Pretty mediocre homestand, huh? I certainly didn't see this homestand going this way. I figured 4-2 would be a good mark, and now you're looking at 3-3 at best. This team has done a good job of squandering all these home games in the early part of the season. They play a ton of road games in the second half of the season.
A few things that have been bothering me lately (And, I am usually very level-headed when it comes to this team).........
The Portland game is a great example of something that's been bugging me of late, and it involves two of my favorite things to get upset about lately: 1) Michael Beasley's lack of 4th quarter playing time, and 2) Dwyane Wade's incredibly uneven season.
At this point, it has to be pretty clear to everyone involved that Michael Beasley is pretty darn good. I understand Coach Spoelstra trusts Udonis and wants him on the floor in the 4th quarter. But that whole scenario reeks of letting up on the gas pedal, and playing not to lose. What I mean by that is rather than getting your best defender out there in that spot, and removing one of your best offensive players, I'd rather them continue to attack. By putting Haslem in there, you're taking away your "attack" player in Beasley and you're leaving the game squarely on Dwyane's shoulders. From what we've seen so far this season...that's certainly not good enough. Dwyane needs Beasley. And when he's been relied upon, he's delivered for the most part.
Middle of the 4th quarter vs. Portland, Beasley gets removed for "defensive" purposes, and the Heat have trouble scoring and Dwyane can't do it by himself. What happens after that is something the Heat fan has seen a TON of lately: Dwyane Wade complaining for fouls and not getting back on defense. As far as I'm concerned, that whole scene is pretty tired at this point. The problem is, I don't know what you can do about it.
I know Dwyane is Dwyane, and he gets to do what he wants. But it's kind of hard to stomach Dwyane taking 30+ shots, and Beasley doesn't play the 4th quarter. Now, I don't have a problem with Dwyane shooting a lot. The problem with that is Dwyane normally doesn't get a ton of field goal attempts. He's been a FT machine, and incredibly efficient over his career. This team isn't going to win a lot of games with him getting credit for over 30 shots in a game.
I'm curious what the Heat fans take on Mario Chalmers is at this point in the season. Without question, the most disappointing part of this season has been the lack of development of two of the three "young" guys on this team. Mario Chalmers and Daequan Cook have been massive disappointments, and are not even close to being definite pieces of this teams future.
Daequan Cook has been an enigma since the All-Star Break last year. I have no answer to what has happened to him, but it is frustrating to have heard how great he looks all summer and then watch him continue to stink up the joint game after game.
As far as Chalmers goes...he needs to get his act together or Riley should get rid of him. I cannot possibly be more down on him than I am right now. This guy was the starter for 82 regular season games as a rookie. This guy started all 7 playoff games as a rookie. This guy started the first 22 games of this season. And now this guy has lost his starting job to a journeyman point guard who does not have a guaranteed contract.
Mario Chalmers did not lose his starting job just because of his performance. Remember at the end of last year we found out that Mario and Beasley were fined repeatedly throughout their rookie seasons for violating various team rules? Remember Beasley wasn't the only one thrown out of the NBA's rookie symposium prior to the 2008-2009 season? Well, a quarter of the way into his second season, Mario Chalmers still has a hard time showing up for practice on time. Spoelstra isn't benching him for being late one time!!! It's why Chalmers said he wasn't surprised when he was told the benching is indefinite. Practice isn't at 8am, it's at Noon! Noon! And the starting point guard continually has a problem showing up on time? That's a joke.
I would not be surprised to see Chalmers, Cook, or James Jones moved before the trade deadline. All as ways to shed some payroll for next season's bonanza.