, 7-0, 250, 07/28/93, Pittsburgh
Ron Anderson, F, 6-9, 255, 09/12/89,  South Florida
Dwight Buycks, G, 6-3, 190, 03/06/89, Marquette
Reggie Jackson, G, 6-3, 208, 04/16/90, Boston College
Grant Jerrett, F, 6-10, 220, 07/08/93, Arizona
Perry Jones, F, 6-11, 235, 09/24/91, Baylor
Kyle Kuric, G, 6-4, 195, 08/25/89, Louisville
Jeremy Lamb, G, 6-5, 180, 05/30/92, Connecticut
DeAndre Liggins, G, 6-6, 209, 03/31/88, Kentucky
Daniel Orton, C, 6-10, 255, 08/06/90, Kentucky
Andre Roberson, F, 6-7, 190, 12/04/91, Colorado
Andrew Smith, C, 6-11, 240, 09/09/90, Butler
Michael Snaer, G, 6-4, 180, 06/21/90, Florida State
Tony Taylor, G, 6-0, 191, 09/09/90, George Washington

ORLANDO MAGIC

Jared Berggren, C, 6-11, 240, 4/2/90, Wisconsin
Keith Clanton, F, 6-9, 250, 8/18/90, UCF
Glen Dandridge, G-F, 6-6, 220, 7/16/85, Lambuth
Matt Gatens, G, 6-5, 210, 6/13/89, Iowa
Maurice Harkless, F, 6-9, 210, 5/11/93, St. John’s
Tobias Harris, F, 6-9, 226, 7/15/92, Tennessee
DeQuan Jones, F, 6-8, 221, 6/20/90, Miami (FL)
Doron Lamb, G, 6-4, 210, 11/6/91, Kentucky
Shane Lawal, C, 6-10, 230, 10/8/86, Wayne State
Rodney McGruder, G, 6-4, 205, 7/29/91, Kansas State
Andrew Nicholson, F, 6-9, 250, 12/8/89, St. Bonaventure
Victor Oladipo, G, 6-4, 215, 5/4/92, Indiana
Kyle O’Quinn, F/C, 6-10, 240, 3/26/90, Norfolk State
Romero Osby, F, 6-8, 140, 5/7/90, Oklahoma
A.J. Slaughter, G, 6-3, 185, 8/3/87, Western Kentucky

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Michael Carter-Williams, G, 6-6, 185, 10/12/91, Syracuse
D.J. Cooper, G, 6-0, 176, 12/6/90, Ohio
Michael Eric, F/C, 6-11, 201, 6/24/88, Temple
Justin Holiday, G/F, 6-6, 185, 4/5/89, Washington
Arsalan Kazemi, F, 6-7, 226, 4/22/90, Oregon
Travis Leslie, G, 6-4, 205, 3/29/90, Georgia
Zeke Marshall, C, 7-0, 235, 12/13/90, Akron
Trevor Mbakwe, F, 6-8, 245, 1/24/89, Minnesota
Brock Motum, F, 6-9, 228, 10/16/90, Washington State
Arnett Moultrie, F/C, 6-10, 245, 11/18/90, Mississippi State
James Southerland, F, 6-8, 210, 4/8/90, Syracuse
Rodney Williams, G/F, 6-7, 205, 7/23/91, Minnesota
Khalif Wyatt, G, 6-4, 215, 6/10/91, Temple

UTAH JAZZ

Jeff Brooks, F, 6-8, 215, 6/12/89, Penn State
William Buford, G/F, 6-6, 220, 1/10/90, Ohio State
Trey Burke, G, 6-1, 185, 11/12/92, Michigan
Alec Burks, G, 6-6, 205, 7/20/91, Colorado
Dionte Christmas, G, 6-5, 205, 9/15/86, Temple
Jeremy Evans, F, 6-9, 194, 10/24/87, Western Kentucky
Tony Gaffney, F, 6-8, 215, 11/14/84, Massachusetts
Rudy Gobert, C, 7-1, 235, 6/6/92, Cholet Basketball/France
Drew Gordon, F, 6-8, 245, 7/12/90, New Mexico
Rodney Green, G, 6-5, 210, 6/24/88, La Salle
Rick Jackson, F/C, 6-9, 240, 5/26/89, Syracuse
Delroy James, F, 6-8, 220, 5/4/87, Rhode Island
Rasid Mahalbasic, F/C, 6-11, 220, 11/7/90, Asseco Prokom/Slovenia
James Mays, F, 6-9, 230, 3/3/86, Clemson
Amath M’Baye, F, 6-9, 216, 12/24/89, Oklahoma
Jerel McNeal, G, 6-3, 200, 6/1/87, Marquette
Kevin Murphy, G, 6-6, 185, 3/6/90, Tennessee Tech
Chris Roberts, G, 6-4, 205, 3/24/88, Bradley
Michael Stockton, G, 6-1, 170, 5/7/89, Westminster

