LeBron James carried the Miami Heat on his back, with another impressive display of 34 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists and 4 steals. Nothing new. Dwyane Wade kept his best for the final seconds, hitting the game winner off an inbound pass from James to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 103-101. Nothing new.
A visit to the Target Center isn’t an easy like it was in previous years, but despite Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and Derrick Williams, the Wolves are still win-less. It takes time, even for an experienced and accomplished coach like Rick Adelman, to make this talented group into more than a few very skillful individuals and into a winning team. The first win will come, even LeBron thinks so.
They’re going to be a really good team. If it’s not this year, soon. Rubio didn’t start again, but played over 30 minutes for the Wolves, who looked much better when Rubio and Derrick Williams were on the floor, instead of Luke Ridnour and Michael Beasley. Rubio finished with 12 points, 12 assists and six reb0unds, Williams with 10 points. Kevin Love gave his usual day of work with 25 points and 12 rebounds, but was the only starter to score in double figures.
For the Heat, it was a game very similar to the one against the Bobcats a couple of nights ago. Each quarter was a different story, with the Heat taking the first and third, the Timberwolves doing well in the second and the fourth. Well, until the final offensive play by the Heat. Dwyane Wade becomes the first player in over a year to hit game winning shots on back to back games with less than five seconds on the clock.
The Heat continue to excel on defense when steals and creating easy points are considered. They came up with 14 steals, forcing 25 turnovers of the Timberwolves. Shane Battier struggled with an 0-5 night, all three point attempts, but did play some fantastic defense, coming up with 3 steals. Dwyane Wade was again the lowest scorer of the big three, but saves his best for late in the game.
There’s no denying, despite that the Heat aren’t winning easy in the last two games, how focused LeBron James came out of the gate this season. This was his 38th career game of 30 points and 10 assists, the most among active players, one more than Wade and way more than Chris Paul and Deron Williams. It was also his 400th regular season win, 8th among active players.
MVP talk? James, so far this season, is averaging 33 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2.8 steals per game. He has yet to make a three pointer, but he hardly attempts them. His field goal percentage, with a big focus on making more of an effort to post up and not force shots away from the basket, is at 59.8%, something you usually see from Centers, and not from Small Forwards averaging more than 20 shots a game.