Well that was something to forget. It's amazing how in a series that we have won two games, we could get our butt kicked so regularly. The Hawks used a 39-20 2nd quarter to propel them to another big win in which Miami left Phillips Arena with their collective tails tucked securely between their legs.
It was a nice start with Jermaine O'Neal getting bailed out of a low shot clock by a bad Al Horford foul, then James Jones stole the ball on the Hawks first offensive possession. Horford would go to the bench with his 2nd foul less then 5 minutes into the game. D-Wade still didn't have a touch on the Heat's first three offensive possessions, and when he finally got his hands on the ball, missed his first jumper...but it wasn't an airball. It was nice to see Mario Chalmers hit his first attempt from beyond the arc.
The Heat looked much smarter on offense, constantly driving the ball and drawing the Hawks inside, then dishing it out. This was creating holes in the Hawks' D, which led to some early fouls by the Hawks. Unfortunately the Heat started off missing two of their first six free-throws. Joe Johnson still looks off in this 1st round, starting the game 0-for-2 from the field. The cold shooting was contagious, with the Hawks missing six straight from the field and the Heat missing six as well. Both teams broke their streaks on consecutive possessions, leading to an 11-11 tie.
Suddenly...the earth stopped moving. After a collision with Josh Smith (who else..) going for a rebound, D-Wade hit the back of his head on the court and after staying in the floor for a few minutes, was off to the dressing room. The Heat came back with Chris Quinn and Daequan Cook of the bench to give the Heat a new backcourt. Daequan quickly hit his first jumper, which would hopefully spark a Game 2 like performance for Dae-Dae (remember, he hit 6 three's that night).
The 2nd quarter opened with the Mo Evans missing a wide open three, then Beasley getting the rebound and scoring on the other end of the floor. All good signs for Miami. After back to back offensive turnovers by Miami, D-Wade made his return to the game and promptly grabbed a rebound off a Josh Smith missed jumper. On the ensuing offensive possession, Wade was fouled hard by Solomon Jones who went chest-to-chest with Wade, and Jamaal Magloire quickly got in Jones' face to defend Dwyane. Then in the scrum, Josh Smith pushed Magloire twice, then taunted him to come at him. Double technical fouls would be assessed to Magloire, Wade, Smith and Jones.
Wade was then called for a flagrant 1 when chasing down Mo Evans going for a block, fouling him from behind and actually getting the ball. But the crappy call would stand and the Hawks would extend their lead to 8. Actually, after the scrum that led to all the technical fouls, the Hawks went on a 14-2 run and were suddenly up by 15. Things were not looking up for Miami, they were missing jumpers and allowing the Hawks to run run run, which was exactly what Atlanta wanted.
With 3:38 left in the 1st half Dwyane Wade hit his first field goal, but the Heat were still down by 15. It wouldn't get any better for Miami, and they went into the half down by 23. Wade was 1-for-6, Chalmers was 1-for-5 and Beasley was 2-for-6.
Gotta love the start to the 2nd half. D-Wade hit back-to-back-to-back jumpers, and the Heat scored 6 straight to open the 3rd quarter, cutting the lead to 17. Wade's hot hand would continue, hitting his first 5 shots of the 2nd half before finally missing one, but a lack of D would keep the Heat down by a substantial amount. It was pretty much back and fourth the entire quarter, with the Heat outscoring Atlanta 30-22, but they were still down by 15 going into the 4th. They could've cut it to 10 when Daequan Cook missed a three-pointer in the final minute with the Heat down 13, but instead the Hawks hit a couple free throws (2nd chance, of course) and Wade missed a J as the buzzer went off.
A Wade missed dunk with 9 minutes left pretty much summed up this one. The Heat couldn't stop the Hawks on offense, and when they did...they couldn't get a rebound. After another offensive rebound by Zaza (his 4th of the game), the Hawks hit a wide open 3 to go up by 19 with just over 8 minutes left. Miami would pretty much shut it down from here, showing very little effort on either side of the floor.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Another thing to add to the ‘Josh Smith is an immature d-bagg' list when he tried to do an under/through the legs dunk, and missed, with the Hawks up by over 20 in the final minutes. That isn't going to do anything but give the Heat a reason to be even more upset with the immature forward.
Michael Beasley had a ‘good-bad' game, shooting 5-of-12 but never got anything going until the game was out of reach. Hopefully his solid 2nd half will carry over into Game 6.
Wade shot 8-of-13 in the 2nd half for 23 points. Something else that needs to carry over into the next game. He also got to the foul line more times last night (13) then any other game. His previous high total was 6.
How about Atlanta getting to the foul like 41 times? Or out-rebounding Miami 37-28, and 12-6 on the offensive glass...?
Other then Beasley's 18 points, the Heat bench chipped in a whole 6 points, 4 of which came during garbage time. 6 points in 41 combined minutes among 5 players not named Beasley. Nice.
The Hawks hit their final 12 shots of the 1st half. Again, where's the D?
I thought Erik Spoelstra left an ailing D-Wade in the game a bit too long in the 4th quarter. The game was well over with 8 minutes left and the Hawks up 19. Meanwhile, Wade stayed in the game until 3:40 was left.
Being the positive guy that I am...Game 7 will be on Sunday at 1pm on ABC.