Dion Waiters deal signals the end of 2016 free agency money grab

When you’re a kind on Halloween, you go out whenever dusk starts to set in and bang on doors using code words for free candy and go on your merry way with every house that has a porch light on. For the most part, you go around a neighborhood or a general area until at […]

OKC is getting the best out of Kevin Durant on defense, but not offense

Kevin Durant experienced the best of times over the past three and a half weeks. He experienced the worst of times Saturday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Durant’s defense, not his offense, has been one of the revelations of these playoffs. Billy Donovan has squeezed more and better defense out of […]

A familiar debate is revived by the Eastern Conference playoffs

The NBA’s Eastern Conference playoffs have provided a number of timely reminders to sports fans. One reminder is that the playoffs need to be desegregated in terms of conferences, and ideally turned into a conference-free bracket. The NBA’s need for conferences no longer exists. The concept has outlived its usefulness. Another reminder is more specific […]

For the Heat, honorable defeat and an ocean of uncertainty

The Miami Heat died honorably on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat pushed up the hill as long as they could. Having trailed by 17 points midway through the third quarter, they sliced their deficit to six in the early stages of the fourth quarter. They were right there, somehow […]

The Raptors reach their goal after an arduous journey

The Toronto Raptors spent much of the past month — much of two fortnight-long series against the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat — fumbling, bumbling and stumbling. They watched DeMar DeRozan shoot them out of games in their losses, and into more precarious positions in their wins. The erosion of DeRozan’s game, relative to the […]

Heat-Raptors Game 7: the coaches and tactics

Game 7 of a messy, cluttered Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors doesn’t merely give every player a last chance to get it right. Game 7 offers one more opportunity to each head coach, one more chance to leave a positive imprint on this series after six erratic games over […]

Bismack Biyombo steps through the portal of opportunity

Bismack Biyombo didn’t carry the burdens which have weighed down so many of the participants in the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat. DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic, and Joe Johnson were all expected to be far better than they’ve been in this series — if not by […]

Raptors-Heat: A Photo Essay

Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat — like the series itself — was painful to watch. Those of us who operate sports blogs traffic in the written word and the well-turned phrase, but once in a great while, the essence of a game — everything you […]

Watch: Dwyane Wade ices game four with steal and dunk

Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat finished off the Toronto Raptors with this steal and dunk as the Heat tied the series at 2-2….. Delivering the dagger in His House! ⚡️⚡️⚡️ — Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT)

Kyle Lowry got sick and tired of being sick and tired

The inconvenient truth about Kyle Lowry’s breakout in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals is that it began not only before the fourth quarter, but before Dwyane Wade put the Miami Heat on his back. Yes, before D-Wade produced the surge which led the Heat to a flat-footed 68-all tie at the end of […]

The Cavs were idle Thursday night, but they won

The Cavs have won every day of the Eastern Conference semifinals, if you think about it. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Four days have come and gone in the two East semis, and Cleveland has emerged the winner at the end of them. Let’s not pretend to ignore the larger reality behind the first two games […]