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ReHeat: Boston Celtics 88 - Miami Heat 80

  • Critics will have their field day with this one. The headlines will scream that the Heat are overrated for falling flat out of the gate. Don't let any of it fool you. The very fact that the Heat were this bad through most of the game with their 3 best players struggling and nonetheless were within a basket of stealing a win is the most important lesson to be learned. As fractured, raw and confused this new collection of Heat players where, they had no business being in this game against one of the elite teams in the NBA playing in their fired-up arena. And yet they almost won despite coach Erik Spoelstra taking way too long to make the necessary adjustments to turn the game around and with Dwyane Wade completely out of sync while getting back in NBA shape.
  • Wade wasn't the only one of the Big 3 to play uncharacteristically. LeBron had 8 turnovers and Chris Bosh only tallied 8 points on 3-11 shooting. There won't be many times that will all happen again in one game. Considering it's their first game together, there's no need for snap judgements that lead to overreaction about one game. This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.
  • Unbelievably, the Heat had 9 points in the first quarter and 35 points with 7:17 to go in the third quarter. Then everything changed as soon as LeBron became the primary ballhandler late in the third quarter and a familiar teammate in Zydrunas Ilgauskas to set high screens giving him plenty of space to attack the basket. At their worst, the Heat were static on offense as they simply passed the ball to each other while the shot clock was winding down, forcing the ballhandler to go at it alone and attempt a long jumper. With LeBron on the move towards the basket, the Celtics were forced to collapse and that's where open shots freed up. James Jones disappointed with his shot as he had all the time in the world to hit those threes.
  • Joel Anthony and Carlos Arroyo are not the answer in the starting lineup. They would be fine playing in the second unit with Bosh as the primary option while the other starters rest. Chalmers' return does not inspire much confidence that this will improve matters. Anthony faded fast after grabbing 5 quick rebounds at the outset of the game but was manhandled in the paint trying to get position on Boston's bigs. Big Z should have played more minutes and Juwan Howard proved in the preseason he was just as capable of setting good picks for LeBron. Arroyo was just ineffective and contributed practically nothing in only 13 minutes.
  • Speaking of not contributing much, good to see Jermaine O'Neal continuing his play from the Heat-Celtics playoff series regardless of which jersey he wears.
  • Patrick Beverley could have been used for a game like this. Yet, if Jamaal Magloire is truly needed on this roster then shouldn't this be a game to throw him in? If not now then when? What if Beverley could have had a hand in preventing Rondo from doing whatever he wanted like he did against Arroyo? It seems to be permissible for Arroyo and Mario Chalmers to not score much but with Beverley it was too much to look past despite his skill-set meshing well with what the Heat need at that spot alongside Wade and James.
  • About those playoffs, didn't the Heat learn their lesson about leaving Ray Allen and Paul Pierce open and allowing them the space they need to knock down timely baskets? Help defense is a great concept but there's no need to leave your man to try to stop Rajon Rondo from shooting a jumper. There's way too much scrambling on defense which leaves the Heat exposed when steals from passing lanes don't happen and only Joel Anthony and Chris Bosh left to protect the basket.
  • Yes, the Heat are undersized and have weak point guards and it showed against the Celtics. Most nights this won't matter against lesser teams. But lesser teams don't get to play in the postseason. The Heat just might be active until the trade deadline to try to address this.
  • With the sheer talent and potent offensive firepower between the Big 3, the Heat will always have a chance to win in the fourth quarter. The margin for error at the end of this game proved too much to overcome against a quality opponent thanks to the catastrophic start to the game. Maybe that's not the end of the world for such a new team learning how to coexist and looking to learn from their mistakes. If the team had played solid but not necessarily spectacular in the first half and could have hit just a few more open shots (I'm looking at you James Jones), the Heat could have easily been in control in the fourth quarter despite it all.