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Tuesday And-1 links: Heat/Pacers Game 7 draws largest TNT game audience ever

Jun 4, 2013, 7:16 PM EDT

Miami Heat's James goes up to score against Indiana Pacers' Green and George during Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff in Miami Reuters

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points more than Americans like cheese… and we like cheese…

Game 7 between the Heat and Pacers drew the largest audience ever for a TNT game, 11.5 million viewers. That, however, is still down from last year when the the Heat’s Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals was against the larger market Celtics and drew 13.1 million to ESPN.

• Flopping is again the buzzword of the NBA playoffs. People think it’s a recent phenomenon, or one brought over by Vlade Divac and the European players of the 1990s. Wrong. Here’s a great find at Grantland about how players on the 1960s Celtics title teams used to sell calls.

Phil Jackson says the 2004 Pistons flopped to help beat Shaquille O’Neal and the Lakers.

A look at the best wing players available as free agents. Andre Iguodala rightfully tops the list, but there’s a good chance he and Denver work out a multi-year deal (just at less per year than the $16 million he is opting out of). Then the drop off is pretty steep, down to O.J. Mayo next.

• Along those same lines, a look at the top free agent ball handlers. Like with the wings, it’s the top player (Chris Paul) then a steep drop off.

• There was some buzz that the Celtics had made a first-round draft promise to Dennis Schroeder. That appears to not be the case, but it feels like somebody did.

Roy Hibbert had to pay $75,000 for throwing “no homo” into his postgame comments, and he issued an apology. Times have changed, LeBron James did it a few years back and nobody really noticed.

• The Maloof family took out a full page ad in the Sunday Sacramento Bee to thank Kings fans. All Kings fans want now is for the Maloofs to go away.

• Here is a Q&A with Damian Lillard.

• Here is a Q&A with Canadian-bord Cavalier Tristan Thompson.

• If the new Kings ownership wants to bring in Monta Ellis, then Ellis is up for that. But I think the new Kings brain trust is smarter than that.

• I like reading Scoop Jackson, but he could not have been wider of the mark when he blasted the Grizzlies after they were eliminated saying lost because of the Rudy Gay trade. Memphis was provably better after the trade. I say they wouldn’t have made it out of the first round with him. Tom Ziller over at SBN soes a good job ripping Scoops’s “logic” apart.

• I have no idea why anybody buys into the rumors that he would, but Spurs GM R.C. Buford is not going anywhere.

• The Orlando Magic have let go of television color analyst Matt Guokas. Which sucks. Trust me, as someone who watches a whole lot of League Pass and announcers from all across the NBA, he was a breath of fresh air because he was honest, smart and not a pure homer for his team. Why was he fired? Probably because he wasn’t enough of a homer. Ugh.

• Is Erik Spoelstra on track to be a Hall of Fame coach? The Magic 8 Ball says “ask again later.”

John Stockton has written an autobiography titled “Assisted.” Karl Malone wrote the forward, for once giving Malone the assist.

• Former NBA player Fred Jones has launched a new NBA social media site, plus an app to go with it.

• Finally a great feature at NBA.com of the guy I am most rooting for to get drafted this year: James Enis of Long Beach State. Guy is a good risk in the second round.

  1. 808raiderinparadise - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Everyone wanted to WITNESS LeBron dominate the …

    “Blue Collar, Gold Swagger, Built not Bought” blah blah blah

    • mannyfresh209 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      Nice lol

    • erckle31 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      Winning in 7 games isn’t domination.

      • casualcommenter - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:36 PM

        Not a Heat fan, but LeBron averaging 29 points per game on 51% shooting from the field (44.1% from 3), 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game against arguably the best defensive team in the NBA (with an elite wing defender in Paul George and elite rim protector in Roy Hibbert) is individual domination.

        The Heat as a whole didn’t dominate the Pacers – Wade and Bosh especially struggled – but LeBron did great.

      • erckle31 - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:48 PM

        That’s kinda what I meant, statistically he was amazing (and dominant in game 7), but to me I don’t see domination as just simply putting up numbers. In this series for the most part, LeBron had to almost do everything himself and yet the series was still very close. I’m a Laker fan and when I see Kobe put the team on his back and put up ridiculous scoring numbers like 40+ points and we lose, it’s not domination. That’s sort of what LeBron was until game 7 (although he contributed in basically every stat, not just points). Game 7 he was absolutely dominant, but overall in the series I wouldn’t call it domination as the series was so close. If he had put up the numbers he did and they lost the series people would unfairly criticize him. Overall I wouldn’t call it domination, but rather a testament to his perseverance through adversity. I have an enormous amount of respect for LeBron and hope he does as well in the future as he is now.

  2. jzone954 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Wow. It’s gotten to the point that Miami now gets criticized……..for letting the EC go 7 games…… LMAO! This team has won 10 of the last 11 playoff series it has been in……..

    • rawgator06 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      People always hate sustained success…especially when it involves the current best player. Can someone give me a real reason to hate on the heat? They made a childish comment about winning a lot of titles. Well, they won one and have been to the finals in all three years they have been together

      • joeksnuffy - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:29 AM

        1 reason: Arrogance

  3. adoombray - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Helin’s noun problem used to bug me but it’s as reliable as people complaining about the 110+ temps here in Phoenix. Malone giving Malone the assist. The best part is it’s never corrected. I have this mental image of Helin tapping out this post on an ipad and being like “I MIX MY NOUNS UP, IDGAF, DEAL WITH IT BRO’S”

    (please don’t censor, this is in jest ;p)

  4. jadaruler - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Good or bad, the Heat keep are always a topic of conversation. People will tune in to see Lebron rise or fall.

  5. kavika6 - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    It’s great that Miami is going to the Finals. That way 15 million viewers can witness how beautifly the Spurs play when they beat the Heat.

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