This one was ugly from start to finish. Miami's shooting was downright awful and their defense wasn't much better, save for a brief stretch at the beginning of the 4th. At a time when urgency should be a priority the Heat came out looking lazy, making me wonder what the hell they were thinking about before the game. Yeah, I know they have been playing very well lately and this is just one game...but come on. How can you come out with a game like this when all we hear from the players and coach is how important the games are and how they all know how each game counts. Other then Wade, Jermaine and Udonis, I have no confidence in the majority of our team. The young guys are doing nothing but proving to me how immature they are which is evident by the decisions being made on the court.
The Heat got off to a cold start, hitting just one of their first eight shots, before D-Wade got things going with a nice drive that drew a Manu Ginobili foul. Michael Beasley was working hard to create, taking several shots in the first quarter. You could tell that he was trying to shake off a little rust, but it's always nice to see an active Beasley. It's when he's on the floor and you don't notice him that is a problem for me.
Despite having Dorell Wright back in the lineup after his 2-game suspension, it was James Jones that was the first small forward to come off the bench. It was also interesting that Jamaal Magloire was the first center to come off the bench despite how well Joel Anthony had been playing when Beasley was out. Meanwhile, the Spurs closed the 1st quarter on a 13-2 run and took a 15-point lead into the 2nd. San Antonio's lead (15) was larger then the amount of points the Heat scored in the 1st quarter (14).
Things only got worse in the 2nd quarter. The Spurs quickly increased their lead to 20 while the Heat couldn't hit anything offensively. A sequence about 4 minutes in was a perfect example to how things were going for Miami; It started with the Spurs missing a wide open trey, but no worries for them as they easily tracked down the offensive board (at the time they were out-rebounding Miami 22-10).
Ginobili then missed a second wide open three-pointer, and when Udonis came down with the rebound he immediately tried to hit D-Wade with a 45-foot pass but apparently didn't notice the three Spurs jerseys around him. San Antonio then quickly found another open man for a 3, this time it was George Hill and he hit the shot while getting fouled by Mario Chalmers. Other then the pair of missed treys for San An, that pretty much summed up the game for Miami at that point.
Halfway through the 2nd quarter the Heat had as many turnovers as they did made field goals, with 7. The Spurs were shooting 53% while the Heat had made just 23% of their shots. Miami did make a little run at the end of the 1st half. After trailing at one point 46-20, they closed the half on a 17-9 run but were still down by 18.
After finishing the 1st half by hitting 8-of-9, Miami opened the 3rd quarter by missing 8-of-9. Tim Duncan quickly got going after not scoring a single point in the 1st half; with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter Duncan had 10 points and the Heat had just 7. Miami did make another run at the end of the quarter but still trailed by 17 heading into the 4th.
This time Miami kept their foot on the gas, but it all started on the defensive end. They kept forcing tough shot after tough shot by San Antonio and went on a 21-2 run that brought them to within 6. Miami had a chance to draw even closer but Dorell Wright took a ridiculously stupid 3-point shot that didn't come close to even hitting the rim, then shortly after that Manu Ginobili hit a trey from 3-feet behind the line to pump the lead back up to 9. Not only was Dorell's shot a terrible decision, but I felt it acted as a brief speed bump in the momentum that the Heat had going for them.
Dwyane Wade was doing everything to bring Miami back, but he was getting very upset with the officials. With the Heat down 12, Wade appeared to convert an and-1 layup but was instead called for a charge on Manu Ginobili. After watching the replay it looked like a terrible call because Manu was definitely moving when the contact was made. Shortly after that Wade was called for a foul when he got the ball away from Tim Duncan, and I was surprised that he wasn't T-ed up for his reaction.
While the Spurs were slowly re-growing their lead, Mario Chalmers looked awful on back-to-back plays; first he took a running shot that looked downright lazy and had no chance, then after that wasn't paying attention when D-Wade passed him the ball, causing a turnover with San An up by 14. After getting as close as 6 down in the 4th quarter, the Heat couldn't get any closer then that. A horrendous 1st half and lots of poor shots and decisions led to an ugly game and the end of Miami's home winning streak.
James Jones was the primary backup at small forward, but Dorell Wright was the guy in the game during the Heat's late rally. Jones shot 2-of-5 from the field, all from 3-point range, while Wright shot 1-of-4 and missed both of his 3-point attempts. Still, I wouldn't be shocked to see Dorell re-claim his role as the main backup to Q on Thursday. I have to figure that its due to Wright being a better defender then Jones because Dorell has been struggling offensively in his past 3 games, hitting just 1 of his 12 shots.
- Quentin Richardson appears to be cooling off; he shot 2-of-8 against the Sixers and just 0-for-3 last night. He was limited to just 20 minutes and sat out the entire 4th quarter.
- The Spurs led from start to finish a game after the Heat pulled the same stunt against Philly on Sunday.
- Miami dropped to 3-16 when scoring under 90 points.
- This was one of the poorest shooting games I can remember from the Heat in a while. There were airballs, shots hitting the side of the backboard and several times the ball barely grazed the front iron. 38.5% from the field and just 3-of-16 from beyond the arc (18.8%) aren't going to cut it against anyone.
- Michael Beasley was very active in the 1st quarter, taking six shots and grabbing 3 rebounds in 8 first quarter minutes. Scoring-wise he didn't look very good outside of the paint, but I'm sure some of that had to do with the lefty being unable to get his usual push off his left leg.
- The Heat had just 11 assists, 5 of which came from Dwyane Wade.
- Udonis recorded his 2nd straight double double with 10 points and 12 boards. That's 23 points and 24 rebounds in his last 2 games.
- Haslem and Mario Chalmers were both playing through a stomach virus, and it showed with Rio. He played 23 minutes and missed all 4 of his shots, with no rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.
Ok, time to put this one behind us. Unfortunately, this game was acting as a measuring stick for how far the Heat had come during their recent string of solid play. Hopefully that isn't the case, and a win on Thursday against Orlando would go a long way in the ‘getting things back on track' column. Looking at the not-so-bright side, at least Charlotte lost...