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Miami Heat 87 - Milwaukee Bucks 74

  • Deja Vu for the Heat on the second night of a back-to-back. Even though they travelled 90 miles to play the Bucks after beating the Bulls the night before, the Heat found themselves expecting a dogfight and instead got a listless team settling for jumpers and missing a whole lot of them. Both games saw the opposing team's young hyped point guard doing nothing to correct the offensive flow of his team. No one could have predicted before this short road trip that the New Jersey Nets would put up the most fight.
  • Both the Bucks and the Bulls managed to only score 74 points as a result of passive play coupled with some impressive defense by the Heat, especially near the rim. Not only did they score the same amount of points but both Lake Michigan teams were strikingly similar with their field goals (Bulls 27-82, 32.9%; Bucks 28-89, 31.5%). The Bucks only managed 9 assists for the entire game and only made 3 three-pointers which means that a maximum of 21 out of 74 points could have been made from assists. Doesn't really sound like the Bucks players were attempting to create many plays for each other, does it. This was well off their season average of 21.1 assists per game (guess which team ranks near last in both assists per game and assists per field goal made?).
  • Yes, the Bucks were without arguably their most important player Andrew Bogut for the night. But the Heat also lost their starting center Jermaine O'Neal to injury after only 7 minutes and 3 of 4 shots already made, a shame as he looked prime to take advantage of the Bucks shorthanded frontline as he did the night before against a Bulls team without a fully healthy Joakim Noah.
  • The night belonged to Dwyane Wade with a typically brilliant performance with 30 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds and Udonis Haslem's monster double-double of 10 points and career-high tying 18 rebounds. Granted, there were a lot of rebounds up for grabs thanks to the Bucks' shooting but both captains truly led the team with a winner's mentality that has rarely been seen this season for any prolonged period of time.
  • With Dorell Wright and Joel Anthony also stepping up their games even the Heat bench, long a point of scorn from the media, is starting to look like it can be trusted with when Wade is resting. No Heat player, including the bench guys, had a negative +/- on the court even though the final result made it appear to be a closer game than it really was. At least the Bucks put up a fight, getting as close to 10 points in the second half. But the outcome never really seemed in doubt much like the Bulls game. Actually, it might be because of the Bulls game because the blowout resulted in the Heat starters looking fresh at the outset of this game.
  • Surprising that Anthony ended up with no blocks to his name because he was quite the presence in the paint altering shots throughout his extended minutes.
  • The concern is that the Heat starts playing down to the level of the remaining teams left to go in the season. The Heat are fully capable of losing to some of the league's worst teams, even on their home floor. Lingering injuries to many players such as O'Neal and Beasley make it a shame that the Heat played so mediocre for so long in the season, particularly during the heavy stretch of home games in the beginning. With all the "easy" games left, the Heat could have long ago secured the fifth spot (now occupied by the Bucks) and perhaps even rested some players ahead of the playoffs. Now every game is absolutely crucial for playoff positioning, regardless of who the Heat are facing.