Some nights the Miami Heat are simply to difficult to beat, especially with the New Orleans Pelicans running out of steam after one half. LeBron James dominated with ease, showing some impressive dunking skills and also handing out kisses to ladies sitting courtside. Dwyane Wade had an impressive game as well, but showed an example of just how the NBA should pay more attention to players traveling.
James finished with 32 points on 13-of-22 from the field, also hitting three times from beyond the arc, leading the Heat to a 107-88 win. They outscored the Pelicans by 25 points in the second half, as the young visitors seemed to finish their ammunition after only one half.
Monty Williams – Give them credit. They came out in the third quarter and stepped up the pressure. They made a lot of tough shots but our guys, as a whole, we’ve got to grow up and understand that when you have a good half against a team, they’re going to come out and attack and put pressure.
Anthony Davis scored 16 points in the first half, but finished with only 22. The Miami Heat simply started playing a lot more aggressively on both ends of the floor, trapping a lot more. Either Williams didn’t prepare his players for that kind of shift, or it was possibly that they simply didn’t respond with the necessary toughness to the NBA champions switching gears.
Maybe it was momentum. The Pelicans held a nine point lead near the end of the first half, and instead of going into the locker room with a double digit lead, it turned into six. A turnover by Tyreke Evans with 1.1 seconds left, and a foul on Chris Bosh which sent him to the line for three shots (making all of them) giving the Heat only six points to make up for when the second half began.
We see a lot of the same problems for the Heat, even with such a convincing win. Their problems with talented big men continue, allowing Anthony Davis to grab seven offensive rebounds and dominate early on the boards. The inconsistency from role players like Rashard Lewis can be forgiven at this stage, but not later on. Michael Beasley continues to have wild swings in his contributions, finishing with only 1 points, missing all three of his field goal attempts.
But the basketball and energy we saw from the Miami Heat in the second half has been what makes this team so dominant. Chris Bosh doesn’t even need a big night for them to look so good (12 points). James was in his zone whether he was driving to the paint or shooting from long range, while Dwyane Wade looked pain free and loose, adding 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He easily got himself easy shots against a defense that lost all hope at some point, with the Heat scoring 50 points inside.
Wade did have a weird moment of traveling that wasn’t picked up by the refs. Looking at the Gif, it seems like he’s taking 7 steps without dribbling the ball. As long as it doesn’t come when shooting the ball, officials tend to ignore these violations.