Adrian Wojnarowski

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Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. His book "The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty"; was a New York Times best-seller. He is a 1991 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where he considers Butler Gymnasium's rims to be the most giving in the game.

  • LeBron James laughs at Celtics' theatrics during Heat's dominance in Game 1

    MIAMI – They were untangling themselves late in the fourth quarter, eyes staring into eyes, and the derisive words started to spit out of Kevin Garnett's mouth. LeBron James has heard it a hundred times and listened for a moment. Only now, his lips creased, his mouth stretched into a smile, and the NBA's Most Valuable Player began roaring with laughter.

    "HAHAHAHA," James blurted, reducing Garnett to the kind of bluster that sounds hollow when you're on the wrong end of the scoreboard. One more devastating James drive to the basket on Boston, one more James trip to the free-throw line, and there was nothing that could come out of Garnett's notoriously nasty mouth to leave him with the last word – never mind the last laugh. LeBron James scored a game-high 32 points in Miami's victory against Boston. (Getty Images)

    Near the end of the Miami Heat's 93-79 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, perhaps Garnett was delivering a message to the rest of the Celtics: Between now and Game 2 on Wednesday, get your mind around the fact that James, Dwyane Wade and

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  • Doc Rivers refuses to use end-of-era talk to motivate Celtics as formidable Heat await


    BOSTON – Across these playoffs, Doc Rivers has let a different voice talk to these Boston Celtics, linking his team to the history here. The ghost of Red Auerbach has spoken to Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, his graveled old words on the '69 Celtics, spliced with yesterday's grainy black-and-white, meeting the living color of today.

    "That '69 team, people talked about them not making it, about them getting old," Rivers said. Doc Rivers is moving on to his third Eastern Conference finals as Celtics coach. (Getty Images)

    For all the times that Rivers used Red's and his own words to prey upon the pride of Celtics Hall of Fame stars past and present, there's something that Rivers himself has never raised this season: The end of the run together. From Red to Rivers, the Celtics had survived one more Game 7 – an 85-75 victory over Philadelphia – to advance to the Eastern Conference finals to meet the Miami Heat.

    And for all the uncertainty awaiting the Celtics on Saturday night – Allen missing shots, and Pierce fouling out, and these 76ers refusing to

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  • Thunder, Spurs executives among strong candidates for Magic's GM

    The Orlando Magic's search for a general manager is centering on the Western Conference finals, where top Oklahoma City and San Antonio executives have emerged as serious candidates for the opening, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Weaver

    Thunder vice president and assistant general manager Troy Weaver and Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey have been targeted, and Orlando has been granted permission to talk with Weaver, sources said. The Spurs' OK of permission for Lindsey is imminent, sources said.

    Orlando has also been granted permission to speak with Oklahoma City's assistant GM Rob Hennigan, who came into the league with the Spurs.

    [Also: Will Pacers spend big this offseason?]

    The Magic have strong interest in ex-New Orleans GM Jeff Bower, whom they're expected to interview in the near future, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Friday.

    Magic CEO Alex Martins plans to hire a GM and let him conduct a search to replace fired coach Stan Van Gundy. Martins and Orlando officials

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  • Dwyane Wade and LeBron James playing their best as Heat roll into Eastern Conference finals

    INDIANAPOLIS – The hot pink pants had LeBron James walking on the far side of the corridor, a camera lens closing fast and causing the NBA’s Most Valuable Player to distance himself in mock embarrassment. Dwyane Wade had brought South Beach to the heartland, a country club ensemble inspiring a most playful plea out of James.

    Dwyane Wade made a statement with 41 points and his pink pants. (Getty Images)

    “Don’t take a picture of me with that,” James declared on the way to a news conference with Wade. “I’m not walking with that.”

    And then James stepped back into the middle of the hallway alongside Wade, step for step, and side by side into the Eastern Conference finals again. Only this time, they come in complete synchronicity, a dramatic and devastating elevation of this partnership unfolding to ultimately obliterate the Indiana Pacers. Once the Pacers prodded the Heat – even provoked them – there would come three consecutive 100-mile-per-hour fastballs to close out Indiana in the conference semifinal.

    Finally, there was Wade holding his finger

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  • Heat's Udonis Haslem, Dexter Pittman suspended for flagrant fouls against Pacers

    The Miami Heat will be without forward Udonis Haslem and center Dexter Pittman for Thursday's Game 6 against the Indiana Pacers after the NBA suspended both players for separate flagrant fouls.

    Haslem received a one-game suspension while Pittman will miss the next three games, the NBA announced.

    Pittman received a flagrant foul after he came across the lane and used his forearm and elbow to blast the Pacers' Lance Stephenson after a made shot with 19.4 seconds left in Tuesday night's Game 5. Stephenson had taunted LeBron James earlier in the series by flashing a choke signal after James missed a pair of free throws during Game 3.

    [Related: Dexter Pittman abides by Pat Riley's code by cracking Lance Stephenson]

    Haslem was given his flagrant after he fouled Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough across the face in Game 5. Hansbrough had hit Dwyane Wade earlier in the game for a flagrant foul. The NBA upgraded all three fouls to flagrant type-twos, but Hansbrough was not suspended.

