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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Paying an NSF Check

Indiana Pacers star forward Paul George insinuated that the game officials cost his team a win in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the three-time defending conference champion Miami Heat. The Heat appeared to outplay the Pacers from start-to-finish in Game 4. Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk. 


George wrote a check with his mouth that he could not cash on time. Last night, in a season-saving, 93-90, Game 5 win at Indiana, George made good on that check. Still, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver slapped George with $25,000 in “NSF fees” for criticizing the officials. The series heads back to Miami for a pivotal Game 6. In my opinion, the team that wins this game wins the series. The Miami Heat will be that team.

George settled up with "The Bank" last night. 1

Yesterday, we discussed the difference between great theater and sophomoric drama in the NBA playoffs. George’s redemption act was part of great theater. Lance Stephenson’s shenanigans during this series (and this season in general) have been downright childish.

Prior to Monday’s Game 4, Stephenson implied that he could get into Heat star forward LeBron James’ head. LeBron inconspicuously dropped 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 12 point Heat win. Last night, Stephenson thought that blowing in James’ ear during a stoppage in play was an effective defensive tactic.

Early foul trouble, limiting James to 24 minutes of play, appeared to be The King’s greatest impediment, not Tropical Breath Lance. Future Hall of Fame Heat guard Ray Allen described Stephenson’s continued silly antics as, “buffoonery.” Some people learn their lessons after burning a hand on the proverbial hot stove. Sir Lance A Little is not one of them.

Dude...seriously? 2

If the two-time NBA champs were supposed to be in despair and desperation following a missed opportunity to close the series out and clinch their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Championship, one could not tell from the demeanor of the players in the post-game press conference. In fact, without the benefit of the final score, I couldn't tell they lost.

Confidence is a hallmark of a champion. The Heat are the champs and they are justifiably confident. Against the Pacers, how could they not be? When one key player took a big step forward, another kept pulling them in the other direction. The bank closes tomorrow night.

Paul George may sign one more "check" but these ladies should be done signing anything for this year if the Heat take care of business in Miami in Game 6. 3
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