CHICAGO - Forget "Big Three" when it comes to describing the Heat. Charles Barkley prefers to go with "whiny bunch."
In Chicago for TNT's coverage of the Eastern Conference final between the Heat and Bulls that resumes tonight with Game 2, Barkley offered his thoughts on the Heat - which trails 1-0 - on the local ESPN Radio affiliate Tuesday.
"Those guys are actually a whiny bunch," said Barkley, whose view is the Heat has proved to be a thin-skinned group. "They never take any personal responsibility to why people take shots at them."
He noted the Heat's reaction to criticism of how LeBron James announced his free agent decision to leave the Cavaliers, as well as James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh talking about multiple championships before playing their first game.
"I love, 'The Miami Heat is losing, the world is happy,'" Barkley said of a comment Wade made amid the Heat's uneven play at midseason. "First of all, nobody is thinking about the Miami Heat. You guys are good guys. You're the guys who came out and said, 'We're not (only) going to win one, two, three, four, five, six, seven championships.' We're like, 'Really?'"
Cavs land top spot: The Cavs got a huge jump on their rebuilding process, winning the lottery and the No. 1 selection in next month's draft. Turning a pick they acquired from the Clippers into the No. 1 selection, the Cavs will pick first for the first time since 2003, when they drafted LeBron James out of high school. He left for the Heat last summer, and the Cavs tumbled to the second-worst record in the league, but they will have two top-four picks. Owner Dan Gilbert sent 14-year-old son Nick to the podium for the pick. The Timberwolves will select second and the Jazz third (see chart for order).
Rivers fine after surgery: Celtics coach Doc Rivers is recovering from surgery to remove a benign polyp in his throat. Doctors told Rivers he is cancer free, the team said. He joked that his family will be happy he can't talk for two weeks.
Pacers: President Larry Bird said interim coach Frank Vogel, Mike Brown and Rick Adelman are among candidates he wants to talk with about the head coaching position. Bird said the front-runner is Vogel, who took over at midseason for the fired Jim O'Brien.
Raptors: Bryan Colangelo will remain president and general manager, agreeing to a multiyear extension. Terms were not disclosed.
Ratings: Television viewership is up nearly one-third for the playoffs. Games in the first two rounds averaged 4.92 million viewers, compared with 3.74 million last year. The conference semifinals averaged 6.14 million viewers, a 28 percent increase from 2010. Game 1 of the East final between the Heat and Bulls on Sunday was watched by 11.1 million people, the most for an NBA game on cable.
The NBA's draft lottery, involving 12 nonplayoff teams for the top 14 spots, finalized the first-round order. The draft is June 23.
21. Trail Blazers
*No. 1 from Clippers; No. 3 from Nets; No. 18 from Hawks; No. 19 from Hornets via Blazers; No. 20 from Grizzlies via Jazz; No. 23 from Magic via Suns; No. 27 from Lakers; No. 28 from Heat via Raptors