The Miami Heat didn’t need to be at their best to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 100-94, knowing very well that focusing their defense on Jeremy Lin in the second half is pretty much the best way to slow down their opponents, crippled by having a weak squad, tanking for a strategy and Byron Scott for a head coach.
Dwyane Wade scored 25 points, Goran Dragic added 21 and Hassan Whiteside had a very fun time against the pitiful attempts at having an interior game from the Lakers, scoring 18 points and grabbing 25 rebounds, helping the Heat score 54 points in the paint while the Lakers waited once again for the game to almost slip away from them to suddenly try and win it. Scott has gotten quite good at making it look like he knows what he’s doing.
Lin finished with 12 points on 5-of-12 from the field, but he also finished with 9 assists and four steals, once again showing his excellent timing and ability to read passing lanes or attacking routes by players. However, being thrown out there to save the day time after time is a gimmick teams learn. The Miami Heat have a lot of problems, but they don’t have an arm-crossing scarecrow for a head coach, or a front office that has made so many bad decisions in recent years you need six sets of hands to count them all.
Every game the ceremony repeats itself. Byron Scott lets his awful starters lose the game in the third quarter, puts in Jeremy Lin and then starts chasing leads. From time to time it has worked and the Lakers actually grabbed a four point lead in the fourth quarter, but more often than not it falls down to how good of a shooting day Lin is having. Yes. The Lakers seem to completely rely on how good of an offensive day Lin is having at this point. This makes it very easy for teams to prepare for.
And that’s what the Heat did. Lin came in with the Lakers behind by 10 points in the third quarter. Knowing that the offense and momentum hinges on him, the Heat kept doubling him up and having Hassan Whiteside wait for Lin in the paint. Lin missed his first four shots after coming in but settled down in both his passing and shooting in the fourth quarter. The Lakers couldn’t hold on to he lead they created, mainly because this team has zero learning process or knowledge on how to play team defense. That’s usually up to the head coaches on most NBA teams, but maybe there’s a different system set up for the Lakers.
In short? The Lakers carry on with their road of “acceptable losses.” Byron Scott has concocted a recipe that includes using the wrong players for most of the game before making the one change that shifts everything into a different mode and gear. Usually, he does it a bit too late. Why? Because frankly, he’s not that worried about winning or not, but it seems that giving the perception of at least trying to win is giving some people the impression that he’s actually doing the best he can. Sadly, his best isn’t far from this pathetic coaching job.