WATERCOOLER CHAT: HEAT CRUISED TO WIN PIVOTAL GAME, CLIPPERS HEAD COACH ISSUES

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In the NBA, it was a pivotal Game 5 between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.  The Pacers grabbed the last game to even the series, and this was a must win game for the Heat because they didn’t want the Pacers to have a chance to close out the series in Indiana.  The game started out close and stayed close, but not without some theatrics. We saw a fight break out between the “Birdman” Chris Anderson and the Pacers rough man Tyler Hansbrough.  Then Bird Man came back and threw down a monster block on Hansbrough.  The Pacers had a slight edge going into the 3rd quarter, but LeBron gave the Heat a fiery pep talk (full of many swear words) before the 3rd quarter.  And from that point on, LeBron was on fire, hitting everything, and finding each and every one of his wide open teammates at the right time.  Down the stretch, the Heat cruised, crushing the Pacers.  Indiana will hope to get it to a Game 7 where anything can happen.  Miami 90, Indiana 79.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the Clippers had a disappointing exit in the playoffs after a rather impressive season.  They got rid of their head coach Vinny Del Negro and have been searching for a suitable replacement.  Among their short list are Jeff Van Gundy, George Karl, Nate McMillan, and Alvin Gentry.  But reports are circulating that the Clippers reached out to Byron Scott about possibly becoming their next coach.  Scott was just released by the Cavaliers, but has had some success with New Orleans in the past.  However, he really isn’t much of a significant improvement over Del Negro.  Perhaps they should consider talking Jerry Sloan out of retirement?  He coached the Utah Jazz, and led them to two championships.  He also knows how to manage superstars.

As an addendum to this story, apparently Chris Paul is very angry at the Clippers organization for linking his name to the Del Negro firing.  Reports are out there that Chris Paul didn’t want to work with Del Negro, and this is why he was fired.  But Paul has come out and said that this is absolutely not true — that he had nothing to do with it.  And Chris Paul is known to be a man of principle.  People say that if he is not happy with you or your organization, he can turn on you.  The Clippers can not afford to lose Paul.  Fortunately, they can afford to pay him.   Paul is the best thing to happen to the Clippers in the history of the franchise.  He was a big name free agent who decided to sign with the Clippers.  That has never happened.

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