Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals – Wednesday, May 18, 2011: The Heat Udonis Haslem The Bulls

(Charlie Arbogast/AP)

Udonis was the deciding factor. His energy gave the Heat just what they needed

You watched the game. You know what went down. It’s later in the afternoon so this convo can take another turn. You saw Udonis Haslem basically say Taj Gibson, you’re no Udonis. Who do you think you are? Oh yeah… Udonis injured his foot and missed 77 games. His injury was a big reason why most fans said the Heat did not have the players outside of the LeBron, DWade and Bosh to get a championship thisyear. All that is out the window. “He definitely gets the game ball tonight,” James said after the Heat beat the Bulls 85-75 to even the series 1-1 and gain home court advantage. “He came in with his energy and effort rebounding, finishing plays around the basket, made some shots when they were making a run in the third quarter that really helped us.”

The thing about the Heat is you really have no shot to stop them in a 7 game series. LeBron and Wade are too good. They’ve carried teams by themselves. Wade is a Finals MVP. We all know what LeBron did in Cleveland. Are they unbeatable? No, of course not but the way the NBA is constructed currently the league is too young to deal with so much skill. Then there’s Dallas…but that’s another story for another time.

Back to Udonis. If you remember, he was a huge cog in the Heat’s success. You remember that baseline say…14 foot jumper, the put back dunks, the tenacious defense, the fearless rebounding. Udonis did whatever it took to win the game. Crazy as it sounds and with all the money that was thrown around last summer, he was the Heat’s insurance policy after getting rid of the very talented Michael Beasley (Like my manager/agent/brother/friend said to me last night, could you imagine if this team had Beasley and Dorrell Wright? Hoppers and Wright’s shooting ability?). How many players have you ever seen come off injury and give you what he’s always provided the next game he gets a shot? I’m not talking about a regular season game. We’re talking a pivotal playoff game. The Heat lose last night and the pressure is on. Of course it wasn’t all Udonis but he was the key to the engine.

An engine that threw everything at Derrick Rose. The Heat kept the Bull Wonder out of the lane. Excellent team defense. Bibby, Chalmers and to a lesser extent Wade have no shot at stopping Pooh but funneling him to the second wave with no true knowledge where LeBron or Wade is has to be daunting.

With all uncertainty after the Bulls blew out the Heat to the delight of LeBron haters near and far, folks were losing their minds (Big House Gaines very knowledgeable son who was a former Bulls scout during the great years) everywhere. Stephen A. aside, the Bulls love after Game 1 was incredible as if LeBron just won a Boston championship. After the Heat won last night? Nothing. People hate the Heat that much. You all at this site are a different story because there’s a true and genuine ability to dissect the game outside of pandering to an inconsequential emotion. True evaluators, coaches, writes of sport should understand the true difficulty teams will have beating Miami 4 out of 7. There is no coach left, in my opinion, who has the stones to fully map out a game plan to beat the Heat. Phil Jackson is gone. Pop is gone. Doc is gone. You have Tom Thibodeau who actually has done a great job coaching the Bulls in winning COY in his initial season as a head coach. The Bulls don’t have the talent to beat Miami. They have scrappers and is basically the same team sans Rose that Scott Skiles had who couldn’t score. Seriously, tell me who besides Rose is actually talented. Deng is your best example. Noah runs on infinite steam and that allows him to do everything. No diss to Noah at all. He’s one of my favorite players. I don’t know how the Bulls won 58 games. They play GREAT defense but have no scoring talent. Unless LeBron has another bad game or Bosh scores 30 and they can’t win when he does, this series is over. Who is gonna step up on the playoff road if Pooh has a off game? An old school team would punk these Bulls and that’s where I’m speaking from…the old school. Miami is actually letting the Bulls off the hook. LeBron is allowing Deng to guard him…despite his two nice offensive performances. How many pounds does he outweigh him again? Bully that dude…

Neither team actually runs plays consistently so what is really the game plan? Carlisle and Brooks (eh Cheeks) we’ll get into as the playoffs move forward. On the same hand, could you imagine if the Heat ran the triangle? My goodness. The efficiency level of an already sound team would be incredible. If not the triangle, just run a couple of plays outside of pick and rolls. (Pick and roll rant coming) I’m so tired of pick and rolls. The league has become lazy. I hated it when Utah ran it with John Stockton and Karl Malone. I hate it when my daughter’s AAU team runs it or their opposition or the closest YMCA or cats breaking a sweat in Senior leagues. Just STOP. Please. What are the kids going to learn. Ok I’m done now but my main point in all this is it’s mind boggling pundits everywhere are picking a team with no experience to defeat a team with so much to lose who everyone and their Momma hates. Again, when the Heat win the championship, what are you going to do? Look, do yourself a huge favor and just watch the series and enjoy good basketball. After all, the actual game is what it’s about right? Right?

