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Heat Game 4 reaction, postscripts; Pat Riley and Phil Jackson speak out; Dolphins mini-camp report

Lots of Heat buzz, beginning with Game 4 postscripts:

### Erik Spoelstra confirmed leg cramps were the reason LeBron James sat for 2:05 of the fourth quarter. "Playing on one leg, I don't know how he did it," Chris Bosh said.

James said he "got hydrated" after leaving initially with the cramps with 5:15 remaining. He came back with 4:05 left, but the cramps returned and he left for good with 55 seconds to go.

James said: "I'm feeling a lot better. I'll see how I feel [Wednesday]. It was basically like your body shut down, your legs shut down on you. There's nothing you can do about it. I've had cramps before. I was blessed I was able to make a big shot." James, of course, was referring to his three-pointer with 2:51 left that broke a tie and put the Heat ahead for good.

### James became the first player with at least 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds in an NBA Finals game since Larry Bird in 1986. James also is the first player in NBA history with at least 650 points, at least 200 rebounds and at least 100 assists in a single postseason.

"This was a big-time team effort, from Mario Chalmers' spectacular game to Norris Cole, who gave us a spark when we were down in the first quarter," James said. "We're a complete team. A lot of people don't realize that."

### Teams down 3-1 in the NBA Finals are 0-30 all-time in the FInals. In overall NBA playoff history, eight teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series, most recently Phoenix in a 2006 first-round series.

 ### Chalmers had been mired in a 2 for 18 slump before closing 9 for 15. "We kept telling Rio he was about overdue for a great game," Bosh said. "You've got to love his mentality. He wants to be the best and he truly believes in his talent. We knew we needed him to be a better point guard."

Chalmers scored 12 of his 25 in the fourth. "He's a big game kind of player," Dwyane Wade said. "He actually thinks he's the best player on this team. That's a gift and a curse. He always feels like, 'I can make a play.' What he has, as he says on his arm, 'Mr. Clutch.' It's a clutch gene. You have to be born with it."

Chalmers said the Thunder putting Kevin Durant on him was "a sign of disrepect." (Because OKC wanted Durant to avoid foul trouble.)

### Wade (25 points), on being on the cusp of a championship: "This team had to go through something - going through a heartbreaking loss in the Finals - to get to this point where we are resilient."

### Russell Westbrook, who was generally brilliant on a 43-point night, said "miscommunication" was the reason for his foolish late foul on Chalmers, whose two free throws stretched Miami's lead to five with 13 seconds left. Westbrook did not know that the shot clock had not been reset.

### Westbrook's 43 points were the most in a Finals game since Wade scored 43 in Game 5 of the 2006 Finals.

### Kevin Durant (six points) and Westbrook (17) combined for all of OKC's 23 fourth-quarter points; other Thunder players were 0 for 6 in the fourth, including 0 for 4 from James Harden, who closed 2 for 10. Durant, who said he was denied the ball at times, had only two rebounds.

RILEY SPEAKS OUT

Heat president Pat Riley, who received the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday night, reiterated he has no desire to coach again but also made clear he has no intention of leaving his current post of Heat architect anytime soon. And he made very clear the high regard he has for his current coach.

“I’m looking to build this thing even better, and I don’t have any timeline,” he said. “I still have a lot of bite left in my bark.

“But it’s directed in another direction. Building the team, being around the players, working every day with a group of people that I’ve come to know and love in a big way, for me it’s a privilege because it’s worth their time. You want to be around those kinds of people.”

### Riley said of coaching, “I don’t really miss it. I feel it in the gut right now [before Game 4], like anybody else. But we have a very, very good young coach, who’s growing leaps and bounds. I did it 30 years. That’s enough.”

### Spoelstra’s job security is very strong, regardless of the outcome of this series. “He’s very mature, and I see him all the time,” Riley said. “I don’t bump into him. I don’t call meetings with him. We collaborate. And I feel very privileged that at times he will ask me, ‘Well, what do you think?’ And I’ll give him my opinion.

“There isn’t anybody who wants him to succeed more than I do. I think he’s the right man for it. He has a great relationship with our whole team. I watch him every day and I’m not amazed by what he’s done.”

### What advice does Riley give Spoelstra about coaching superstars? “Say, ‘yes, sir. Thank you’ a lot. Not really.”

### Whereas Oklahoma City built through the draft, Riley said, “We’ve never been a team that wanted to be a lottery team and build through the draft. The first two years were in the lottery here, we got Caron Butler and we got Dwyane Wade, and then I quit. That was enough for me.”

But, he said, “What OKC has done is incredible. We got very fortunate that at the right time and at the right place, three [great] players wanted to play together.”

### Riley said though “the Laker years made me,” – he won four of his five championships there - his “favorite team was the one in 2006 here. Bringing [Shaquille O’Neal] into it and winning the championship for this city and for Miami, for [Micky Arison], that to me will always probably be the one that I cherish the most.”

