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Heat Game 2 postscripts, reaction; Jon Barry says he's not a Heat-hater; Hard Knocks fallout

Postscripts and reaction from the Heat's Game 2 NBA Finals at Oklahoma City:

### Erik Spoelstra: "This is going to be probably like this every single game. This postseason shows this group has resolve, resourcefulness, resiliency. We're all a stubborn group.  We got dominated in all of muscle, power areas of Game 1. [Those were] flip-flopped in the second."

### Spoelstra said it was a "mutual" decision for LeBron James (32 points, eight rebounds) to open against Kevin Durant defensively. "As soon I as brought it up, he was absolutely on the same page." Said Battier: "LeBron doesn't get enough credit for the toughness that he shows."

LeBron said he felt "exhausted" afterward. "We want to score enough points to win games, not to answer any questions people ask about us.... This was a huge game. We wanted to split. It was good to see the sense of urgency to start the game. I don't think there's one guy that can guard me and allow him to be on an island and defend me one-on-one."  

### The Heat picked a good time for one of its best free throw performances of the postseason (22 for 25), including 12 for 12 from James.  Only Terry Porter (15 for 15 in 1990) has made more free throws without a miss in an NBA Finals game.

"When I have double digit free throws, that tells me I was in attack mode," said James, who hit two free throws to seal it with six seconds left. "The big stage like this, every point matters. We needed every point tonight."

### Dwyane Wade played his most efficient game in a while (10 for 20 shooting, 24 points).  Asked if he was insulted by questions after his Game 1 performance, "I'm not sensitive. I can take it. Just know I will always keep coming back until I don't play this game no more. Tonight, I was able to attack."

"He made a concerted effort to get layups," NBA TV's Kenny Smith said. "That was the difference in the game."

### Chris Bosh (16 points, 15 rebounds) started for the first time since returning from his abdominal injury and was "sensational," Spoelstra said. "We needed every bit of his big tonight. And that's what he brought." At practice Wednesday, Bosh walked on the floor with the starters and camped himself under the basket, which Spoelstra liked because it suggested to Spoelstra what Bosh's mentality would be in Game 2.

Bosh was very happy about starting because "that's my comfort zone. You know it's time. I just wanted to make sure I played good defense and spaced the floor correctly."  Wade said Bosh starting - "was key, having our best players on the floor early."

 ### Spoelstra on Shane Battier, who's having a terrific series (17 ppg average): "Everyone notices Shane Battier when the ball is going in. We notice it before. He allows us to play our roster the way we want to. We weren't necessarily able to do that last year." Said Battier: "We've got a lot of experience on this team and a lot of toughness. It takes a little more than a loud crowd to rattle this team."

### Durant, on his miss that would have tied the game with seven seconds left: "That's a shot I shoot all the time. I just missed. It's tough to lose that one." ESPN's Steve Javie, the former NBA ref, said James should have been called for a foul on that play. Durant scored 16 in the fourth quarter and is the first player in NBA Finals history to score at least 16 points in the fourth of two consecutive Finals games.

### The Heat had been 0-6 in the playoffs when it was outscored in the third quarter. Make it 1-6 after Thursday. And the Thunder lost for the first time in eight games this season when James Harden scored at least 17 in the first half.

### Thunder coach Scott Brooks told his team afterward: "We're good enough to beat their team on their floor. We can get the next one and we can get the next one."

# # #

Here's our weekly media column:


ABC’s Jon Barry knows many Heat fans (and some radio hosts, for that matter) have tagged him with that moniker – more so than any other announcer who doesn’t go by the nickname “Sir Charles.”

Not guilty, Barry says.

“I am aware of it because Chris Broussard goes on the radio in South Florida and said, ‘They think you hate the Heat,’” Barry – who picked Oklahoma City to win this series in six games - said by phone this week, hours before the start of the Finals. “It’s not that. I think LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world. Pat Riley is great. I think the world of the Arisons. I think Erik Spoelstra is a great coach.

“Because I don’t pick them doesn’t mean I hate them. Every fan of teams – if you don’t pick them, they call you a hater. If they win this series, I’ll still go to sleep at night. I don’t have Oklahoma City or Boston pompoms on. I picked Miami to get to the Finals. I don’t root against them.”

But Barry explains he could not in good conscience pick the Heat to win the title during the first two years of the Big Three era “if they did not improve the team around them, and I don’t believe they have. I don’t feel their team is as a good now as it was last year. I like Mario Chalmers, but they still need pieces to be a championship team. They have never addressed the center position. They have no interior presence, not a lot of depth. Teams that win have great depth.

