The AAA was rockin’ on Saturday night as the Heat snapped a 10-game losing streak to Orlando. And it wasn’t done by D-Wade taking the game over or Daequan hitting 10 three pointers…a total team effort was needed by the Heat in order to hand the Magic their first 2-game losing streak since they started the season 0-2.
KEYS TO VICTORY
There are so many different things that can go in this section; I have to pick and choose. I am going to give a K2V to Mario Chalmers because we all know how badly he needed it. Mario came out blazing, going 6-for-6 in the 1st quarter and scored a quarter career high 13 points. He finished with 20 points 6 assists 3 steals and no turnovers. One of those steals came with under 10 seconds left when he stripped Jameer Nelson with the Heat up by 3. Chalmers had been held scoreless in 3 of the Heat’s past 6 games.
The Heat also committed a franchise low 4 turnovers against Orlando, and only 1 of them came in the 2nd half. In a game that felt like a ‘must win’ considering the Heat’s tough schedule and lack of beating ‘good’ teams of late, this was a huge victory.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Dwayne Wade committed no turnovers for the 1st time in his professional career. He joked after the game that it was his first time since grade school. He also led the team in points (27), rebounds (8) and assists (6). He was double teamed in the 2nd half and adjusted by hitting his open teammates in the 4th quarter.
We have a Mark Blount sighting! The 7-footer got his first playing time since December 14th against Memphis, and I was taken completely by surprise as this game time came out of nowhere. He was in for most of the 4th quarter and played great defense against Dwight Howard. He finished with 7 points in 19 minutes, and I can only wonder if we’ll be seeing the $8.5 million dollar man in the near future.
This was the 2nd straight game that Joel Anthony started the game but did not start the 2nd half. He played 6:34 in the 1st quarter and would not be seen again. It was the least amount of minutes Anthony had played since November 5th. Meanwhile, Mark Blount and Jamaal Magloire played a combined 41 minutes.
The Heat won the free throw battle for the 17th time this season 32-28. They are now 16-1 in games that they shoot more foul shots then their opponent.
The Heat are now 4-2 in games that Shawn Marion does not play.
Michael Beasley came out aggressive but wasn’t hitting his shots, going only 1-for-6. He did however get to the free throw line and made all 8 of his attempts from the charity stripe.
Udonis is also getting back to form, continuing to battle through his rough shooting spell with hustle and poise. He had 2 big baskets in the last minute of the game, breaking a 94-all tie to give the Heat a 4-point lead.
Miami and Detroit are the only teams in the NBA to beat San Antonio, the Lakers, Orlando and Cleveland (all division leaders).
The Heat also used 11 of the 12 players on their active roster. Only Marcus Banks didn’t make it on the court…no shock there.
IN THE STANDINGS
Philly beat the Knicks at home tonight, the Nets beat Memphis and Milwaukee held on to the 8th spot with a close win over Sacramento.
ON THE HORIZON
Another big game for the Heat as the Atlanta Hawks are coming to town on Monday night. This will be the Hawks 2nd and final visit to Miami this year; they beat the Heat by 14 points on December 12th.