Dwyane Wade didn’t have the best of nights, but came up big when it mattered the most. The Miami Heat didn’t have it easy like on the first two nights of the new NBA season, but LeBron James shined with another huge night, Chris Bosh had a big on as well and Flash came up with the winning jumper over the Charlotte Bobcats with 2.9 seconds to go.
All talk of the Miami Heat defense wasn’t really there in the first half, as the Charlotte Bobcats (1-1) went on a tear during the first half, scoring 60 points with %60 from the field. Second half? Well, stats show us that Charlotte just couldn’t get it done with their half court offense, as the Heat closed the lanes and allowed the Bobcats only 19 points from their half court offense, creating 12 turnovers.
Wade was having an off night. While LeBron James continued his fantastic start to the season with 35 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks, Wade finished with a modest 10 points, getting banged up in the process. Chris Bosh was big with 25 points, and the Heat provided more then one big play for the usual highlight reel you can make after any Miami game.
But many say that THE man in Miami is Dwyane Wade, and the winning play proved that. Wade even spoke after the game, saying he was surprised that his name was called up to save the day, with the Heat 94-95 down after a big Gerald Henderson (21 points) shot for the Bobcats.
When coach called it, I was shocked because this guy had it going on. I wasn’t in the flow. I was about to say, ‘Let LeBron run it.’ Then I said, ‘You know what, I’ll do it.’
For some reason, the Bobcats didn’t trap Wade and came up with the double team a tad too late, leaving Wade with a relatively comfortable shot measuring the moment of happening. Who knows, maybe they were afraid that the red hot LeBron James, waiting in the corner, might be the one to take it. He didn’t, and the Bobcats had to rely on a prayer from D.J. Augustin which didn’t go anywhere near the hoop.
The big key for the Bobcats was not turning the ball over in the first half. Miami averaged 102.5 possessions in their first two games. They had only 95 against Charlotte who shot well, moved the ball quickly and kept Miami on a half court offense most of the game, which isn’t their strongest element.
But they couldn’t stop the comeback. Settling for jump shots eventually kills your game, and the balls that dropped in the first half just stopped in the second half. The effect of the record-crowd in the arena faded after the first 24 minutes. The Heat kept eating away at the lead until finally taking over the game. Charlotte couldn’t match the aggression and pace, eventually relying on a winning shot on both ends, which didn’t go their way.
After two nearly perfect games for the Heat, came a much tougher, sterner test, from a team capable of causing problems. Not that the Celtics can’t, but they didn’t, for most of the night. The lack of the same energy and focus we saw from the entire team during the first half nearly created an unbridgeable gap, but we can’t expect the Heat to be a super team every night. You need to learn how to win the close ones as well, as the real test in the playoffs will probably provide more slow games than fast paces ones.
Having three All-Star on your team, two of them definite hall of fame players before they’re 30 certainly doesn’t hurt.