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  • Dexter Pittman abides by Pat Riley's Heat code by cracking Lance Stephenson

    No one ever covered LeBron James’ back this way in Cleveland. Maybe it was the composition of the Cavaliers' roster, the fact they never carried an old-school Juwan Howard to police the locker room and bench. Maybe it was because James didn’t elicit that kind of loyalty, that kind of two-way protection for his teammates.

    When it comes to confrontation, James has always shied away. He doesn’t like it on the floor, nor off it. If the Indiana Pacers believed James was responsible for dispatching benchwarmer Dexter Pittman to obliterate Lance Stephenson on a drive to the basket, they probably have the wrong man. It’s hard to believe Pittman made the decision to get suspended on his own, but privately he isn’t sharing that information.

    Tyler Hansbrough hit Dwyane Wade with a hard flagrant foul in Game 5. (AP)Rest assured, Heat president Pat Riley loved Udonis Haslem’s flagrant foul on Tyler Hansbrough and, yes, Pittman’s assault on Stephenson in Game 5. Haslem is suspended for Game 6 and Pittman will miss Miami's next three games, but the hard fouls were

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  • Heat's LeBron James picks critical time for one of his best playoff performances ever

    INDIANAPOLIS – Around LeBron James, they tell the stories with admiration of how sometimes it can be difficult to get a message to him in these playoffs. Text messages seem to disappear into a netherworld, whether it's time changes for a meeting or one of the bosses sending a word of praise. James has narrowed his exposure to the trappings of his celebrity on this championship run, made himself scarce, unavailable, with the hopes of becoming devoid of distraction.

    After one of the greatest playoff performances you'll ever see – 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists – James' legs were buried in a bucket of ice, his eyes buried in the book, "The Hunger Games." Now and then, LeBron lifted his eyes up to talk with a passing teammate, but mostly his lips silently mouthed the words on the pages. If nothing else these days, the NBA's MVP is engrossed.

    LeBron James' dominant performance helped lift Dwyane Wade in the Heat's Game 4 win. (AP)It was a picture of calm, composure and certainty. In the end, James delivered the kind of leadership that these Heat needed.

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  • Juwan Howard has verbal altercation with Lance Stephenson before Game 4

    INDIANAPOLIS – Nearly 90 minutes before tipoff of Game 4 of an acrimonious Eastern Conference playoff series, Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson again appeared to be a source of irritation to the Miami Heat.

    Miami Heat forward Juwan Howard and Stephenson exchanged sharp words within inches of each other’s faces on the court. Stephenson, who flashed a choke sign at Heat star LeBron James in the Pacers' Game 3 victory, had been shooting with the Pacers on one end of the floor when Howard walked past on the way to Miami's locker room.

    It was unclear which player had said something to start the jawing, but Howard was soon warning Stephenson to keep his mouth shut, as Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw stepped between the players and nudged Howard away from the court. There didn’t appear to be any possibility that the altercation would evolve into violence, but Howard clearly had no use for Stephenson, nor his attitude.

    [Related: Dwyane Wade clashes with Miami Heat coach during

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  • Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant have Thunder looking like champion contenders

    LOS ANGELES – The framing of Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook as the young star with suspect basketball temperament and judgment has been replaced with that of a shrewd, assured star missing a far different denominator: fashion sense. Out of the winning locker room this genius talent bounded late Saturday night, wearing firehouse-red pants and that familiar shirt of Crayola blotches.

    His agent, Thad Foucher, stepped back and gave him the once over.

    "Why didn't you tell me you were going to wear those pants?" Foucher busted on him. " 'Cause I would've worn my green ones."

    Westbrook laughed, and nodded, and walked together with Kevin Durant across the corridor to the interview room. They had completed a final, furious push to wrest away Game 4 of this Western Conference semifinal series, secure a 3-1 lead and a chance to close out the Lakers on Monday night in Oklahoma City. All this does is get the Thunder back where they had been a year ago, the conference final, back to a

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  • Kobe Bryant embraces moment, saves Lakers' season with Game 3 win over Thunder

    LOS ANGELES – Ball in his hands, season on the line, and failure promised Kobe Bryant a summer of scorn. For everything that comes with the responsibility of greatness, Bryant can live with the cutting criticism, the besmirching of his legacy, the volume rising on those determined to diminish him in the context of his contemporaries. In losing, he could live with it all – except allowing that barrage to barricade him behind a wall of hesitancy and reluctance.

    “I don’t give a [expletive] what you say,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports late Friday. “If I go out there and miss game winners, and people say, 'Kobe choked, or Kobe is seven for whatever in pressure situations.' Well, [expletive] you.

    “Because I don’t play for your [expletive] approval. I play for my own love and enjoyment of the game. And to win. That’s what I play for. Most of the time, when guys feel the pressure, they’re worried about what people might say about them. I don’t have that fear, and it enables me to forget

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