- Tom Haberstroh, ESPN Staff Writer
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We spend a lot of our time trying to define what the "V" in MVP actually means. Is it wins and losses? Is it dollars and cents? Or is it eyeballs? From a Sports Business Daily report, LeBron James is pretty valuable if you go by television ratings. No team's TV ratings have soared higher than Miami's since last season and no team's TV ratings have plummeted further than Cleveland's. Interestingly enough, Minnesota enjoyed an enormous bump, despite the fact that they may not be a 20-win team this season.
As far as postgame pressers go, Tuesday night got pretty awkward. After the Pacers game, a reporter asked LeBron James whether he had made amends with rapper Lil Wayne, which prompted an uncomfortable back-and-forth between the reporter and the two players on the podium about whether a "what up" gesture happened or not. After a few exchanges, the line of questioning was abruptly cut off. Check out Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel for more.
For some people, the MVP argument for LeBron boils down to this: the Cavaliers are historically bad without him and a 60-win team with him in their corner. However, Brian Windhorst, writing for ESPN.com, explains that it's not that simple. "Most notably, it must be pointed out that the Cavs didn't lose only James from the team that won 61 games last season. The team elected not to re-sign centers Shaquille O'Nealand Zydrunas Ilgauskas. They traded Delonte West (technically a moot point because he had a partially-guaranteed contract the team did not intend to pick up after his troubles in Cleveland). Then Anderson Varejao went down with a season-ending ankle injury just after New Year's."
Contrary to popular belief, the advanced stats community isn't settled on a unified measurement of player value. So Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference set out to build an advanced stats All-Star team using a collection of the big all-in-one metrics out there. What did he find? Everyone pretty much agrees that James and Dwyane Wade belong on the squad. But the same can't be said for Chris Bosh.
The deciding play from Tuesday's game was the out-of-bounds 5-second violation called on the Pacers with the game on the line. But I got curious: was it really a violation? So I got out my stopwatch and watched the video. 6.3 seconds. The call was right; Dahntay Jones held the ball for over a full second longer than allowed. But this exercise got me thinking: why do we still have the refs doing arm counts when we have fully available timers? Officials use timers for shot clocks but I can't think of a legitimate reason why we can't apply the game clock technology to inbounds passes. Do you?
Dan LeBatard caught up with Udonis Haslem, who has been sidelined with a foot injury since November. Haslem reveals the toughest part about being injured and why the game of basketball holds deeper meaning for him than most. "'Basketball rescued me,' he says. 'It helped me make the right decisions when my friends were into drugs and robberies. I need to help kids out of the inner city. There are kids who have never crossed the county line. They don’t know there is something better out there for them. They don’t know how to reach.'"
Before LeBron, who was the last Heat player to score 40 points and grab 10 rebounds in a game? Hint: it's not Mark Blount.
The Heat are the best basket protecting team in the NBA, causing opponents to miss 41.2 percent of their layups according to Hoopdata.com. Also according to Hoopdata: the Pacers shot a blistering 17-for-20 at the rim last night.
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