Miami Heat Weekly: Free Throws, Defensive Woes Prevent A Perfect Week

Last Week 2-1 (6-3 Overall)

Saturday vs Boston Celtics – Loss (111-110)

By all accounts, this should have been a forgone conclusion as to who was going to win the game with the much favoured Miami Heat going up against a Boston Celtics team “secretly” looking to make a run at the tank-a-thon. But then again, this is the NBA, nothing is ever really set in stone and drama is always right around the corner.

Coming into the game, Boston was averaging 90 points a game, which was 28th in the NBA; however, against the Miami Heat, they managed to put up 111 big ones in a thriller that went right down to the wire. This was thanks in large to Miami often having defense lapses, especially after scoring themselves as the Celtics would push the ball and catch the Heat off guard before they set up on defense. And even when Miami were set up defensively, everything was simply falling for the men in green, especially when it counted the most.

LeBron James had an interesting choice of words to describe the way Miami was playing defensively and this was the game that set him off. Although you can’t really blame him for his frustration as two of the game’s biggest plays by Jeff Green were made on King James’ watch. The first being a thunderous dunk in the first quarter as he cut through the Miami defense like a hot knife through butter and the second being the miraculous corner 3 pointer.

Tuesday vs Milwaukee Bucks – Win (118-95)

With the bitter taste of Jeff Green’s corner heave still left in the mouths of the defending champions, nothing less than a statement win would ease the disappointment of the previous game and a statement win is what the Heat had with the 23-point demolition of the undermanned Milwaukee Bucks.

LeBron was top dog with 33 points in the game, but the headlines went to Michael Beasley, who was simply unstoppable as he finished with 19 points in as many minutes.

B-Easy went 8-for-12 from the field, but none of his makes were more telling of his effort level in his second stint with the Heat than the fast break alley-oop he put down after outrunning the rest of the Bucks to finish Dwyane Wade’s lob.

Flash himself had a quiet night scoring wise but was still influential in the game as he finished with eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. However, turnovers are still an issue as he finished the game with six to his name.

Mario Chalmers on the other hand had a clean game as he didn’t lose the ball at all on his way to the fourth game with at least six assists this season; ending the contest with seven dimes. That included a cheeky bounce pass through the legs of Khris Middleton to James and the duo then combined for a sweet no-look alley-oop play just seconds later.

Overall, the Miami Heat were solid defensively as the Heat held Milwaukee to just 41 percent shooting and even won the rebounding battle for the first time in the season with 40 boards to 34.

Friday vs Dallas Mavericks – Win (110-104)

With the end of a four-game homestand in sight, Miami was looking to close out the week strong to end the week on a high note, and LeBron was not going to be denied; scoring 39 points in a game where Dallas was simply too stubborn to lie down.

Dirk Nowitzki kicked off the game with a pair of 3s and Dallas quickly ran out to an early 17-10 lead. But the aggressive Heat offense helped Miami reel in the Mavericks thanks to a 9-for-9 shooting masterclass from the free-throw line in the first quarter and they continued that throughout the match; finishing the game 25-for-30.

However, the biggest take from the game was Miami’s defense as the South beach outfit cranked up the pressure and stole the ball 19 times, with Dwyane Wade leading the way with eight. And yet even with all the takeaways, Miami was unable to put away the Mavs despite opening up a 13-point lead.

With the game going down to the wire, Dirk hit a step back jumper with Chris Bosh draped all over him to make it one point game with two minutes left. However that was as close as it got as LeBron James, refusing to be outdone, did his best impression of the German’s trademark, one-legged fade away as he nailed a jumper with Monta Ellis guarding him.

That was soon followed by a 10-4 Miami run as the Heat managed to convert their free throws down the stretch.

Miami’s victory was sullied by the ejection of Mario Chalmers as he appeared to have thrown an elbow at Dirk Nowitzki. Initially, that was called a flagrant foul, but upon further review, the incident was deemed to be worthy of a flagrant 2 and the point guard was sent on his way.

This wasn’t the first time Chalmers had thrown an elbow at an opponent this season after the Kansas product did a similar thing against Blake Griffin and the L.A. Clippers last week when Griffin set a pick. He initially got away with it on that occasion, but was later fined $15,000 by the league. If he is found to be guilty again, you can only imagine the punishment will be much more severe this time around.

Points of Emphasis

Miami is in rampant form offensively, averaging 107.1 points per game -fourth in the NBA. But despite averaging the sixth most free-throw attempts per game (26.7) they are only 20th in efficiency at just 72.5 percent.

This week, Miami shot 69.7 percent and dropped 26 points at the charity stripe including two by Dwyane Wade versus Boston that could have sealed the game. 

Next Up

Sat. Nov. 16 @ Charlotte Bobcats.

What to Look Out For

The NBA has opened up the ballot for the All-Star Game so get on there and vote for your favorite players.

Miami has five representatives in the ballot including guards Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen. Forwards LeBron James and Chris Bosh also are on the ballot.

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Tags: Dwyane Wade Lebron James Mario Chalmers Michael Beasley