1. Roundtable: All About LeBron
ESPN.com's J.A. Adande and NBA analysts Tim Legler and Bruce Bowen answer questions about LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Will the Cavs' acquisition of Antawn Jamison affect their chances of keeping LeBron James?
J.A. Adande: Yes. Having an All-Star caliber player around can only boost their shot. How many former All-Stars are on the Knicks roster? In acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Antawn the Cavs have shown they are willing to make moves to surround LeBron with talent.
Tim Legler: No. Not at all. I think that decision is going to be LeBron's and LeBron's alone. There are other issues he's going to weigh on his mind.
Bruce Bowen: No. What LeBron is doing is allowing them to be held accountable. He understands his star power. He's not going to get locked into a long-term deal because he wants to be sure the Cavs will put people around him who allow them to compete.
How will Shaq's injury affect the team's prospects?
Adande: As long as he comes back before the playoffs, they're fine. They only got him for matchups against the Magic and Lakers. The games between now and the late playoffs are pretty much irrelevant.
Bowen: I don't think it affects them in a negative way. It gives people a chance to step up. You always want to see where your team is when a big part is missing. They'll maximize their efforts from other guys.
Legler: It'll force them to see how they play with a smaller lineup with a scorer at the 4 in Jamison. That ultimately could help them because it gives them another look they can go to in the playoffs.
How do you see the trade deadline moves in New York, Chicago and elsewhere affecting the LeBron chase?
Adande: I'm told he'll look at all of his options, so at the very least the cap-clearing moves mean he'll be visiting those cities this summer. They can compete financially, if nothing else.
Legler: I don't think they affect it at all. I think LeBron's decision is going to come down to him weighing loyalty to him weighing the potential to get on a bigger stage and turn around a franchise and the challenges that come with that.
Bowen: I don't see the New York trade doing anything. He's going to get the max wherever he goes. LeBron doesn't have a championship yet.
What do you make of LeBron's desire to change his uniform number from 23 to 6?
Legler: I don't think it has anything to do with whether he's going to stay or go next year. I just think he made up his mind to pay homage to Michael Jordan, and this will leave that option open to him if he stays in Cleveland.
Bowen: I've heard so much stuff about this. I never looked into a number change this much. My thoughts are he's fulfilling something he said back in Miami.
Adande: I think he's picked up something from Shaq, whose favorite word is "marketing." Have you ever seen a number change with so much fanfare? Usually you find these things out well after the fact.
What do you make of LeBron's quote from Monday night ("I've yet to play for a team that doesn't like defense in my career, but it is not about the team, it is individuals first") before the Knicks-Cavs game?
Adande: I'm guessing he meant to say defense starts with individual responsibility. Uh, right LeBron?
Legler: I think he's saying it starts with having an individual pride in playing defense. And he's right. And he has done a great job of accepting defensive responsibility and setting a tone for that time.
Bowen: It doesn't sound right. He's also never played out of the home state he's from. It's one thing when you go away and you experience the hardships. It's another thing actually leaving at another point in life. I don't see much to it.
2. Wade Does The Heavy Lifting For Miami
Is this what it's going to take in order to overcome one of the worst teams in the league -- 35 points and 12 assists?
Dwyane Wade was brilliant Tuesday and the Miami Heat still had to sweat out a game against the lowly Warriors, who at this point are two steps away from suiting up the chubby dude at your rec league game (I prefer the term "big-boned"). The Heat elected not to make any moves at the deadline and they may be reaping the whirlwind thereof.
This Heat team has been perplexing this season. According to 82games.com, their winning percentage against teams with "good" net points (they score more than their opponent) is the same as against "average" teams of the same stat. That is a fancy way of saying they play up or down to their competition. Now, you'll notice they have a ceiling; they murder "bad" teams in this category with an 82 percent winning percentage. Then again, I doubt the Warriors fit inside good or average at anything.
