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Postscripts, thoughts, what Heat had to say after dismal Game 3 loss; UM's Morris gets extension

Postscripts from the Heat’s jarring 111-92 loss in Game 3 of the NBA Finals:

### The Heat has played more than 2250 games in its 26-year history.

Never has a Heat opponent shot as high a percentage in the first quarter or first half of a game as the Spurs did on Tuesday.

Let that marinate for a minute.

So how could this happen, this remarkable offensive display by a team that the Heat had limited to 18 points and 6 of 17 shooting in the fourth quarter just two nights earlier?

How could the Spurs shoot an unfathomable 13 for 15 (86.7 percent) in the first quarter and a sterling 75.8 percent (25 for 33) in the first half?

“We did nothing right; we weren’t focused at all,” Chris Bosh said. “One on one defense was really bad. Help was bad. Containments were bad. Everything was bad. Our rotations were late. They got everything they wanted. We can’t do this. It’s the Finals! We’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re going to win a championship playing like that…. Any questions about defense, you can ball it up and throw it in the trash. It was all bad.”

Yes, some of this was otherworldly shooting, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green sinking long jumpers as if they were layups, as if the basket had been expanded to the size of Biscayne Bay.

But there was far more to it than that. This was sloppy, deplorable defense, as the Spurs scored on 19 of their first 23 possessions.

Dwyane Wade was beaten off the dribble by Leonard and Tony Parker, among others, and left in the dust in transition. Yes, even LeBron James was beaten off the dribble, by Tim Duncan and Green.

Of the Spurs’ 10 first half three-point attempts (seven makes), Spurs shooters were given too much airspace on at least half of them, with Bosh not even in the same zip code as Boris Diaw on one of them. One issue was the Heat wasn’t quick enough in its rotations, leaving too many uncontested threes.

Heat point guards couldn’t keep Parker from penetrating, or even Patty Mills, for that matter.

Rashard Lewis, Chris Andersen and Bosh were flummoxed by crafty moves by Duncan and Diaw under the basket.

This was most telling about the Spurs’ 19 for 21 start: Eleven of those shots were in the restricted area directly under the basket. Thirteen were in the paint, with the Spurs making 12 of them.

Of the other eight shots in that 19 for 21 start, six were threes (one in the corner) and two were jumpers from the top of the key.

“There were a lot of breakdowns early,” Ray Allen said. “Wasn’t any urgency. We yelled at each other, encouraged each other, a range of emotion, trying to find anything to spark us. Kawhi Leonard attacked us. They got the ball inside on us early. We weren’t ready for it.”

### LeBron, afterward: “We hate the performance we put on, but it’s 2 to 1. It’s not 4 to 1. They jumped on us. They were the aggressor tonight. They had us on their heels from the beginning. This was something at this point of the season shouldn’t happen. This is the last team in the NBA you can dig yourself a hole against. I don’t think we had a lack of urgency. They were very aggressive and we didn’t match that. They came in with a desperation that we didn’t match.

“I turned the ball over way too much [seven times]. Some were over-dribbling at times.”

### Wade, afterward: “They jumped on us early, and now you’re fighting to get back. You’re forcing things. A little frustration. That’s the nature of the playoffs. It’s not always good. We’ve got to learn from it, come out and make the adjustments. We dig ourselves a pretty big hole. We’re a resilient team. We’re going to keep fighting."

Want some historical perspective? Consider:

### The Spurs’ 41 points were the most by any team in the first quarter of a Finals game since Game 6 of the 1967 Finals.

### Their field-goal percentage both in the first quarter and first half were NBA Finals records.

### The 71 points allowed were the most the Heat has ever relinquished in the first half of a playoff game, smashing the old record by seven. It was also the most Heat points allowed in any half of any playoff game. Previous record: 68 by Michael Jordan’s Bulls in 1992.

If you’re wondering, the most points the Heat has ever allowed in a first half were 80 against Philadelphia in a regular season game in 1992.

