By John Harris |@JHBasketball
Miami red hot from the field, demolish Indiana behind LBJ:
Lebron James finished 2 assists short of a triple double and the Miami Heat shot a franchise playoff high 61.4% from the field in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semi-Final vs the Pacers. The 32-point loss may turn out to be more damaging than a simple swing in momentum in the series as Indiana saw key starters Danny Granger and David West both leave the game with injuries. Neither returned but both said afterwards they expect to play in Game 6. Apart from Miami’s dominance, this one will be remembered for some hard hits by both teams. Tyler ‘Psycho T’ Hansbrough started the party by cutting Wade above the eye on a hard foul, before Udonis Haslem retaliated with a Flagrant 1 on Hansbrough. The biggest shot (and make no mistake, there’s a suspension coming) was Heat reserve Center Dexter Pittman wiping out Lance Stephenson with a vicious elbow to the neck area. Stephenson was caught on camera early in the series making a ‘choke’ gesture after Lebron missed a free throw late on.
“I can’t believe my team went soft. S-O-F-T. I’m disappointed. I never thought it would happen.” – Larry Bird (Indiana GM)
NBA 2012 All-Rookie Teams announced:
Rookie of the year Kyrie Erving and Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio headlined the NBA All-Rookie first team in a class where many first-year players have stepped up and made immediate impacts with their teams. Joining Erving and Rubio were:
Kenneth Faried (Forward, Denver Nuggets), Klay Thompson (Forward, Golden State Warriors), Iman Shumpert (Guard, New York Knicks), Brandon Knight (Guard, Detroit Pistons) and Kawhi Leonard (Forward, San Antonio Spurs).
The teams are chosen by all 30 NBA Head Coaches, who choose 5 players for the first team and 5 for the second team, regardless of position.
Those players selected to the All-Rookie second team were:
Chandler Parsons (Forward, Houston Rockets), Isaiah Thomas (Guard, Sacramento Kings), MarShon Brooks (Guard, New Jersey Nets), Derrick Williams (Forward, Minnesota Timberwolves), Tristan Thompson (Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers)
Coaching legend Jerry Sloan ‘interested’ by NBA bench vacancies:
After a short break from basketball, Jerry Sloan has decided he wants to get back in the game. The 26-year veteran — who abruptly left Utah in the middle of the 10-11 season after problems with Deron Williams — has expressed an interest in returning to the bench, calling the current crop of vacancies (in Orlando and Charlotte) ‘intriguing’.
“[The Magic] would be very intriguing. But they would have to be interested in me. You don’t know what direction that they’re going to go. You have to see what happens with their staff. I’d have to weigh the pluses and minuses. But I’d be interested in listening.”
- Jerry Sloan
Both clubs could certainly use Sloan, who is third all-time on the wins list with 1, 221 victories with the Bulls and Jazz. Orlando are in need of someone who will come in and steady the ship and try to persuade Dwight Howard to stick around. Sloan is known for his aversion to drama so it’s possible he may not relish dealing with the hype around Howard.
The Bobcats desperately need something. It’s a project team but also represents the chance to work with long-time nemesis Michael Jordan and potentially develop the talent of certain #1 draft pick Anthony Davis (should the Bobcats win the lottery). Wherever he chooses, the NBA will definitely be a richer place having Sloan roaming the sidelines once again.
Can Miami close out the Pacers or will it go to a pivotal Game 7? Agree with the NBA’s rookie selections? Who needs Sloan the most? Let us know in the comments!
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