ABC's “NBA Sunday Showcase” debuts this season with a doubleheader Sunday: Miami at Oklahoma City at noon and Boston at Los Angeles Lakers at 2:30 p.m. Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and reporter Heather Cox will broadcast the Heat-Thunder game. Brown, a veteran NBA analyst, discussed the Heat, Thunder and Clippers rookie Blake Griffin:
Is the Heat living up to your expectations?
If you consider six new people — mainly bringing in (Chris) Bosh and LeBron (James) — the injury factor, the fact that they are 31-13 (through Wednesday), that's about where they should be. It's been difficult for the coaching staff and difficult for the players because when you trade for that amount of people and when they come to a situation, they have to work out all the little idiosyncrasies of your offense and defense during October, November and December. I didn't expect them to be at full blast until January if they were healthy. So, in my opinion, they are doing extremely well. The big thing, as you can see, if they're going to maintain excellence and then challenge Boston for the Eastern Conference at playoff time, everyone has to be healthy.
Has Russell Westbrook earned a spot on the Western Conference All-Star Team?
Yes. To me, everyone will tell you to make it in the West is so difficult. There are eight point guards in the West who have stats. ... Westbrook is backing up his play with not just the 22 points a game and 8 assists because he's 13th and eighth (NBA rankings), but he's also fourth in the league in steals. And he's a load at the point guard position because of his size and strength. He could very easily play an offguard position without any problem. There's definitely no question about (Kevin) Durant being on the team. In my opinion, as I look at all these people who people are putting him against, I believe he also should be on the team.
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