Good morning, Boston Celtics fans!
Today, I dare to dream. It may seem highly unlikely, I know, but I am going to spend the majority of my Thursday dreaming of a San Antonio victory in tonight’s Game Four of the NBA Finals.
Tall task? Certainly. LeBron James and company will be incredibly motivated to make sure the Heat earn at least one win at home, but that won’t stop me from willing the stars align for a Spurs’ W.
If you’re in need of a complete breakdown of what each team has to do to win tonight, head over to NBA.com and read up! For those of you who enjoy hearing Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal talk, head over to NBA.com and watch the video preview of tonight’s game. And whle I’m sharing videos, here’s one from SI.com that ponders whether it’s time to bench Miami point guard Mario Chalmers.
One point guard who definitely does not need to get benched in San Antonio’s Tony Parker. More than anyone on the Spurs, Parker will determine whether or not the Spurs can steal a second-straight road game in these Finals . . . but he’ll need to continue being a pass-first point guard in order to do so:
Pop had actual words for Tony Parker, as we heard near the end of our “Sounds of the Finals” video(above).
“Great leadership,” Popovich told his point guard. “You didn’t get 30. You used great leadership and solid, solid play with the ball and your teammates. Great job.”
“I have to trust my teammates in this series,” Parker responded.
“Exactly,” Popovich said.
Parker was the Finals MVP the last time the Spurs won the championship, having torched poor Daniel Gibson for 24.5 points on 57 percent shooting in the 2007 Finals. If San Antonio gets two more wins before the Miami Heat get three in this series, Parker won’t be winning another MVP.
But he might be the Spurs’ most important player.
Onto NBA Rumors! So far, the majority of the talk around the league has centered on Kevin Love, despite the fact that he won’t be a free agent until 2015. Now, Carmelo Anthony’s name is starting to get tossed around a little, with one rumor suggesting that the Miami Heat themselves will be looking to lure the high-scoring forward down to South Beach:
Sources told ESPN.com that Heat officials and the team’s leading players have already started to explore their options for creating sufficient financial flexibility to make an ambitious run at addingNew York Knicks scoring machine Carmelo Anthony this summer in free agency.
The mere concept would require the star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to all opt out of their current contracts by the end of the month and likely take further salary reductions in new deals that start next season to give Miami the ability to offer Anthony a representative first-year salary. The Heat also are prevented from making any formal contact with Anthony until July 1 and can do so then only if he opts out of the final year of his current contract. Anthony has until June 23 to notify the Knicks of his intentions, according to sources.
I don’t see this scenario panning out, but even if it does, there goes Miami’s defense! Eastern Conference teams should not lose sleep over this.
I leave you this morning with some notes about the Boston Celtics. including a good sign for the future: apparently Rajon Rondo has been working out with some of the younger Celtics’ players at the team’s facility, which is great not only for Rondo’s knee, but for the team as a whole:
Wednesday, Brad Stevens said it’s nice to have the veteran leader around. Per Scott Souza of the MetroWest Daily News:
“I think Rajon, and I’m saying this from my own opinion, I think he’s anxious to be back out there,” Stevens said. “I think he wants to get back out playing. You can tell that from his work ethic. He’s been playing with our small groups a lot in the last eight to 10 days. And that’s not always the case with a guy as seasoned and accomplished as him.”
“I think he looks great, first of all,” Stevens said. “Physically, he looks fantastic. That really sets a tone having him come in. That really is helpful.”