Well that was freakin’ fun!! I’ll admit, for 3½ quarters I wasn’t that ‘into’ the game, just checking out how our reserves were playing, who looked good on D, but never really paying mind to the score. Granted, we were ahead for the majority of the game, but when Detroit went on the run that put them up by 6 with just over 3 minutes left, my attention had been completely grasped.
With the game in the balance and the Heat in need of someone to step up on offense, Chris Quinn answered the bell. He scored ten straight points for the Heat in the waning minutes, keeping Miami within striking distance of the Pistons. With 23 seconds left Quinny hit a cold blooded three to put the Heat up by 1. After back-to-back misses at the foul line by Jason Maxiell, Quinn was on the line for the Heat. Unfortunately he would only get 1-of-2, and the Pistons would tie the game on a 3rd second chance opportunity with only 2.8 left. Quinn closed out the 4th quarter scoring 14 of the Heat’s final 16.
James Jones opened the OT with a three as the shot clock expired, and the Heat were off and running. Unfortunately they would go cold for a few minutes, but re-took the lead with under 90 seconds left on a couple Magloire buckets, one off a real nice pass by Quinn. That seemed to be all it took to get the little guy going again. After a Will Bynum runner (he scored all 8 of Detroit’s OT points), Quinn hit a monster step-back three, then drew a charge (!) on Bynum and with the Heat up by 1, drained the shot clock and hit a rainbow floater off glass with only 6 seconds left in the game.
Quinn drawing the charge was huge. For a guy who has struggled on defense non-stop to save a game that he had taken over offensively on the defensive side is just sick. It’s no surprise that during the post-game on-court interview he had more to say about drawing the charge then hitting the big three. Overall, the Heat reserve D at the end was solid, holding the Pistons to only 1 shot in the final minute of OT.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Are the Pistons ready for the playoffs? With their regular starters in during the 1st quarter they let Miami, minus 4 starters, to go on a 12-2 run. Ouch…have fun in Cleveland.
After sitting out the final two games of the regular season, Dwyane Wade won the NBA’s scoring title with a 30.2 ppg average. This is no small accomplishment, and knowing the Heat franchise, there will be a nice ceremony and probably a banner (half joke, half serious) for Dwyane coming up either before or during halftime of Game 3.
Michael Beasley is very much the real deal and I sincerely hope that the Heat coaching staff finds a way to get him 30+ minutes in the playoffs. If that means a few less minutes for Udonis Haslem and Jermaine O’Neal then so be it. The way B-Easy is showing how easily he can score (in many different ways) while rebounding like a beast, we NEED to have this guy on the court.
Like last night, Beasley came out and played almost the entire 1st quarter then sat out the 2nd. He was solid in the first half, shooting 7-for-12 for 14 points and 3 boards in 11 minutes after started off 6-of-9 from the field. Then in the 2nd half he came out on fire, hitting his first three shots including a couple trays. He finished with 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting and 5 boards in only 19 minutes. Beasley was not shy about being the main scoring option for the Heat, as shown by his 1 shot per-minute average. It’s scary how good this kid is going to get.
Beasley also played some time on D at small forward, and Coach Spo hinted to press that we may see Beasley playing small forward in the 1st round against Atlanta. I like it; any way that we get B-Easy more minutes is a good thing.
In this spot I had written a little something about Quinn’s D during the first half. But after the way he ended the game, you will find no negative comments about him during this write-up. For one night, Quinny is the man.
The way Joel Anthony catches passes you would think he was playing for the Dolphins the last couple years. How many times does the ball bounce off his hands when given a perfect pass under the rim?
Jamaal Magloire was once again very good. 14 points and 9 boards in 27 minutes…solid. He was in there for the Heat down the stretch, but I think if the game hadn’t been the close exciting thing that it was, Coach Spo would’ve preferred to have Mark Blount on the floor instead of his primary backup center (not counting when Udonis moves to the 5)
One interesting thought…had Jamaal Magloire been playing this well from the beginning of the season, would the Heat have made the trade for Jermaine O’Neal? Probably, as it was the best deal offered for Marion…but I don’t think the urgency to acquire a center would’ve been quite so extreme.
Mario Chalmers finished with 10 assists in only 22 minutes, and his 6 assists in the 1st quarter tied for the most by any Heat player in a quarter this season.
ON THE HORIZON….PLAYOFFS!!!
Its playoff time...you know what that means. Time for brawlin'
I don’t know about you guys, but I am someone who gets really amped up for the playoffs. If one of my teams are in there, I’m goin’ nuts. Playoff coverage coming up this week, and tomorrow we’ll have another ‘4 Quarters’ from guest blogger Jonathan Zaslow.