### The highest shooting percentage in a half that the Heat ever yielded before Tuesday was 72.1 percent by Seattle in 1990 (regular season) and 68.9 percent by the Spurs in the second half of Game 1.

Other observations from Game 3:

### Clever move by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to start Diaw, who has a diverse offensive game and the versatility to play any position. The Spurs were a team-high plus 20 with Diaw on the floor, and he made several key plays, including a drawn charge from James. “He allows us to have more variety in our offense,” Popovich said afterward.

### If Mario Chalmers cannot snap out of this miserable funk (0 for 5 shooting, three turnovers on Tuesday), Spoelstra needs to consider playing more without a natural point guard, especially because Norris Cole is just 10 for 39 in 10 Finals games against the Spurs, including 3 for 9 on Tuesday.

Spoelstra played without a point guard for five minutes in the second quarter and two in the fourth, but the Heat was outscored during each of those stretches.

The problem with playing without a point guard for long stretches is that it usually requires James to defend Parker, which expends a lot of energy.

Spoelstra said afterward he would stick with the Heat’s point guards.

“We’re going to continue to give Mario confidence,” Wade said. “He’s a big piece of what we do and we’re missing that piece for whatever reason. Defensively, Mario is somebody we depend on to cause havoc, and we need him to do that.”

Please see the last post for more on Chalmers’ future.

### Spoelstra again bypassed Shane Battier for James Jones. Again, it didn’t go well, with Jones picking up three fouls and not even taking a shot in two first half minutes. Battier and Udonis Haslem didn’t play until the final 1:36 of garbage time.

### Though the Heat closed to within seven in the third quarter, Bosh said: “We’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re coming back from 25 down.”

### James and Wade each scored  22, with James closing with those seven turnovers and Wade five. Those were 12 of the Heat’s 20 turnovers, leading to 23 Spurs points. Conversely, the Spurs had only 13 turnovers, which the Heat converted into just six points.

### The Spurs’ 25 point-lead tied for the largest deficit ever for a Heat home game during the Big Three era… Leonard’s 29 points were the most he has scored since high school… Highest price ticket sold Tuesday: $25,000 for a courtside seat.


### Look for UM to announce shortly that baseball coach Jim Morris has been given a three-year contract extension, through 2018. Morris guided the Canes to 11 College World Series appearances in his first 15 seasons but none in the past six.

But the UM administration has high confidence in him and knows there are factors beyond his control. Among them: UM’s high tuition hurts baseball recruiting, where only partial scholarships are usually awarded.

By the way, the extension was agreed to before UM was eliminated by Texas Tech in the regionals. 

### Please see the last post for a look at the Heat’s future at point guard and Dolphins chatter.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz


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UM has always had high tuition costs and baseball has flourished in the past at the school. Morris needs to get to work scouring the community for at least a couple of endowments where minority players, etc. can get a full scholarship. This takes hustle and work on his part, which I'm not sure he's willing to do anymore. I know Vanderbilt, with extremely high tuition, has been able to do this with a few of their players. Stanford is doing fine and they have high tuition costs. I'm not completely buying the tuition argument. I don't think Morris deserves a 3 year extension. UM baseball has fallen a long way the last 5 years with the exception of this year. There are a lot of bright, young, hard working coaches that would love to have the UM job.


The UM brass showing common sense! Applaud the move! Um fans need to get behind their coaches! Morris has neither forgotten how to coach or recruit. His team won the regular season ACC, Morris not UVA's O'Connor who has won the award 4/5 years, should have won coach of the Year award. A 14 game win streak, 27 of last 30 regular season games, 44 wins, a great recruiting class, ACC Rookie of the year in Collins. Held regional in Miami, 42 year in a row in the tournament. How many of his critics have achieved the level of success and excellence in their profession( if they have one) that Morris has in his chosen profession? Just saying.....What in the world would Miami do if they didn't have all the experts they do who read the Herald?


I don't get it? Why is The U giving Jim Morris a three year extension when his teams haven't been relevant in College Baseball for the last six years?

