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MIAMI HEAT highlights

March 23, 2014 Updates

James is hurt, tired and frustrated as he waits on this team to get its act back together. And after seeing the two-time defending champion Heat lose for the seventh time in their past 11 games at a time when they’re supposed to be gearing up for another postseason run, enough was enough. “It’s too many excuses; everything is an excuse,” James bristled as he rushed through his postgame session with reporters before fleeing the locker-room scene as other Miami players were still showering. “We do something wrong, it’s an excuse. We don’t get a stop, it’s an excuse. We turn the ball over, it’s an excuse. What we’re doing right now ain’t good enough.” ESPN.com

Yes, that represents a particularly tough stretch for any team trying to conserve what it can for the postseason. And that’s especially the case for the Heat, who have played the equivalent of four NBA seasons over a three-year span that has included three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. But as James repeated over and over in short-burst answers Saturday ... “That’s an excuse, too." He was then asked about the Heat’s constantly changing lineups; Saturday's was Miami's 18th different starting group this season as Wade and Greg Oden sat out to rest their knees. “We’ve always had lineup changes,” James said of the Heat, which went through 15 different sets of starters during last season’s 66-win campaign. “Guys who are on the floor need to produce. It’s that simple. It’s very frustrating. We’re all frustrated. We just got to all get on the same page. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ve got to figure it out.” ESPN.com

So, rest is essential. Making sure Dwyane Wade’s knees are sound is more important than a regular-season game in late March. Perhaps this is Miami's last run, with Wade, James, and Chris Bosh all having opt-outs in their contracts. The Heat are trying to make sure that it will be a memorable ride. “Consistency and for all of us to try to get as close to healthy as possible,” James said, when asked about the team’s priorities. “Obviously, none of us are going to be 100 percent going into the playoffs. We’ve played a lot of basketball over the last four years, guys have got to be smart about certain situations and understand if they can go they’re going to go, but right now we’d rather go into the playoffs with 15 guys rather than 13 or 12.” Boston Globe

According to Bosh, that’s hardly been the case during this current tumultuous stretch. “I haven’t heard nothing, just nothing,” said Bosh, who took his routinely constructive criticism to a new depth Saturday. “We just show up and do whatever. [After] a loss, nobody’s upset. [After] a win, nobody’s happy. There’s no passion. There’s nothing. If you’re frustrated, say you’re frustrated. Give reasons for that. We just need some dialogue around here. We’ve been keeping things in for a whole season now. And we’re running out of time. We need to let it out and have some urgency.” ESPN.com

Bosh responded to his own challenge. “We’re going to have to draw the line in the sand somewhere,” he said. “We don’t talk about it. We’re not expressing ourselves in the locker room or on the court. So I figure I’ll be the first one to say it. We suck. And if we don’t play better, we’ll be watching the championship at home.” ESPN.com

March 22, 2014 Updates

After scrapping to beat Memphis 91-86 tonight, Miami stood at 47-20 — a good record, but still three games behind the Pacers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. “It’s the toughest season we’ve had since Year 1 just because of everything that comes with it,” said LeBron James, who fought through back spasms to put together 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds. “Just going out every night where you’re the target and everyone gets up for you and we have to find our own motivation every single night. It’s not always about our opponent. It’s about ourselves, too. “It’s been a challenge this season, but we look forward to the next challenge, which is tomorrow. We’ll be ready when it all gets going.” Palm Beach Post

March 21, 2014 Updates

Imagine, Griffin doesn’t even mind admitting in his own way he looks up to Bryant of the rival Lakers as well as James, who Griffin intimates is the ultimate player, like he wants to be. “A guy like LeBron, he’s doing so many things for his team,” Griffin, 25, said of the Miami Heat star. “He makes shots, but he also makes plays, makes good decisions, he gets stops, he does everything. That’s kind of a goal, to be a playmaker who can affect the game in a lot of different ways.” Los Angeles Daily News

March 20, 2014 Updates

League sources have also speculated that the HEAT could emerge as a potential suitor for Lowry, depending on what happens with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh this summer. If they decide to opt out and ink new long-term deals, it would create some cap space for Miami and the HEAT could make a notable free agent like Lowry an attractive offer. It might not be as much as he could get from other teams, but he may be tempted to play alongside the Big Three and have a chance to contend for a championship. Lowry would make Miami a much scarier team, giving them a significant upgrade over Mario Chalmers at point guard. Basketball Insiders

March 19, 2014 Updates

Through the tribulations playing out in public and private, one thing never changed in those three seasons in Houston: Lowry was such a student of his craft. Perhaps people never saw it with him, but it's always been true. In Houston, he became a devoted pupil of the analytics movement. He watched Shane Battier's habits so closely and still incorporates those lessons into his regimen. "His preparation for every game is some of the best I've ever seen," Lowry says of Battier. Yahoo! Sports

Following gum and even sneakers inspired by the coloring of the drink and its can, Sprite has finally saw fit to give LeBron James his own drink. Sprite announced today that it would be releasing Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James, a drink that features the traditional lemon-lime flavor alongside cherry and orange. The drink will be available nationwide for a limited time in 19.2-ounce cans and 20-ounce bottles. James has had a deal with Coca-Cola since his rookie season in the NBA, now eleven years ago. stupidDOPE.com

LeBron James has fielded very few free agency questions this year after making clear he did not intend to answer them. He got a predictable one, though, tonight in Cleveland before scoring 43 points in the Heat’s 100-96 win. “Right now it’s too hard for me to think about,” he said. “We have 18 games to gear up for a no-sleep two months, hopefully. For me to take my mind somewhere else when I know what’s on its way [the playoffs] is almost impossible.” Palm Beach Post

(LeBron James) also was asked if he wants his No. 23 jersey retired in Cleveland. The short answer is yes. “That’s not for me to be concerned about,” he said. “At the end of the day, all pro athletes dream about it. It means you were able to be successful on and off the court. So we’ll see.” Palm Beach Post

March 18, 2014 Updates
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Many players from the current squad in the list – including the two guys at the top.

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