Playoffs Day 24: Bird calls Pacers “soft” after blowout loss

Pacers Bird Basketball

Larry Bird is entitled to his opinion. I just wish he’d explain it a little more clearly. Bird told Indianapolis Star beat writer Mike Wells that his team went “soft” in Game 5, which is a curious choice of words to say the least. Did Bird want the team’s self-described “smashmouth” style of play to become “smash-face?” Because Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman certainly played smash-face basketball, and the opinion here is that both will be sitting out Game 6 in Indiana


Kyrie Irving only unanimous selection to All-Rookie Team

kyrie irving

NEW YORK — The only player to be unanimously selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie Team is the Rookie of the Year, point guard Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Joining Irving (58 points) and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie point guard Ricky Rubio (49 points) on the All-Rookie First Team are Denver’s Kenneth Faried (46 points), Golden State’s Klay Thompson (43 points), New York’s Iman Shumpert (40 points), San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (40 points) and Detroit’s Brandon Knight (40 points). (The three-way tie for fifth necessitated a


Exclusive: Howard wants trade despite Magic ousting Van Gundy, Smith

Dwight Howard]

// Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando, the events of yesterday notwithstanding, a source close to Howard tells On the day coach Stan Van Gandy and general manager Otis Smith lost their jobs with the Magic, a source who has spoken with Howard recently said the All-Star center desperately wants to be traded prior to the start of next season. And although the Brooklyn Nets are still considered the frontrunner, “it is not going to be a one-horse race,” the source said,


Sheridan: Lakers should not be such huge underdogs tonight

// The Los Angeles Lakers are 7 1/2 point underdogs tonight for Game 5 at Oklahoma City, which means Vegas respects them about as much as they respected the Clippers in the past week — not much. Me? I do not dispense gambling advice, and for all I know this will be an epic crash-and-burn night — especially if Pau Gasol goes soft, Kobe Bryant goes cold or Metta World Peace throws the ball to Steve Blake on the final play. But


Playoffs Day 22: Spurs sweep Clippers; Heat even series with Pacers

Tim Duncan

Blake Griffin now has plenty of time to tell Hugo: “Play funk.” About six weeks to be precise. That’s the next time Griffin will be back to work, when he and teammate Chris Paul arrive in Las Vegas for Team USA training camp. (And guess what: They have to get ready to play Tony Parker (France) and Manu Ginobili (Argentina) again, this time in the first round of the London Olympics.) Griffin and Paul played well Sunday night in their last playoff


Playoffs Day 20: Lakers, Sixers gain comeback victories


My dad likes to turn off the TV when a game is not going the way he wants. He does this all the time with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Green Bay Packers, his teams, and when he is feeling a little extra bold he will keep the game on the screen but mute the sound. Friday night was a lesson in how you don’t want to be like my dad. If you are a Lakers fan, you might have said “I


Sheridan: Casting blame on both Wade and Spoelstra


// It was completely uncharacteristic for Dwyane Wade to snap at his coach the way he did last night. Part of Spoelstra’s job is to remind his players to get back on defense instead of admiring their bricks while the ball is in mid-air, and that seems to be one of the key things that precipitated the public clash between player and coach. As inexcusable as Wade’s outburst was (you don’t show up your coach like that, ever), what about looking


Playoffs Day 19: Epic meltdown for Heat; Spurs defeat Clippers


Late yesterday after noon I tweeted a link to our preview column on Thursday night’s games, asking (rhetorically) whether we would see another epic meltdown from LeBron James and the Heat — you know, something resembling going the final 2:41 without scoring a single point, or missing 15 of 16 3-pointers as they had done in Game 2. The tweet was not well received by Heat broadcaster Tony Fiorentino, who was coaching Gus and Ray Williams at Mount Vernon high school