Game 2: Miami Heat (85) @ Chicago Bulls (75); The series is tied 1-1

TNT’s coverage of the 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Finals continues on Sunday, May 22 at 8:30 p.m. (ET)

“Quote of the Day”

TNT Reporter Craig Sager: “Do you feel like you’ve taken control of the series now?”

LeBron James: “No, it’s just starting.”


Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber

Webber on Miami center Jamaal Magloire playing ahead of Zydrunas Ilgauskus: “Ilgauskus is a better offensive player. Ilgauskus is a better defensive player. And seeing how both of these players can only give you a little bit, Ilgauskus can give you a little more.”

Smith on Miami changing its lineup: “It just says how little things become big things. As good as Magloire played in the first game, he didn’t make the impact. Big Z might make the impact. The worst that he [Ilgauskus] can do is have the same impact. It think you have to try it [suit up Ilgauskus].”

Johnson asking Barkley how this Chicago Bulls team compares defensively to the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls: “This team [2011 Chicago Bulls] does not compare. First of all, that Bulls [Jordan’s Bulls] team had two players who could play defense. The greatest player [Jordan] and the greatest defender I’ve ever seen in Scottie Pippen. Horace Grant was a good defender but it doesn’t compare.

Johnson: “That team [Jordan’s Bulls] is better?”

Barkley: “No. This team [2011 Bulls] is a better defensive team. There were only two guys on those teams that…I love Steve Kerr but he wasn’t a stopper. I love John Paxson but he wasn’t a stopper. They had Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan who were the two best defenders and Dennis [Rodman] and Horace [Grant] but this team [2011 Bulls], top to bottom with all their guys are better because of two guys Noah and Gibson. They can guard 1s, 2s and 3s.”

Smith: “In this era, this [2011 Bulls] is the best defensive team.”

Game 2: Miami Heat (85) @ Chicago Bulls (75); The series is tied 1-1

Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) with Craig Sager, reporting.

Kerr on Miami’s collective frame of mind tonight: “It’s all about ball movement and getting some motion offensively for Miami.”

Miller on what Chicago has to do tonight: “Rose and Noah have to set the tone for the [Chicago] defense.”

Kerr on Miami’s lack of bench: “I agree with Erik Spoelstra that his team is a very active, athletic team. I don’t think his bench is. When the two teams go to their respective benches, the energy and athleticism, there is a dramatic shift.”

Miller: Are the Heat being stubborn by not playing Ilgauskus and Erick Dampier? “Eric Spoelstra feels like their not quick enough to keep Noah, Luol Deng and Gibson off the offensive boards. They’re being stubborn. They don’t want to show weakness from Game 1 by saying ‘they should’ve been activated.’”

Kerr on Miami’s match ups: “Spoelstra just likes the matchup with Boozer and Magloire. To me it just shows the lack of depth and the problems Miami has.”

Miller on what Miami needs tonight after a mild start in the game: “You need superhuman efforts from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and we haven’t seen that in a game-and-a-half.”

Kerr on how Miami has been able to succeed in the playoffs: “Miami has survived throughout these playoffs on free throws. They have scored fewer field goals than their opponents, fewer three-point field goals, they’ve made more turnovers, fewer assists but offensively they really haven’t been great. But from the free-thow line they just kill you.”

Miller on Kyle Korver as a key to Chicago’s outside game: “They are searching for Korver to get going. That’s the last component to this team that has struggled with its outside shooting.”

Kerr to Miller: “Do you agree with what Charles [Barkley] has been saying that [Dallas Mavs forward] Dirk Nowitzki is the best player in the NBA?”

Miller: “It’s hard for me to turn down Kobe Bryant or LeBron James but offensively he’s certainly the most skilled player.”

Kerr: “I would argue that he [Dirk] is clearly better than Kobe Bryant right now. Kobe was ineffective in that series. Dirk Nowitzki, the way he is playing now, I mean, wow!

**** **** **** ****


Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber

Webber on what Miami has to do in the second half: “They need to be athletic. When these guys [James and Wade] are attacking the rim, nobody in the League can block their shots. This isn’t the most athletic team but they have maybe two of the most athletic guys. The way these two guys go…shake-and-bake…is the way this Miami team will go.”

Barkley naming the greatest “trash talkers” of all time from the “Ask Charles” segment: “The greatest trash talkers ever: Reggie Miller, Gary Payton, Larry Bird, those are the three greatest trash talkers of all-time and I have to put Michael Jordan in there a little bit too.”

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Kerr comments with 6:33 left in the third quarter and the Heat leading by four points: “It feels like the tide has turned.”

Kerr on Miami’s offense tonight in the third quarter: “We’ve seen much better action from the heat offense in the game. They made better cuts, sharper cuts, better picks and they’re getting better looks.”

