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Chris Bosh says the noise level from the Thunder crowd is ‘regular’

Teams that play the Thunder in Oklahoma City understand that no lead is ever safe. For starters, the Thunder are athletic enough to score in transition and rack up points quickly. Like the Heat, Kevin Durant and company can erase a 10-point deficit in what seems like 30 seconds. Then, there are the fans. After a game in which Oklahoma City erased a 13-point deficit and energized their notoriously rowdy arena, Chris Bosh did not seem overly impressed by the noise level in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“Everybody keeps talking about how loud it is,” Bosh said according to Eye on Basketball. “It’s regular. We’ve been in a lot of other arenas and it’s about the same. Once it gets really loud, it’s all about the same.”

Bosh then added that the Thunder “have a great homecourt” and called the fans “very vibrant,” but we all know it’s the word “regular” that is going to stick out in the minds of the Oklahoma City faithful come Game 2. The Thunder are 9-0 at home during their impressive postseason run, so it’s safe to say their fans take their jobs seriously.

That being said, Bosh is right. All arenas are loud in the playoffs — especially the NBA Finals. I’m sure the Mavericks fans didn’t exactly act like they were in church when Miami lost in the Finals last year, just as the Boston fans cranked up the noise in the Eastern Conference Finals this year. Once it reaches a certain level, noise is noise.

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Finals betting odds suggest sports books think Heat is better than Thunder

As soon as the Heat defeated the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, many people wondered which team was going to be favored in the NBA Finals. Sports books quickly answered that question by installing the Thunder as the favorite.

But does that mean the oddsmakers believe the Thunder is the better team? Maybe not.

According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, if oddsmakers believe two teams in a best of 7 playoff series are evenly matched, the odds would be -150 in favor of the team with home court advantage.

The Thunder opened as -135 favorites, meaning oddsmakers thought the Heat were slightly better. Bettors feel differently.

The public has been wagering on the Thunder, so the line has adjusted to -165 or -170 in many cases.

Now that we know what the oddsmakers and bettors think, it’s up to decide which side you knows more.

I think that the Thunder has the deeper and more complete team, but the Heat has the best players. If LeBron keeps playing like he did against the Pacers and Celtics, they’re going to win. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can help with strong play, but if LeBron continues to play determined ball, the Heat will win. I think it will be a seven-game series.

Photo Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo didn’t shake hands after Game 7 (Video)

The Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics 101-88 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday, and there was plenty of respect exchanged between the teams after the game. Well, except for the two Celtics who skipped out early.

Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo left the floor before the game ended and could be seen walking through the tunnel to their locker room, just like Paul Pierce did during Game 2. Coach Doc Rivers had subbed out his starters in the final minute when it was clear the team would not manage a comeback, and neither player stuck around to exchange handshakes and hugs like the rest of the team.

KG and Rondo are known as two of the more competitive players in the league, so it’s no surprise that they would be ticked off after seeing their season end. Still, it’s proper sportsmanship to congratulate the opposing team when you have been outplayed. LeBron James learned that lesson the hard way when he was criticized for walking off the floor after losing to the Magic in 2009.

NBA Store was selling a ‘Beat the Heat’ NBA Finals Thunder T-shirt (Picture)

It looks like the NBA Store jumped the gun yet again. For a brief period on Friday evening, a “Beat the Heat” Oklahoma City Thunder T-shirt (pictured above) was being sold on NBA.com. If you look carefully, you’ll notice an NBA Finals logo at the bottom of the shirt.

Even though the Thunder have already clinched a spot in the Finals, the problem is their opponent hasn’t been determined. The Heat and Celtics play Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday, so there’s no point for Thunder fans to already concentrate on beating the Heat.

For more context, it looks like the NBA Store has been offering shirts that target the Thunder’s specific opponents throughout the playoffs. In a Google cache of the NBA store URL offering the shirt (the link no longer works), the title of the shirt is “adidas Oklahoma City Thunder BEAT LA T-Shirt.” Take a look below:

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LeBron James got a drink spilled on him as he left the court in Boston (Video)

Facing elimination, LeBron James put on a performance for the ages in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals in Boston. The Heat forward put up 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists in a 98-79 blowout to even the series with the Celtics at 3. It was the sort of performance critics had been waiting to see, and James delivered. But there were several thousand folks who didn’t like the performance, and one was so upset he/she dumped a drink on James as he exited the court following a postgame interview.

Come on Celtics fans, what do you think you are, a bunch of Cubs fans?

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade skip podium after Game 5 loss

The Miami Heat were called a bunch of frontrunners after their 94-90 Game 5 loss to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night, and after pulling crap like they did following the game, it’s hard to disagree.

Both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — the team’s leaders and biggest stars — did not go to the podium to speak with the media after the game. Instead, coach Erik Spoelstra was sent to the media wolves, and Chris Bosh was left as the reporters’ scraps.

Yup, James and Wade decided the guy who had just returned after missing nine games should represent the club after one of its biggest losses of the season. At least the oft-mocked Bosh stood front and center to take questions from the media; Wade and James couldn’t even manage that.

Apparently James and Wade decided their wacky outfits and dopey pants and accessories don’t look so cute after a loss. Apparently they decided they didn’t want to face the massive firing squad, and instead answered questions in the locker room, where there’s far fewer media members.

And then, of course, we get teased by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, with this tweet:

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Tim Donaghy masks will be worn to Game 3 by Celtics fans protesting officiating

There have been several cries about biased officiating in the Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference playoff series, so one Boston radio show is encouraging fans to wear Tim Donaghy masks to Game 3 in protest.

Toucher & Rich of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston says:

“Let’s face it, folks: the fix is in. So let David Stern know how you feel on national television tonight by wearing your very own TIM DONAGHY MASK.”

Tim Donaghy is the former NBA official who went to jail for fixing games he reffed. Toucher & Rich — and several other Celtics supporters and players — have cited several examples that suggest the refereeing is biased in favor of Miami. Even Doc Rivers blasted the refs for their technical fouls in Game 1.

My guess is that the refereeing was going to lean toward the Celtics in Game 3 considering home teams generally get the calls in NBA games. I can also say with confidence that the last mask giveaway Toucher & Rich encouraged was much better.