When the Miami Heat built the big three concept and assembled it, this is what they had in mind. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all scored in the 20’s, leading the NBA champions to a 114-107 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers that somehow got a lot more complicated than it should have been.
The Cavs lost their head coach in the second quarter with Mike Brown finding himself ejected for speaking too many loud and maybe rude words to the officials, but that didn’t stop the Cavs from having a big third quarter and not letting the Heat run away with the game. Kyrie Irving once against struggled against Miami (6-of-16 from the field), but a good day from Jarett Jack and Dion Waiters (combining to score 30 points) helped them stay in the game.
LeBron James was in control, especially early on and in the big finish, scoring 25 points while adding 9 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals. Dwyane Wade had 20 points in the first half, finishing with 24 overall on a very efficient 9-of-15 shooting day, not taking a single three-pointer. Chris Bosh added 22 points and had 12 rebounds, with the Big Three combining to score 71 points on 63.6% from the field, which is very hard to beat the Heat when it happens. James and Wade shot a combined 10-of-10 from the field in the first quarter, scoring 23 of the Heat’s 35 points.
Ray Allen reached 24,000 career points and finished with 12, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, while Norris Cole was also quite efficient during his minutes on the floor, adding 9 points as Miami found it quite easy getting easy points, scoring 54 in the paint and shooting 55.3% from the field while the Cavs tried to match them shot for shot instead of trying something else that would have given them a better chance of leaving Miami with a win.
This wasn’t a killer-instinct kind of performance from the Heat, who seem to keep teams in game longer than we’ve gotten used to seeing from them. Maybe it still is the early season jitters and low gear from them, but some might be worried about the team struggling to put on consistent 48 or every 36 minutes against teams they really should be having an easier time putting away, especially when playing at home.
However, it might be that expectations from Miami are a bit too high, as someone parodied (The Onion) about Miami fans being angry the Heats haven’t won an NBA title since June. Michael Beasley didn’t play in this one and their very important back up center, Greg Oden, still hasn’t played one minute of basketball. This might be a very different team when we arrive in April, for better or worse.
Right now, having the luxury of relying on LeBron, Wade and Bosh isn’t such a bad way to get through life. They won’t find it so easy to score in high percentage against every team, with the loss to the Pacers probably fresh in some people’s minds, but it also won’t be surprising to find out both James and Wade have a lot more in the tank saved up for the rest of the season.