Wade is averaging three more points in wins than in losses, plus more steals and blocks, while keeping his assists and rebounds consistent. In short, unless Wade is not only his usual stellar self, but better than average, the Heat have a very poor chance of winning.
Michael Beasley is improving, but still isn't considered a consistent second weapon. Jermaine O'Neal ... you know what, I'm not even going to go there. And the point guard rotation is in such dire straits that the Memphis Grizzlies chuckle, even with Carlos Arroyo (14 points on 6-for-12 shooting, five assists and no turnovers) having a nice throwback night. So we're looking at a fairly incomplete roster that's facing the responsibility of not only making a playoff push, but securing the future zip code of its franchise player.
There's so much talk about Wade re-signing this summer. But unless the rest of the Heat step up give the man they call Flash some help, the weight may be more than he wants to shoulder in the next step of his career.
To check out Moore's blog Hardwood Paroxysm, click here
3. Daily Dime Live Recap
ESPN.com writers and TrueHoop Network bloggers chatted with fans and gave their in-game opinions throughout Tuesday's games -- all in Daily Dime Live.
4. Big Night For Westbrook And Durant
Kevin Durant scored 39 points and pulled down 10 rebounds while Russell Westbrook had 30 points and 13 assists in Oklahoma City's win against Sacramento. It's the first game in NBA history in which teammates -- each age 21 or younger -- each had a 30/10 game.
5. Extreme Behavior
Dwyane Wade, Heat: Miami had dropped four games in a row. Their franchise player made sure the streak didn't reach five, posting 35 points, 12 assists, six rebounds and four steals in a 110-106 win over the Warriors.
Danny Granger, Pacers: He came into the game against the Lakers averaging 23 points and six rebounds, but he struggled, scoring just nine points and grabbing zero rebounds (he also had four turnovers) in the loss.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"I have no problem. Basketball is basketball. I don't think people realize that. No matter what city, overseas, D-League, park league -- I just want to play."
-- Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, who is suspended by the NBA for the rest of the season for bringing guns to the locker room
6. The Art Of Defense
7. NBA Video Channel
8. Iverson Done In Philadelphia
The 76ers confirmed what has been whispered for some time: Allen Iverson won't be back in a Sixers uniform this season.
As a parent, I can't doubt for a moment that Iverson has far more important things on his mind than NBA basketball. Word is that until his daughter's health situation is resolved, he won't even think about what's to come of his NBA career. Fair enough.
What's less clear is: When his family situation is in order, and if he decides he's ready to return to the NBA, will there be a job waiting for him?
Worth pointing out that Iverson was recently voted an All-Star starter in this bizarro season.
Despite his lack of size and shot-happy game, Iverson was always a productive player early in his career, as a Sixer and then as a Nugget. In Detroit, things began to fall apart. This season was Iverson's chance to make NBA executives and fans forget that unfortunate stain on his record. Unproductive, odd stints in Memphis and Philadelphia had the opposite effect. Any worries people had about employing him have been compounded, instead of erased.
To read the full TrueHoop blog, click here.
9. Sixth Man Of The Year Watch
1. Jamal Crawford, Hawks: Despite coming off the bench, he's one of the league leaders in fourth-quarter scoring, is the Hawks' second-leading scorer and is one of the biggest reasons for all the optimism coming out of Atlanta. (Last week: 1)
2. Manu Ginobili, Spurs: Rumors of Manu's demise have been greatly exaggerated. His all-around game has been fantastic for the past month. (Last week: 3)
3. Jason Terry, Mavs: Dallas is rolling (eight straight wins) and Terry is showing off the form that earned him last season's Sixth Man of the Year award. He made several big shots in the Mavericks' win against the Bobcats on Monday. (Last week: 4)
4. Kevin Love, Wolves: He has embraced his role of coming off the bench and is a threat to notch a double-double on a nightly basis. (Last week: NR)
5. Anderson Varejao, Cavs: His combination of energy, ability to keep the ball alive and always being in the right position is one of the keys to what the Cavs do defensively. (Last week: 5)
To read the full Awards Watch, click here.