At the moment, the Miami Heat don’t look like a team good enough to win the NBA championship. However, their 113-104 win over the Houston Rockets brings back some sort of confidence not just in them as a group, but in Ray Allen as a capabale sidekick of the Big Three, outscoring the trio of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
Ray Allen scored 25 points, 14 of them coming in the fourth quarter. The Miami Heat were in trouble all game with the Rockets, once again finding it difficult to create logn minutes of dominant defense. But there’s more to thier championships than ability. It’s about mental toughness, maybe the most important thing to keep in mind as they make an attempt to accomplish that 3-peat.
With 4:26 left in the game and the Rockets taking a four point lead after a 3-pointer by Patrick Beverley, Dwight Howard was called for a technical foul. According to the rule book, it was the right call. But seeing as he actually sped up play and didn’t delay the game, it was obvious to see why the Rockets got so upset with the call. But the problem wasn’t just their reaction at that moment – it was the way everything broke down for the Rockets, scoring only two points until the end of the game, getting outscored 15-2 during that stretch.
LeBron James finished with 24 points and so did Dwyane Wade. Chris Bosh finished with 18 in a good day for the big three, as the Heat started the game with a very weird lineup, that included a twin tower kind of look, as Greg Oden played for 13 minutes, finishing with 6 rebounds bout once again 0 points. Was it because of Howard, or their rebounding problems? The Heat once again lost in the rebounding battle (34-31) and allowing more offensive boards than they grabbed, but it wasn’t by a significant margin. The Rockets were able to lead late in the game because the Heat’s defense is struggling at the moment.
Allen turned out to be the hero. His 3-point shooting can still be the best in the game when he enters his zone, hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and adding a perfect 7-of-7 from the line. The Heat shot 51.3% from the field against a bad perimeter team defensively except for Beverley, who has his good and bad days. He did end up with 5 steals, making things difficult for Mario Chalmers, but his gambling also creates big gaps behind him. He finished with 15 points, , third on the team after James Harden with 30 and Dwight Howard with 21 points.
This is the beginning of the road back up for the Heat, falling too far behind the Indiana Pacers to allow themselves any more surprises. More than ever before, it seems like home court advantage is going to be a must for these Heat in order to win the NBA championship. Maybe we’re wrong, and getting their s@$% together going into the final month of the season is going to be the actual sign of the times and indicator of how likely it is to expect a third ring. This performance from Ray Allen showed us once more it’s going to take more than just a good and consistent game from the Big three each night to get the job done.