Kerr commenting on Miller’s observation that Chicago’s Derrick Rose is not able to “finish” tonight like in Game 1: “The speed of the Miami defense has Rose thinking just a little bit on those finishes. Miami’s defense, especially their starting unit is as fast as any in the NBA.”

Kerr on Miami forward reserve Udonis Haslem and his contribution to the Heat tonight: “If Miami wins tonight…he’s the headline.”

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TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Miami Heat forward LeBron James at the end of the game:

James on the performance of teammate Udonis Haslem: “He definitely gets the game ball tonight. He came in with his energy, rebounding, finishing around the basket, making shots when they was making a run and that really helped us.”

Sager: “Do you feel like you’ve taken control of the series now?”

James: “No, it’s just starting.”

**** **** **** ****

Inside the NBA

Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber

Webber on Miami’s ball movement: “Ball movement makes it easier. Don’t take bad shots which lead to fast breaks for the other team.”

Barkley on Dallas Mavs guard Jason Kidd: “People underestimate Jason Kidd. He’s one of the great leaders in our sport.”

Visit Turner Sports online press room. Follow Turner Sports on Twitter @TurnerSportsPR


Player Pos Min FGM-FGA FTM-FTA 3PM-3PA +/- OR Reb A Blk Stl TO PF Pts
L. James F 45:39 12-21 3-7 2-6 +8 3 10 5 0 3 5 3 29
C. Bosh F 42:18 4-8 2-2 0-0 +22 1 8 2 0 0 2 1 10
J. Anthony C 22:28 0-1 0-0 0-0 +16 1 2 1 1 1 2 4 0
D. Wade G 39:54 8-16 8-10 0-0 +19 1 9 2 2 1 1 3 24
M. Bibby G 34:52 1-6 2-2 1-5 +16 0 2 4 1 0 0 3 5
U. Haslem 23:12 5-10 3-3 0-0 -11 3 5 2 1 1 1 3 13
M. Miller 18:18 1-2 0-0 0-1 -11 1 7 1 0 1 0 3 2
M. Chalmers 5:17 0-1 0-0 0-1 -2 0 0 0 1 0 3 3 0
J. Magloire 4:30 1-2 0-0 0-0 -2 0 2 1 0 0 1 3 2
J. Howard 1:45 0-1 0-0 0-0 -3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Jones 1:47 0-0 0-0 0-0 -2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Z. Ilgauskas DNP — INACTIVE
Totals 240 32-68
10 45 18 6 7 15 26 85
Player Pos Min FGM-FGA FTM-FTA 3PM-3PA +/- OR Reb A Blk Stl TO PF Pts
L. Deng F 45:56 5-15 2-2 1-7 -8 2 5 2 0 0 4 3 13
C. Boozer F 26:54 3-10 1-2 0-0 -3 4 8 2 2 2 2 2 7
J. Noah C 31:30 4-9 1-2 0-0 -13 5 8 1 1 1 1 4 9
D. Rose G 41:47 7-23 7-10 0-3 -12 5 6 8 0 1 2 3 21
K. Bogans G 16:24 2-5 0-2 1-4 -9 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 5
T. Gibson 21:06 4-7 0-1 0-0 -7 1 1 0 3 0 0 2 8
K. Korver 17:38 1-7 0-0 1-5 -8 0 4 0 0 0 0 4 3
O. Asik 16:30 0-0 0-1 0-0 +3 0 2 0 1 0 1 2 0
R. Brewer 16:02 2-4 3-4 0-0 +5 0 4 2 0 2 0 0 7
C. Watson 6:13 0-2 2-2 0-1 +2 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2
B. Scalabrine DNP — INACTIVE
Totals 240 28-82
17 41 15 7 6 10 25 75


Officials: Monty McCutchen, Derrick Stafford, Jason Phillips
Attendance: 23,007
Time of Game: 2:35

14 Responses to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals – Wednesday, May 18, 2011: The Heat Udonis Haslem The Bulls”

  1. GrandNubian says:

    Charles Barkley thinks the 2011 Bulls defense is better than the 72-10 Bulls defense? That Bulls team had 3 players on the All defensive 1st team (Jordan, Pippen, Rodman). That team also had Ron Harper and Randy Brown, who many felt could’ve been all-defensive players, but was overshadowed by Jordan & Pippen.

    I’m wondering why Steve Kerr didn’t check his ass….lol.

  2. Jerold Wells Jr says:

    Soooooo I read all of the what ifs and after Game 2 what do we know?

    Haslem changes things on the boards. Closes the gap. Makes Chicago’s advantage a little less significant.

    Chicago’s secondary scorers (Deng/Boozer) and bench (Gibson/Watson et. al) are not the game changers they were in Game 1.

    Wade/James IF THEY’RE ON are enough to beat these Bulls provided Miami gives an A1 defesive effort.