### He said “the game is as good as it’s ever been. I just hope they don’t the charge out of the game. I know the commissioner has become an expert on flopping, so I don’t want them flopping back and forth on this issue.”

CHATTER

### Speaking about James, Phil Jackson told HBO: "I still think his game is going to grow. But he was like Scottie Pippen was to the Bulls. He's maybe a pass first, shoot second player. Whereas, Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant... every time they get the ball, they're looking to score. LeBron's not like that and I love that about him. But when he goes after scoring, he's also terrific. You want a player than can do both."

### Jackson said James and Wade “play off each other well” but that he never has considered coaching them. Could he work for or with Pat Riley? “Of course,” he said. “We both have respect for each other. But I’d probably rather have him working for me than me working for him.”

### NBA TV’s O’Neal said off-air he believes Wade always has been “more comfortable being in that second spot. He’s more comfortable with guys not talking about did he play well or not. This suits him better.”  

As gets older, “he needs to average 19 to 20 points a game,” O’Neal said. “[But] all that slashing, he has to change up a little.”

### Knicks center Tyson Chandler, whose Mavericks beat the Heat in last year’s Finals, said one difference between the two Heat teams is “they’re more of a team this year. They have great team camaraderie. They make plays and you see the whole bench get excited. They’ve added guys great for the locker-room, like Shane Battier.”

### James is getting plenty of support from other local teams. “I might be rooting for him more than his own family is,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I’m not a Heat fan but I’m rooting for LeBron because that kid takes so much [expletive]. Every time they lose a game, it’s that poor guy’s fault.”

He said some former players who criticize James “are jealous.” Guillen cracked that he would advise James to hold his middle finger up at the championship celebration.

The admiration for James extends to the Dolphins locker-room, including Reggie Bush; when Bush was at a Heat game this year, James congratulated him on his 2011 season. “That was cool,” Bush said. “I admire his ability to overcome adversity and impose his will when the pressure is on his back.”

### Most spent by anyone for a Finals seat so far? $19,500, by a rapper. Among others snagging good seats: NFL players Darnell Dockett and Julius Peppers.

Note: Please see our last post for a full report on Dolphins minicamp Tuesday. 

Comments

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Penguin

Hey, guys, look at what happens when you make those free throws!

JackBlack

OKC is too young to win the title this year. Amazing how much more poise the Heat plays with.

Geezer

LeBron is the best player ever to play in South Florida. And Marino is now third, behind LeBron and Wade. Sorry, DannyBoy.

mike

Fire Spo, where are all those stupid people.

Daveed

Go Heat, 100% playing as a team, what a thrill!!

MIKE1361

BEST PRO PLAYERS (COACHES) IN SOUTH FLORIDA

1. LEBRON
2. MARINO
3. CSONKA
4. WADE
5. DON SHULA
6 PAT RILEY
7. JOSH BECKETT
8. GRIESE
9. ALONZO MOURNING
10 LARRY LITTLE
11 PAUL WARFIELD
12 JASON TAYLOR
13 MARK CLAYTON
14 RICKY WILLIAMS
15 HANLEY RAMIREZ
16 TIM HARDAWAY
17 GLEN RICE
18 DWIGHT STEPHENSON
19 TIE: NICK BONECANTI / ZACH THOMAS
20 SHAQUILE ONEAL (2 great years)

Ezra

Riley needs to get a better bench.

Dashi

I don't know About Beckett that High. He doesn't own any Marlins Record.

QCao1

Coach Jackson is right about Lebron's game. He is a complete team player, not just a superstar. And as far as Coach Riley playing for him, I think chances are Coach Jackson would coach again before Coach Riley would. They are both outstanding. Riley is truly remarkable. That is why Arrison went after him. He's the best. Hollywood and Fire Island !!!

Logan Heckathorn

Heat, tell LeBron James to use baking soda underneath his tongue. This will get rid of his cramps. I've used it before it taste bad, but the next day my cramps were gone and I felt better. Tell LeBron right now before it's too late. If he listens to me for once a random fan like me. This is the time to do it and get ready to win your first title tomorrow man.

Cocky Heat Fan

Cleveland Cavaqueer fans were celebrating Lebron's cramping last night, hoping it was something much, much worse. Cavaqueer fans -- and, really, everyone from Ohio -- are the absolute worst that humanity has to offer. I wouldn't spit on someone from Ohio if he or she were lying on the ground bleeding because they're not worthy to feel my spit. i look forward to the Heat getting Kyrie Irving and South Florida acquiring Cedar Point and then there'll be nothing in that septic tank dumpster fire of a state. My vote for president goes to whoever will kick Ohio out of the union.

Bravo Luis

The NBA wants another Jordan to do what Michael did for the NBA back then. MONEY.THE calls the fouls the series has a bit of a stink to it. I believe that the fix is in. MONEY is the one and only true champion. I Remember how the NBA promoted the sport with personalities and fantasy. Its about to happen again. Once upon a time there were three Kings, then two, then ONE!!! One King one Jordan one James. Money HONEY.

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