The Miami Heat have opened the season with 3 straight victories for just the 3rd time in their 24-year history, with the latest coming last night in Charlotte. Miami fell behind early, trailing by as many as 16, but a furious 2nd half comeback that saw the Heat play some stifling defense led to one of the best single-game turnarounds in franchise history. It was nice to see that Miami, despite being on the road and getting off to a very slow start, showed their ability to compose themselves come from behind.
Now comes a well-deserved day off following their first back-to-back set of the season. Friday the Heat get back to work, playing 3 games in the next 4 nights, which is a theme that will be common throughout the year. The days off in-between games will be few and far between. The day off will certainly help Dwyane Wade, who bruised his left foot during the 1st half and missed the first 10 minutes of the 3rd quarter.
Despite the injury, Wade still made a difference in the game. With the Heat down by a point and 12.2 seconds left, Erik Spolestra called Dwyane's number during their final timeout and Wade responded by driving to his left and hitting the game-winning shot with just 2.9 seconds on the clock. After the game, Wade even said that he was surprised the ball went his way:
"When (Coach Spoelstra) called it, I was surprised, because LeBron had it going. I had no lift, that's why I shot-putted it."
Looking back to the win over Boston, it was a big of a coming out party for rookie point guard Norris Cole. He played with confidence and poise that's uncommon amongst such young players, hitting several key shots in the 4th quarter to help seal the win for Miami. The game got off to a good start for the Heat, with excellent early defense leading to turnovers and fast break points.
In the second half Boston starting using a zone defense more frequently, and that gave Miami some problems, but its just another thing for them to work and improve on in the early stages of the season. Overall there was too much Heat and not enough Celtics, and a big time effort from the aforementioned Cole led to a convincing Miami win over the C's.
- Joel Anthony, pick and roll, nice play - showing improved offensive skills, although still limited
- Miami's rebounding totals have dropped in all three games so far. They grabbed 51 in Dallas, 38 against Boston and then just 30 last night in Charlotte.
- Shane Battier averaged 18.5 minutes in the back-to-back games, not getting on the scorers sheet a lot but showing the defensive skills he is known for. Once he starts shooting with consistency, the sky's the limit.
- LeBron James has not yet attempted a 3-pointer this season. When asked about it in practice today, he took a ball, walked to the corner, swished a 3 and smiled.
- James Jones leads the Heat in 3-pointers with 6. He is 6-of-9 on the season.
Next up is Friday night in Minnesota. Local tipoff time is 8pm...Go Heat!