    I may need to go through the posts again but I think Miami’s defense is the one area that isn’t get the just due it deserves. I’m not willing to say it’s over after 2 games because I don’t think either team has given thier best shot yet BUT I believe more in Miami vs the Bulls D than I do in the Bulls vs Miami’s D, if that makes sense.

    Good defense makes it hard for the first option to flourish. So, you have to work through offensive sets, or have enough tricks in the bag to remain effective aside from what you like to do.

    I see that as Wade/James taking jumpers insead of drving, Bosh/Haslem making shots, Miller/James Jones/Mike Bibby stepping up and making plays.

    The inverse would be Rose making jumpers, Boozer/Deng/Noah/Gibson making shots, and the Bulls bench showing up.

    Which do you think is more likely to happen 3 more times? I’m thinking Miami. Outside of Rose, I don’t believe in Chicago on the road

  3. Origin says:

    Once again brotha Mizzo great write up. Coach spo made some great adjustments…..he had wade and lebron crash the boards and gave haslem and mike miller some burn. The heat also had better off the ball movement to start the 1st and 3rd qtrs.

    As I said before the series the heat would take advantage of korver. He is my favorite shooter in the league but he cannot guard wade or lebron. In the 4th qtr the bulls had korver guarding bibby, so coach spo ran pick and roll with wade/bibby or lebron/bibby in order to get korver to switch on wade or lebron.

    After the 1st game I was telling some of my coworkers (who thought the heat were in trouble) that the bulls won’t shoot like that again from down town. Deng was 4-6 from 3 pt range. Deng shooting from down town like that again was as likely as me going to magic city with 75 cents in my pocket and getting a lap dance.

    In saying all of this I still like the Heat changes even though I wouldn’t be surprised if the bulls actually stole one from the heat in Miami.

    I tell you what I am so glad we didn’t get those ticky tack fouls (in these 2 games) that were called in game 1 of the OKC vs. Dallas game.

  4. Origin says:

    Another thing Mizzo is there any question that this team is set up like the old Bulls teams with MJ and Pippen. Wade and Lebron took turns guarding Rose (as I expected) and turned up the pressure defensively as the game wore on.

  5. GrandNubian says:

    I can’t help but wonder if Haslem had played more in game 1 with that same energy and intensity……just wondering…….

  6. Mizzo says:

    O they mimic the Bulls model as if Mike was at the throttle…just with a lot less knowledge…

  7. Origin says:

    GN – You are so right about Haslem…..I wonder the same.

    Oh and Barkley is crazy to say that about this bulls team. They might be the best defensive team in the NBA today, but no way better then the 72-10 bulls team.

  8. Origin says:

    True Mizzo true.

    Lebron is just like Pippen was……….as swiss army knife on the defensive end. Folks forget that he shut down Garnett in gave 5. Coach Spo put Lebron on Garnett and that was all she wrote.

  9. TheLastPoet says:

    Man the love for Miamiat TSF is as stifling as the humidity on South Beach lol!

    I am not of the opinion that James and Wade are just “too good” to lose to the Bulls three more times. In fact, I still don’t believe that they can consistently bully their way to the rim like they did last night and like they do against most teams. Not against this Bulls defense. Nor do I believe they can shoot well enough, consistently, to win three more games.

    On the other hand, as you (Mizzo) pointed out above, the emergence of Haslem is a great equalizer that cancels out nearly all of the Bulls advantages I had written about in previous posts. He had adrenaline stored up from many months of inactivity, and it will be interesting to see if he can sustain that level of production. I have my doubts…

    Anyway, no more long-ass posts from me. Suffice to say that, unlike many of my brothers here, I think this series is far from over and I’m not counting the Bulls out.

  10. Origin says:

    So Van Gundy is trying to read Westbrook’s mind and say that he is having an issue with riding the bench in the 4th qtr.

    ESPN with the normal spin!!!

  11. HarveyDent says:

    @O & Miranda

    Ya’ll letting the Thrashers leave the Durty? Sad, sad, sad….LOL!! Sad that after over a decade that team only had one playoff appearance. Guess the hockey experience is done for in the ATL so I’d better get some sweaters at discount soon.

  12. Ron Glover says:

    TLP, I picked the Bulls in seven.

  13. GrandNubian says:


    I don’t think anyone here is suggesting the series is over. From what I’ve seen, most just think that the Heat will win the series.

    I told mizz a few months ago that I thought the Heat would rep the east in the Finals, but that it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bulls made it. I like both teams. I just want the Heat to win so Lebron can tell all his haters to go f*** themselves…

  14. TheLastPoet says:

    My bad, y’all. I guess Mizz is the only one I’m shakin my head at lol! No worries fam, if the Heat do beat that ass in 5 or 6 games as you predicted, then I’ll show up here in this most exalted corner of the interwebs and take my medicine like a man!