LEBRON JAMES THROWS UP AN INSANE STAT LINE; BROOKLYN BLOWS A CHANCE TO STEAL A WIN

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Sometimes we wish the NBA was more like the NFL. In football, you must bring your best effort or you’ll be left looking like Mark Sanchez on Monday Night Football, getting your skills compared to Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite. But in basketball, the best teams can drift through games, and then turn up the intensity when they absolutely have to. It happened in Miami last night during the Heat’s 103-92 win over Minnesota. Midway through the third, the Wolves had led most of the way before LeBron (22 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, four blocks… the fifth time in the last 15 years he’s put up those numbers. No one else has done it.) had passes on two consecutive possessions that almost had us spitting out our dinner. First, he threw a backdoor lob to Chris Bosh, who finished with a reverse. Then, James caught a pass on the break and in one motion without coming down out of the air, flicked it forward with a bounce pass to Dwyane Wade (24 points) for a layup. Miami rolled the rest of the way … Kevin Love (18 boards) outrebounded Miami by himself in the first quarter. For a while, he was hitting the glass so aggressively we thought he might challenge the 30-rebound mark, helping to make up for the fact that no one notices he’s shooting 36 percent this year … Toronto ran away from the Cavs in the second half of their 113-99 win. Jose Calderon (23 points, six dimes) was obviously reading DimeMag.com yesterday. After we called him out for basically not being a starting-caliber guard, the Spaniard went out and outplayed Kyrie Irving (23 points, seven assists) for long portions of the game … Speaking of the site, Dion Waiters told us yesterday in his new Rookie Journal that before he got hurt, he hadn’t been attacking the rim like he wanted to. Last night, he had a finish that made whoever originally made the Wade/Waiters comparison look like a genius … Behind 21 a piece from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, as well as Joakim Noah‘s second-career triple-double (11 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists), the Bulls destroyed Boston, 100-89. Nate Robinson was a beast off the bench with five treys and 18 points, and after he drained a triple from somewhere outside of the arena in the fourth quarter, Stacey King said Nate has the “nerves of a cat burglar.” READ MORE

MIAMI HEAT STARS CHRIS BOSH AND DWYANE WADE HOST ‘THE ART OF BASKETBALL’ EXHIBIT

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Miami Heat stars took their efforts off the court and scored big in the name of art for the city’s annual Art Basel. Ballers Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh hosted the “The Art of Basketball: Heat Wave” where local artists mingled with sports and art enthusiasts to witness a collection of original pieces inspired by the Heat’s Championship victory and creative portraits of NBA favorites, such as Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Several murals incorporated actual NBA backboards supplied by Spalding. “It’s a great event. I’ve been a part of it for the last two years. It’s grown in Miami…and it’s a platform,” Wade tells VIBE. “I’m glad we were able to bring the kids from the community here and showcase their own talents.” Featured artists include Mr. Brainwash, URNY, Sofia Maldonado, The Dude Company, Skewville, Shiro, Cern, Rene Gagnon, Joe Iurato, Ewok One 5MH, Jack Aguire, David Cooper, Cope2, Chris Stain, Gaia, J. Robles, Sero, ECB, Veng, Peat Wollaeger, Junk, Blanco, Bill Fickett and Billi Kid, who is the curator of “Art of Basketball.” The team’s official spinner, DJ Irie, provided the night’s soundtrack.

Catch a re-cap of the event below.

http://www.vibe.com/article/miami-heat-stars-chris-bosh-and-dwyane-wade-host-art-basketball-exhibit

Three-pointers: LeBron James, Heat make light work of Nets in romp

The Miami Heat blew out the Brooklyn Nets 103-73 [RECAP | BOX] at the American Airlines Arena on Wednesday night in the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Heat won all four quarters and quickly turned a solid 9-point halftime lead into a total laugh riot in the third quarter. The Big 3 looked on from the sideline, resting, for most of the fourth quarter. • LeBron James has said that, when planning to attack off the dribble, he concentrates first and foremost on reading the second line of the defense because he is confident he can beat his individual defender off the dribble. Against the Nets, “reading the second line of defense” could also be written as “looking at a wide open key.” The Heat’s much-ballyhooed position-less revolution was an absolute nightmare for the Nets, especially because Brooklyn’s most versatile player, forward Gerald Wallace, was sitting out due to injury. The list of resulting match-up problems for Brooklyn were just endless. The Nets’ traditional big men — center Brook Lopez and power forward Kris Humphries — were forced to follow Chris Bosh and Shane Battier all the way out to the three-point line. Nets guard Keith Bogans, inserted into the starting lineup in place of Wallace, was forced to check either James or Dwyane Wade. Those individual pieces were all problems but the Heat’s genius this season is in its “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” unselfish dynamic on offense, which sees spectacularly quick ball rotations and timely isolation plays to pick on weak defenders which seems to produce an endless stream of wide open shots and easy looks.

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THE NBC TV ANALYST CREW GIVE THEIR NBA 2012-2013 SEASON PREDICATIONS

Tonight the 2012-13 NBA season gets underway tonight with most of the attention being centered around the debut of the revamped Los Angeles Lakers and the defending champion Miami Heat receiving their championship rings. The King with a ring? Yes, haters. There are tons of questions as we start the season: WillLeBron James be able to build upon his year-long stretch of dominance? Who is going to come out on top in the West? Also, what about the new flopping rule, what effect will that have on games? To answer those questions and more we spoke with NBA TV’s analysts to break down what fans should expect this season. NBA TV’s Brent BarryGreg AnthonyChris WebberDennis Scott, and Steve Smith gave us their predictions and insight on which teams are sleeper candidates, who their favorites are for the Rookie of the Year,MVP, and of course the 2012-13 NBA Champions. READ MORE ON THIS STORY