Akron’s Marshall, Ohio’s Cooper set for NBA summer league

AKRON, Ohio – A pair of collegians not selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft have found spots on summer rosters.

In fact, Akron center Zeke Marshall and Ohio point guard D.J. Cooper will both play for the Philadelphia 76ers’ entry in the Orlando Summer League that runs July 7-12.

Cooper, who worked out for the Golden State Warriors prior to the draft, will then play for the Warriors’ squad in the Las Vegas Summer League. The Las Vegas league runs July 12-22.

Marshall will also attempt to join a team in the Las Vegas league, according to report by George Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal. Marshall spoke to representatives from the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and a few others on the night of the draft.

Here are some other undrafted rookie free agents who have joined NBA summer teams (name, position, college, summer team):

• Vander Blue, G, Marquette, Grizzlies

• Khalif Wyatt, G, Temple, Mavericks and Sixers

• James Southerland, F, Syracuse, Sixers and Warriors

• Brandon Davies, F, BYU, Clippers

• C.J. Leslie, F/C, NC State, Knicks

• Phil Pressey, G, Missouri, Celtics

• Brandon Triche, G, Syracuse, Bobcats

• Kyle Weems, G/F, Missouri State (Germany), Hawks

• Lamont Jones, G, Iona, Celtics

Podcast: Talkin’ NBA Finals and Cavs’ draft prospects

I guaranteed the Spurs would win beat the Heat in Game 7. Well, we all know how that turned out. I talked about that — as well as offers updates on the Cavaliers’ draft prospects and a breakdown of Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum (Canton GlenOak) — with Jeff Phelps and Andy Baskin of 92.3 The Fan.

You can listen to the entire podcast by clicking this link.

I’ll have plenty more on the draft, and NBA free agency, in the coming days.

On Game 7, LeBron and a lovely night for an ending

It’s a beautiful night for an ending, isn’t it?

An NBA finals that’s been as good as — or even better than — advertised ends tonight with Game Seven in Miami. It’s David Stern’s last Finals, and it feels like a last stand for this Miami Superteam and a San Antonio group that’s been, um, pretty super in its own right for a long time and was just seconds away in Game Six from clinching a fifth title.

VIDEO: A to Z previews Game Seven of the NBA Finals

From here, anyway, it feels like a last last stand for these Spurs, even though Tim Duncan has two years left on his contract and has looked more 27 than 37 in this series. Win or lose this could be it for the Big Three of the Heat, a group that’s an imperfect match but a very tough out.

The world is watching tonight, LeBron.

LeBron is fully aware of this by now.

To me, the beauty in this series is that it hasn’t been about LeBron, even though everything (especially here in Northeast Ohio and on Twitter) is. I wrote at length a couple of weeks ago about LeBron and what he’s been through and why we watch (no matter how many names we call him), and again tonight we’ll watch and hang on every moment and point to — via the golden gift of hindsight — every decision LeBron makes, every shot or chance to attack he passes up and certainly every one he misses. It sounds strange, yes, but the more I say it out loud the more sense it makes.

LeBron is a huge factor tonight, as always. But this game is not all about him — or Him, as folks in certain parts of Akron would say.

It’s always about LeBron, yes. But tonight isn’t totally about him, not unless he goes for 40, 15 and 12. Tonight is about what both teams have left in the tank, if the Spurs have any counter moves left, if Manu Ginobli and Dwyane Wade have their legs, if Tony Parker has any magic left and what LeBron can do to get — and keep — his teammates involved and scoring. The Heat need transition, which means the Heat need defense. The Heat are also going to need 3-pointers from LeBron’s supporting cast. The 3-point shot has been the real star of this series.