“There’s no real calling card. What do you know that you’re going to get out of the Heat on a nightly basis? You don’t quite know what you’re going to get. The great teams, you always know what you’re going to get.”

How about LeBron? Can’t you assume greatness out of him?

“He played great in last year’s Finals until the fourth quarter,” Barry responds. “He’s been inconsistent in fourth quarters. I don’t know if Dwyane Wade has lost a step. He hasn’t been the same player over 48 minutes.”

I raised to Barry three remarks he made about the Heat last week – comments that fuel the “Heat-hater” perception. He elaborated on each:

### On his comment that James and Wade don’t make each other better: “When one guy is doing something, does that make the other guy better? Just because LeBron can break his man down, that doesn’t help Wade. They play well together, but I don’t think it enhances their games. I don’t think LeBron is any better today than he was four ago because of Dwyane. At the end of games, both need the ball.”

### On calling the Heat front-runners and accusing them of pointing fingers: “Rajon Rondo pointed out about them whining at officials. I saw a lot of frustration with this team – them looking at each other – more so than last year.”

### On saying (after Game 5 of the Celtics series) that the Heat cannot be trusted: “They’re inconsistent. But when the chips were down, they answered the bell. If they get ahead in this series, do they take their foot off the gas like they’ve been prone to?”

Barry said of his candid, critical style: “I have no personal agendas. I try to stick to my convictions. I like to think I bring good information. I can’t talk about putting on a ring and being in the locker-room of a championship team. But other than that, I’ve got everything covered.”


The decision to do HBO’s Hard Knocks has been met with mixed reaction among Dolphins players.

Anthony Fasano told Sirius XM: "I wasn't too thrilled. There were a lot of groans when it was announced."

“I’m on the fence,” Reggie Bush said. "Training camp is so tough as it is, you got guys trying to make the team, training and fighting and scratching. At the same time, we’re trying to gel together. It adds another thing. But it will bring a lot of buzz to the city, and that’s something we can all use as a city and team.”

Bush – who has dealt with paparazzi during his past relationship with Kim Kardashian, said he’s OK with cameras “but not following me around 24-7.”

It's widely known that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross loved the publicity that comes with doing the show. But he insisted to season-tickets holders this week that coach Joe Philbin was “insistent” about doing it. “I told Joe, ‘It’s your first year as head coach. You have a lot to absorb and deal with.’ I said we can do it next year or the next year. He said, ‘I want to do it now.’ That really surprised me.

“He said he wants people to know what our brand is all about. He said these are not going to be the Dolphins we have seen the last eight seasons. The fact he has the confidence to do that made me feel we made the right decision. I didn’t think any coach would want to take that on the first year.”

CBS’ Phil Simms told us he is surprised the Dolphins agreed to do it “but it’s a great idea. They need the publicity. They’ve got to get back on the map. Get people excited about the Dolphins again. You forget they’re in the NFL.”

### Musing of the week: From ABC’s Jeff Van Gundy, who noted Thunder assistant coach Maurice Cheeks “was so good when I coached him, I named my cat after him. He died 18 years later.”


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Dennis Collins

Jon Barry is a hater, but he's also a truthteller. Everything he's said about Queen James and Co. has been correct. In fact, by picking the Thunder in 6, he's actually giving these chokers a tremendous benefit of the doubt -- one that is richly undeserved. Not one, not two, but three losses in the Finals thus far for Queen James... and counting. He will NEVER win a ring. Ever. And it'll say a lot when this latest Finals humiliation is completed and the Three My-Egos decide to lick their wounds by going to London to play in the Olympics. Particularly Dwyane Fade and Chris Botch, who will go, injuries be damned. I don't want them on the team. I want the USA to win the gold medal, not the failure medal. And, make no mistake, Queen James is a failure. How they won in 2008 with LeFraud on the roster is beyond me. I don't expect miracles to happen twice.

As for the Dolphins, I think they've forgotten that they're in the NFL, too. Just heard Philbin on with Colin Cowherd. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Take the worst parts of Larry Coker and the worst parts of Tony Sparano, and you've got Joe Philbin. My reaction to the Dudphins going on "Hard Knocks" was to cancel HBO.

But, hey, at least the Marlins are suffering a June Swoon Redux and will be in last place by Tuesday. We've got that going for us. There isn't a team down here that can do anything right. I give up.


