Odds & Ends: LeBron, Barry, Pierce, Suns

LeBron James is feeling the heat as he's seeing flashbacks to his shortcomings with the Cavs, opines Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer.  For Pluto, the message of the series is that even when you stack your roster, there rarely is a smooth playoff road ahead.  Things can go wrong, players can get hurt, and team chemistry can fizzle.  The Heat will face the Pacers in Game 7 on Monday night and if Miami gets bounced, you can bet on the summer of 2014 talk ramping up in a hurry.  Here's more from around the Association..

  • The NBA salary cap won't change much from this season to next season as Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears that it will go from $58.044MM to $58.5MM.
  • Rick Barry realizes that his outspoken ways may have cost him an NBA job, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.  The 69-year-old lives in Denver and hosts a nationally syndicated talk show but hasn't had the kind of opportunities that most players of his stature have gotten.  Barry infamously attempted to teach Shaquille O'Neal his grandma-style free throw technique years ago in offseason practice sessions, but the big man refused to implement it during the season.
  • HoopsWorld's Derek Page ran down the top five free agent small forwards this summer.  Andre Iguodala and Paul Pierce are among the notable names on the list, but they may not see the open market.
  • The HoopsWorld staff debated what the Suns should do with the No. 5 pick.  Shabazz Muhammad is suggested as an intriguing fit for Phoenix, but his baggage likely wouldn't be worth the risk.

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