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ReHeat: Heat escape Bobcats comeback with 95-87 victory

Today’s show is brought to you by the letter "Coach". First Half Miami began the game in immaculate fashion. Wearing their virtual BFF bracelets, the Heat interacted in a game of tag, every player touching the ball and re-locating accordingly. Running the offense, LeBron quickly accumulated 4 assists in 9 minutes, two of them beautifully going to a flu-ridden Wade ending in easy dunks (LeBron would finish with 5 assists). In the blink of an eye, the Heat put on a clinic with a 17-12 start provoking coach Larry Brown to call a timeout in an effort to regroup his troops. The Bobcats were overwhelmed, the Heat throwing their pace to the curb. With a padded lead and a back-to-back game against the Grizzlies soon after, the beginning of the second quarter left Chris Bosh as the sole offensive weapon on the floor. Mario Chalmers surprisingly made an early cameo in what is seemingly an effort to slowly bring him back from injury and incorporate him into the rotation. The game seemed destined for a blowout as the Heat continued the balanced barrage with LeBron dropping 16 points, Bosh contributing 12 and Wade’s meds allowing 10. Larry Brown’s game plan to deter LeBron from the paint and allow him to take long shots was working to a T. Problem is he was making them. The Bobcats attempt to lead a slow grind was escaping them, the Heat going to the locker with a comfortable lead and the score 56-37. Second Half There are few teams that often merit the possessive mention of the coach and the Bobcats are one of them. If you were to hypothetically substitute Larry Brown with, let’s say Vinny Del Negro, you can be rest assured the makeup and discipline of the team would drastically change, if not erupt. Such is the influence of a stellar architect. After what can be described as the "brown sound", the Bobcats returned with X and Os at the forefront of their brain, grit in their essence and hustle in their legs. Using a seemingly husky Boris Diaw as a point of distribution, the Bobcats improved their ball movement and used their bigs to pound the Heat inside. The defensive blueprint continued, which compelled the Heat’s star players to work hard for their shots, albeit alone, allowing only 4 assists total in the second half (matching Lebron’s total output in the first 9 minutes). Nazr Mohammed dominated inside, Stephen Jackson poured in the buckets and a Livingston-Augustin-Brown tandem combined for a hustling comeback and defensive lockdown. The Heat were outscored 31-19 in the third, the 19 point lead at the half down to 7. There is no explanation for the iso between-the-legs-in-place-dribbling and the step back jumpers that followed after. As the game took a deja-vu feel, a stagnant Miami Heat found themselves losing the lead and going down by 2 with 5 minutes to go. A repeat of the Utah collapse seemed inevitable at this point, the disciplined system ultimately defeating the sputtering temperature the Heat have suffered from. Miami went into LeBron isolation and LeBron-Bosh pick and rolls, and a gassed Bobcats team found the attacks too much to overcome, fouling at the dual force that was direct at them. LeBron and Bosh (combined for 54 points) made crucial free throws, James Jones dropped a dagger from his office and the Heat escaped with the 95-87 victory. Another comeback loss would have been heartbreaking, but mostly perturbing. Good teams win games with their consistency and the search for such anomaly continues for the Heat. The erratic difference between 12 minute segments continues to astonish. This recklessly close Game 12 goes to the Heat giving them an 8-4 record and the 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. 70 lessons to go, hopefully not unnecessarily strenuous.