I agree with the post above, the money issue is just plain stupid and a big excuse to justify the mediocrity that this program has come too. Has Jim Morris become the Larry Coker of baseball?

As a long time fan going back to the Coach Fraser era, it's saddens me to see what has become of this once proud program.

I will always support The U's sports programs but this new contract leaves me scratching my head and saying what was Blake James thinking?


Well, 3 more years of sleepwalking, stale and mediocrity of no Super Regional Wins, Omaha appearances or any shot a National Championships. We just lost 4 or 5 of our best Pitchers and another 2-3 position players. It'll just be a 3 year extension of the terrible fielding, awful situational hitting and overall lackluster team execution that we've seen the last 6 years. We'll be young for 3 more years.

Cane Baseball and Football... What once was, is no more.

We've simply settled for Shalala's All-Sports mediocrity plan and we deserve the results that we get on all playing fields in the years to come.


thats sad that UM baseball mostly gives only partial scholarships.


Heat is done. Thank God we have a quality team like the Miami Dolphins.


What an ignorant post by rboud. The amount of scholarship money is limited by the NCAA, not by UM fundraising. As tuition costs skyrocket, talented kids in Florida can choose to go to some very good state schools, where the amount they need to kick in for tuition is much lower than what is required at UM. This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for all private schools, and UM's academic reputation is not quite as high as that of Vandy, Duke, or Stanford, where some rich kids (who are also good at baseball) can choose to attend without financial hardship. But USC is feeling the heat, where there are a lot of good (and inexpensive) baseball schools near that offer alternatives that were not as attractive 20 years ago.


I don't get it? Why is The U giving Jim Morris a three year extension when his teams haven't been relevant in College Baseball for the last six years?

Posted by: Jose | 06/11/2014 at 08:25 AM


hello ...
hello ...
anybody home ...
mcfly ...
the University of Miami won the ACC regular season ...
returned to the postseason for a record 42nd straight time ...
no small feat ...
how soon they forget ...



I know that this is the time of year, when custer's cavalry starts looking for scalps, and the most coveted is the one on the head of jim morris.

yes, we had some problems, but i am not convinced it is (or was) 100% JM's fault.

of course, he's 100% responsible for everything that happens in the program, but that's not the same as saying the deflation was his "fault." and indeed, he did get these guys playing well enough where 2 weeks ago, we ALL thought we were heading back to Omaha.

should he stay longer, or think about a near term or intermediate term graceful transition? not sure, but i think, barring some scandal or complete meltdown of the program, 3 's there until he decides he isn't.

the reality is, there are so many structural issues pushing headwinds into the face of the UM baseball program, most of which are just not in JM's, Blake's or Donna Shalala's control. what is impressive is that JM has been able to keep the team competitive in light of those conditions. and believe me, the next coach, when that happens, is not going to have an easier time of it. those headwinds won't dissipate simply because JM retires and a new coach takes control:

* tuition at UM won't suddenly drop to $6,500 a year like it is at the state schools in Florida

* the NCAA won't increase scholarships to where they were 10+ years ago

* the professional baseball teams won't spend less money to sign HS recruits (in 1990, the signing bonus for the no. 1 pick in the amateur draft was $350,000. last year, it was $6,350,000)

* the academic demands and entrance requirements of UM won't be getting lighter, which means finding academic scholarships to fill gaps in athletic scholarships is much more difficult than it is at other schools

* as the costs of operations continue to increase, and UM obviously cannot rely upon state funding, the program will not suddenly become such a money maker for the athletic department that it can be both self sustaining AND fund a significant portion of its capital needs

* the university will not suddenly relocate to a town where it has no meaningful competition for fans' entertainment dollar or leisure time

etc, etc., etc.,

putting aside all of that, and just focusing on what he has done on the field, would another coach have done better over the past half a dozen years? maybe, maybe not. you could have brought back ron fraser and skip bertman, and i'm not sure the past 6 years would have been all that different. at least, not materially better where you would conclude that JM needed to be replaced.