Ross's claim that Philbin was insistent on doing Hard Knocks is clearly a lie and it would be nice if someone in the media investigated that absurd claim a bit further instead of just repeating it without any questions. The only member of this sad Dolphin organization who has any motivation to want to be on Hard Knocks is Stephen Ross himself. Ross wants to portray this as Philbin's decision so that his offseason meddling (pushing for Tannehill, forcing the team onto Hard Knocks) is not exposed.

Its a very bad situation to have a football-illiterate owner involved in football decisions.

Julie Durda

Dennis...go kill yourself...clearly you were hated and mistreated by both parents. That's why you're a grumpy, negative gloomy Gus.


Yeah, Jon Barry is a hater, just like you, Dennis Collins. If you are a South Floridian fan of the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins,how can you spew so much hate. Unbelievable how some people are.

Ray Finkle

Dennis Collins = 'Fed up' = a sad annoying troll who doesn't have a whole lot good going on in his life.


Hey Dennis, get a woman. It is good for the nerves. Barry is useless. I wouldn't spend a second talking to that guy.A sub average basketball player, he never won anything. However, he is on tv criticizing Lebron. I hope he does not show in the locker room when the Heat win it all. What a joke!!!!


Anyone who doesn't think that appearing on Hard Knocks was Stephen Ross's idea, hasn't watched Stephen Ross in front of the media. Where's the most dangerous place in South Florida? Between Stephen Ross and a microphone.


I agree with everyone who is suggesting Dennis Collins simply put himself out of his deep misery, and slit his wrists. The guy has problems and appears to be a potential homicidal maniac.

Mike Mizzie

Almost all of the ESPN commentators seem like bandwagon jumpers. they look at one game out of a seven game series and over analyze the whole picture. Creeps! I hope they stay in the studio and don't come to Miami. Please.

octavio de armas

Dennis get help !! Such misery. How can u stand yourself. I bet u don't have a date tonight. Until someone wins the finals is useless commenting on predictions. This is going to be a very long series.


David "Cecil" Collins Has Issues. Philbin is doing his thing. Funny how U didn't compare him To Golden?


Glad to hear Lebron's satisfaction with his free throws. Yes, razzle dazzle plays are fun to watch. But proficiency at free throws can win close games.

Mike Geigerman

Dennis.. Get some Prozac. Marlins two titles,
Phins only undefeated ever and Kings 3 MVP makes
you a little envious haven't ever done anything.
I'll bet your dog even bit ya.


Golden's a good coach, Philbin's Tony Sparano without the charisma.

Jade Spencer

Hey Dennis you are an idiot...........


So Tony Has Charisma?

Cisco Merrill

Dennis, Dennis, Dennis...I am not sure what is sadder, that you an obvious Celtics/Pats/Red Sox fan, is trolling around a Miami Blog trying to get a reaction out of anyone, just to notice your alive, as I am sure the last women you were close to was a poor Bostonian riding the subway that didn't even notice your existence. Or that in your misery, you have taken the time to keep such close tabs on your neighbors in the sun, just to get a rise out of them,and though they now realize you're alive, they wish upon you the most horrible of acts, suicide. While writing this response I picture a man so sad and lonely, that your only joy comes from annoying quality fans, because if you can get no one to love you, at least you can get someone to hate you. So congrats, now we the people of Miami hate you, so now what? You still are a sad lonely loser, that needs prostitution to be legalized, depression medication, and a friend. Unfortunately we can help you with none of these. So while the rest of us will continue to enjoy our Heat, watch our Marlins, and hopefully wish our Fins are better than expected. Be good, and when you find a bridge to jump off, hopefully you find the peace you are looking for.


dude just nuts calling the 3 kings name. dennis you are a fricking manace to society dude and you are a true hater . hating on bosh is one thing missing with lebron is an other dude.

Eddie Dardy

It's alright to criticize, everyone has their opinion. If Lebron wins a championship, some people still will not like him. He is an outstanding citizen, stays out of trouble and is a good family man. The things some say about this great American is bordering on hatred. When you hate, it can eat you up inside, I have a feeling Lebron sleeps well at night. Win or lose, be blessed.

Bobby l.

Jon barry is not a Heat hater is just simply acting genius and truly believed that he always know what he's talking about especially about Erik spoelstra being not a good coach even though the guy is in the playoff already and now one game away in the. championship. I'll bet you my house that when MIAMI don't win the title he'll blame spoelstra right away even the guy at this point deserves all the credit where Miami is right now. But this Barry is not a hater he's just jealous white individual that didn't win anything in the NBA except got a chance to play simply because of his race & height. Be a man apologize to spoelstra but I guess that's too much for your ego. Apologize, to Asian Filipino coach? Never I'm too superb specimen to do that. Never

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