Tonight truly feels like an ending. Guys like Ray Allen and Mike Miller know the end is near. If it wasn’t for Allen, this thing would already be over.

Nobody saw Danny Green, First Five Finals Games Edition, coming. But much of what we’ve seen is what we thought we’d see. The Spurs have the better point guard, the better overall team, one of the best pure post players of his time and one of the best coaches ever. The Heat have an impressive collection of athletes, a guy in Wade who’s pretty good for someone held together by silver tape and staples and LeBron, the best player and athlete of them all.

Fairly, he’s held to a different standard. Smartly, the Spurs have run guys at him, closed driving lanes and gotten into his head, to some extent. They’ve made him hesitant at times, and that’s victory in its own right. That LeBron had a triple-double in Game Six while playing well short of his own standard of excellence for all but a few minutes says it all about his talents and his importance to his team, this series and the NBA.

On more than one occasion in these playoffs, he’s had to do a bunch of it himself. On more than one occasion in these Finals, that hasn’t worked. It won’t work tonight, either. The Spurs won’t let it. I have no idea which way it’s going to go, but it’s hard to imagine LeBron struggling because he’s forcing or trying to do too much.

It’s about LeBron, but he’s going to need all the help he can get. And though tonight is undoubtedly the latest most important game of LeBron’s career, I think saying his legacy is on the line — I’ve read that in more than one place — is a stretch.

LeBron’s basketball legacy, whenever it’s complete, will certainly include The Decision, that magically inhuman run to the Finals in 2007 and all the MVPs. Everything else is still being written, right? He’s going to win more than one title, even if that second one doesn’t come tonight. Tonight is the most important game in LeBron’s career until next May or June, at which point he’ll be 29. And still the best player in the world. And still the most scrutinized player in the world. And, at that point, he’ll again be the most important potential free agent in basketball history.

Whether all that sounds fun, exhausting or a combination of the two, these Finals have been all of the above. And more. If Game Seven is anything like Game Six (or Game One), a lot of us are going to be late for work tomorrow — and still exhausted.

By midnight or so, we’ll have our ending. Thanks in part but not totally to LeBron, the buildup has been pretty darn good.

Three Cavs invited to participate in Team USA camp

Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters and center Tyler Zeller are among the 27 players who have been invited to participate in the 2013 USA national team mini-camp, USA Basketball officials announced Wednesday.

Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, Irving’s coach at Duke University, will direct the camp. It is scheduled for July 22-25 in Las Vegas.

Krzyzewski will be assisted by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Pelicans coach Monty Williams and Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim.

Team USA’s next competition is at the World Championships in Spain in 2014.

The list of invitees:

Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans)
Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors)
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)
DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
Derrick Favors (Utah Jazz)
Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls)
Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers)
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
Ty Lawson(Denver Nuggets)
Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons)
Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets)
Larry Sanders(Milwaukee Bucks)
Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats)
John Wall (Washington Wizards)
Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Tickets for the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase on July 25 go on sale June 13.  Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased by calling 702-739-FANS or at UNLVtickets.com.

EuroCamp tipping off with all 30 NBA teams represented

The 2013 adidas EuroCamp tips off Saturday in Italy, and when it comes to the NBA Draft, this event is almost as significant as last month’s combine.

It is at EuroCamp that scouts aim to locate the next Danilo Gallinari, Serge Iabaka, Nicolas Batum or Omer Asik — all past participants.

This year, top names at the camp include potential first-round picks Rudy Gobert (France), Lucas Nogueira (Brazil) and Livio Jean-Charles (France).

All 30 NBA teams will be represented, with assistants Kenny Atkinson (Hawks), Armond Hill (Celtics), Melvin Hunt (Nuggets) and Kelvin Sampson (Rockets) among those handling coaching duties.

Timberwolves assistant Bill Bayno is this year’s coaching director.

Also, Ibaka of the Thunder, Omri Casspi of the Cavaliers and Kenneth Faried of the Nuggets will be present to share their NBA experiences with the campers.

Click here to visit the official EuroCamp website.