i don't think JM is going to hang around just for the sake of talking to the press like bobby bowden did, or holding onto his job so he could have an office to take naps and a place to go to lunch like bear bryant. in my opinion, 3 is just not that kind of guy. he's more introspective and self aware, and he will know when it is time to pass the bats to the next gentleman.

the bigger questions for me are: (1) when he will make that decision?, and (2) what is the plan for the transition and hiring the next coach?

as amazing as this job is, it won't be an easy hire. not counting the unfortunate Brad Kelly detour for one season, we have had two coaches in the last FIFTY years. think about that. .... It is absolutely astounding. It is not a statistic or data point that can be duplicated at this level, anywhere, particularly when you consider the success of the UM baseball brand and the franchise that has been built.

both Fraser and JM, for the vast majority of their tenure at UM, were arguably the best coaches in all of college baseball. nobody else lasted as long as they did at their schools, and did not realize the success they did for as long as they did. Not Cliff Gustafson, (flamed out at the end), not Mike Martin (no rings), not Gene Stephenson, not even Augie Garrido. you could argue Skip Bertman was the equal of Fraser and Morris, and I would agree. but he was basically a "UM guy" anyways. and i would think mike marquess' name would be worthy of debate, but be that as it may, even if marquess and bertman and garrido were as good, they weren't "better" than Fraser or JM.

the next coach at UM needs to be extra special, because if he goes 11-9 in his first 20 games, it is going to hit the fan like you cannot imagine. We'll all be looking down the left field line at the coach's box, thinking .... "where's 3???"
-- Random Walk

be careful what U wish for ...




Miami Hurricanes' star running back CRASHES superfan's wedding with the mascot!



Right, those are the excuses that people in Miami have to make for the terrible fans, but the fact remains that the fans are terrible

Posted by: dUh | 06/08/2014 at 12:30 PM


the red-hot Heat have sold out every game since LeBron James defiantly declared "I'm going to take my talents to South Beach" ...
meanwhile another savvy superstar free-agent wants to plant his flag in the magic city ...
David Beckham can also go almost anywhere else with his high-stakes gamble but the irresistible allure of Miami beckons ...



Beckham needs revenue in the form of tenants, events & naming rights to pay down debt & turn a profit for his investors ...
he also needs voter approval for his land grab ...
who helps achieve both objectives ...
I want U to humor me ...
for argument's sake ...
ballot prospects appear uncertain ...
and investors can't stand uncertainty ...
and in the wake of the marlins' fiasco -- residents on the hook for $2B over 30 years to fund a ballpark few attend -- it's not implausible ...
knowing at a moment's notice Donna Shalala can marshal voter turnout en masse among U fans, U employees, U alumni & U students to make or break your life's ambition ...
who needs whom ...


Posted by: green | 06/01/2014 at 02:27 PM


David Beckham, who was in Miami over the weekend campaigning for a Major League Soccer stadium, may have to make return trips now that a new Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald poll shows Miami-Dade County voters are evenly divided over the proposal.

By 45-43 percent, Miami-Dade voters said they were against the retired English footballer’s idea to build a 20,000-seat stadium on the downtown waterfront
-- Miami Herald 6/9/14

I wonder if my prescient post motivated the paper to commission this foreboding poll ...
ya never know who reads you ...



Have given up on Cane baseball at this point. Morris stinks and has ruined that program the same way Coker and Shannon destroyed football at UM.


Miami-Dade County would pay the Miami Dolphins millions of dollars for hosting major sporting events in exchange for owner Stephen Ross delivering a $350 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez sent the proposed deal to county commissioners Tuesday night for a vote early next week, bringing to a close a five-year effort by Ross to win public help for a stadium upgrade.
-- Miami Herald


since none of us are privy to backroom dealings ...
I wonder if the threatened loss of the Canes lit a fire under the phins owner ...
regardless ...
thank you, daddy warbucks ...



Love to have Wiley Rat Riley squirming
Go Spurs Go


Posted by: green | 06/11/2014 at 02:06 PM

douchebag, no one needs you copying and pasting other people's posts from Hurricanes blogs here.



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