Tweet of the Day: LeBron James Acknowledges Wakeup Call

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Not for the faint of heart among two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat fans, Wednesday night—after a two-day trip that included a stop by the White House—the “Heatles” fell to the Washington Wizards in disastrous fashion. The loss was their third straight.

Many have insinuated that the Heat have been coasting through the early part of the season. Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Wizards, reigning MVP LeBron James addressed the coasting talk, “We’ll see Wednesday how I’m coasting. You’ll see the numbers I’ll put up on Wednesday. Just watch.”

Famous last words? Pride before the fall? Pick your cliched idiom.

The Heat fell behind 43-18 in the first quarter alone, giving up a lead as high as 34 before attempting to flip their proverbial switch. They drew within nine before finally falling 97-114.

10 Fast Facts from Last Night’s Action — Alec Burks Sets Career-High, Toronto Remains Hot, Spurs First to 30 Wins

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DeMarDeRozanSH1The 2013-14 NBA regular season continued on Monday, January 13, 2014. There were seven games featuring 14 teams, and each offered their own form of glory.

Here’s everything that you need to know about last night’s action.

Anthony, Cousins win Player of the Week honors

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Anthony - JamesNEW YORK – The New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and the Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week  for games played Monday, Jan. 6, through Sunday, Jan. 12.

Anthony led the Knicks to a 3-0 week which included wins over the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers. He ranked second in the conference in scoring (27.0 ppg) and steals (2.33 spg) and third in minutes (39.2 mpg). Anthony connected on 12-of-24 field goals en route to 29 points, and added eight rebounds and five assists on Jan. 9, during New York’s 102-92 win over Miami.

Cousins helped the Kings to a 3-0 week which included wins over the Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers. He ranked seventh in the conference in scoring (25.0 ppg), second in rebounding (12.7 rpg) and eighth in minutes (37.2 mpg). Cousins posted a point-rebound double-double in all three of the Kings’ games, and now has a double-double in 10 consecutive contests.

(RELATED: Is DeMarcus Cousins an All-Star?)

Here is a recap of the week for Anthony and Cousins:

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Jan. 7 vs. Detroit: Posted 34 points, four rebounds and four steals in an 89-85 win over the Pistons.
Jan. 9 vs. Miami: Collected 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists during a 102-92 win over the Heat.
Jan. 11 @ Philadelphia: Tallied 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as the Knicks topped the 76ers 102-92.

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

Jan. 7 vs. Portland: Tallied 35 points and 13 rebounds in a 123-119 win over the Trail Blazers.
Jan. 10 vs. Orlando: Scored 24 points and added 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals in a 103-83 win over the Magic.
Jan. 12 vs. Cleveland: Posted 16 points and 11 rebounds during a 124-80 win over the Cavaliers.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, Denver’s Ty Lawson, Detroit’s Josh Smith, Los Angeles Clippers’ Darren Collison and Blake Griffin, Memphis’ Mike Conley, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.

How to Beat the Heat: Opposing Players Spill the Secrets

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lebron-wade1How you gonna beat the Miami Heat?

For the last three seasons, that was the most important question for the other 29 NBA teams — and it remains the case this season, too.

But the Knicks and Nets did it on successive nights, which shows it is not impossible.

PODCAST: Will the Knicks trade Carmelo Anthony?

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Carmelo AnthonyCarmelo Anthony has 30 million reasons to remain with the New York Knicks after he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

But if the Knicks don’t have his word that he’ll re-sign with them for five years at a max salary, can they afford to take the risk that he might leave? That is the question owner Jim Dolan and his tight-lipped lieutenants are asking themselves as New York struggles through the first half of the season, entering tonight’s game against the Miami Heat as the 11th-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, tied in the win column with the overachieving Philadelphia 76ers and the underachieving Cleveland Cavaliers.

Across the East River, the Brooklyn Nets just won their fourth straight game, preventing the Golden State Warriors from becoming the first team in NBA history to go undefeated on a road trip of seven games or more.

So while the Nets are making positive headlines, the Knicks are suffering. They go into tonight’s nationally televised game against the Miami Heat as the league laughingstock (and 6 1/2-point underdogs), and they don’t gave the fallback of having a chance to win the draft lottery because they traded away their 2014 pick in the deal to acquire Anthony.

Is it time to declare the Anthony era a failure?

And if so, is it time to get what they can for ‘Melo rather than risk losing him for nothing to a team such as the Lakers would will be able to offer him a max contract?

I discussed that scenario — along with several other topics from around the NBA — in this interview with Bob Kemp on SportsZone 1060 in Phoenix. Enjoy.

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