Danny Ainge’s comments about LeBron James got the most attention this week, especially when Pat Riley responded in a rather direct, pointed and X-rated way.
But there were other comments — from another Heat rival — that were noticed and discussed by several Heat players.
In an interview with ESPNNewYork.com last Thursday, Knicks point guard Raymond Felton spoke confidently of his team’s prospects against the Heat in the postseason.
“We’re definitely one of the teams who gave Miami the most fits this year, so if we get the opportunity to play them in the [Eastern Conference] finals, then I kinda like our chances. I love our chances, actually.”
He also said this, to back up his view that the Knicks give the Heat “a matchup problem.”:
“I’m not just saying that just because I’m a New York Knick and just being biased,” he said. “I just feel like we really cause matchup problems for them offensively, and then we match up well with them defensively. Like I said, I like our chances. Right now, we’re winning the [season] series and we’ve got one more game left. So we’ll see what happens.”
That fourth and final regular season meeting is Monday in Miami.
Felton wasn’t done.
This was his response to a question about whether point guard is a weak spot for the Heat:
“I’m not saying that’s a weak point [for the Heat] because [Mario] Chalmers has been great for Miami. He’s won a championship there and he’s a solid point guard,. But I think that’s one of the weaknesses of their team. Not saying that Chalmers is a bad player, because he’s not. He’s great. He’s won a championship. A lot of point guards in this league can’t say that. He has that. But if you look at LeBron, Bosh and D-Wade and then you look at Chalmers, you’re like, ‘OK, this is maybe where their weakness is at.’”
Prior to Sunday’s Heat game in San Antonio, which Chalmers missed with a sore right ankle, I asked if he had seen Felton’s comments. He nodded. Did he think it was odd to read something like that?:
“I don’t think I’ve got everybody’s respect. I’m still working on that. But everybody’s entitled to how they feel.”