Well, order was restored after Miami Heat security and the Miami police handled the potential streaker. Apparently, there might be a $10,000 connection to hip-hop artist Rick Ross, who issued the 10k challenge to anyone bold enough to streak across the court wearing only MMG (Maybach Music Group) T-shirt.
Making this streaker story even more bizarre is that supposedly the man was, well, rotund. Plump. Husky. OK, they said the streaker was fat. There, I said it.
But back to the game…
The Miami Heat spanked the Indiana Pacers, 115-83, to take a 3-2 lead in their second-round, best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series.
With Miami’s seeming return to dominance it now appears the NBA is steaming toward a San Antonio-Miami Finals.
The now-invigorated Heat seem ready to provide a knockout punch to the newly-hobbled Pacers in Thursday’s Game 6.
Indiana forward Danny Granger has a left ankle injury and fellow forward David West has a left knee injury. Granger, who has drawn more attention with his fake tough-guy antics than with his play, is the bigger concern.
Still, it seems even good health can’t save Indy now. Miami superstars LeBron James (30 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) and Dwyane Wade (28 points) are in the groove. That’s the Pacers’ biggest fear. Indy’s second-biggest fear is Miami’s supporting cast might be following the Big Two.
Heat forward Shane Battier (13 points) got things going first when he nailed three 3-pointers in the first quarter.
Forward Udonis Haslem had 10 points and six rebounds (and a hard foul against Tyler Hansbrough that might be upgraded to a flagrant-2). That followed his Game 4 output of 14 points and four rebounds.
Guard Mario Chalmers had eight points and a career-best 11 rebounds.
Center Joel Anthony, Miami’s most consistent player off the bench in this postseason, had seven points, five rebounds and four blocks.
Many teams will object to that Miami-San Antonio NBA Finals projection. Indiana. Boston. Philadelphia. Oklahoma City.
But that’s the way things are looking right now. The Spurs are on an 18-game win streak and the Thunder, which has lost to Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers the previous two seasons in the playoffs, haven’t yet showed they’ve arrived.
Heat-Spurs. NBA Finals. Say it with me. It’s happening.
Even hobbled forward Chris Bosh, the man with the lower abdominal strain and no projected return date, likes what he’s been seeing from his Heat teammates.
“It’s been great what they’ve done with what they have,” said Bosh, who was hijacked as he walked through the lockerroom after the game.
“We were a good team, but just to see how well they’ve been playing has been great.”
Somehow, Miami has righted what seemed to be a sinking ship. Actually, there’s no “somehow” to it. Dwyane Wade started playing as though he’s Dwyane Wade in the second half of Game 4, and all of a sudden the Heat is back to being a title favorite.
And they’re showing some nastiness.
In Tuesday’s Game 5, elbows flew, blood flowed, flagrant fouls were issued. On Wednesday, expect fines and suspensions to be handed out to Haslem, Miami center Dexter Pittman and Hansbrough.
Game 5 was that type of game. Hansbrough hammered Wade. That earned a flagrant-1 for Hansbrough. It probably should have been a flagrant-2, which carries an automatic ejection.
“Just an ugly cut,” Wade said of the resulting gash above his right eye.
Regardless, Hansbrough’s shot was “uncalled for,” according to Wade.
In retaliation, Haslem, Miami’s enforcer, hammered Hansbrough. Flagrant-1 on Haslem. That definitely should have been a flagrant-2.
And then, in the most mindless act of the night, Pittman, the seldom-used second-year player, possibly in an effort to impress his veteran teammates, leveled Indiana’s Lance Stephenson, who infamously flashed the international “choke” sign when James missed free throws late in Game 3.
Pittman should be suspended. He should have been ejected. The elbow he threw at Stephenson was a cheap shot.
One more thing about Tuesday’s game. The Heat dominated the boards, 49-35. The rule for this series has been the team that wins the rebounding battle wins the game. It represents so many things for Miami – effort, more possessions, second-chance points, the ability to start the fastbreak/transition offense.
Tuesday’s version of the Miami Heat looked like the pre-All-Star break version of the Miami Heat, that team that had an eight-game win streak and effectively ended Linsanity.
“We’re in a flow,” James said. “We’re in a good flow right now.”
So was the streaker, until Heat security pounced on him before he reached the court.
The Heat Dancers got an eyeful of this man. Well, some of them did.
“It all happened so fast,” one of the Heat Dancers said, adding they didn’t really see anything because the guy was wearing a long shirt.
Another Heat Dancer (hey, I had to talk to them so I could offer you a complete story!) said she heard the streaker tell police he was doing this as a fraternity prank.
Heat security, to their credit, was all over the guy. Literally. They jumped on him and stopped him from public consumption. Then Miami police took over, presumably taking the man to jail.
Haslem, a Miami native, was stunned.
“Some dude tried to do what?!” he asked.
Supposedly the man was acting on a dare/bet from Ross, who offered $10,000 to anyone who ran across the court yelling the release date – June 26 — of his Self Made, Vol. 2 album.
The catch, according to the terms laid out by Ross, is you have to do it during the NBA Finals. Tuesday’s game wasn’t the NBA Finals.
But when a streaker runs across the court during one of the Heat-Spurs NBA Finals games in Miami, wearing a MMG T-shirt and yelling “June 26!” you’ll know the deal.
Chris Perkins is a regular contributor to SheridanHoops.com, covering the NBA and the Miami Heat. His columns regularly appear every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter.