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Miami Heat 98 - Detroit Pistons 81: Give Beas A Chance (Part Deux)

  • Dwyane Wade wasn't his usual MVP-type self and Jermaine O'Neal was out again with his hyperextended knee so someone else had to step it up big time to secure another Heat victory. Michael Beasley took advantage of the Piston's wafer-thin frontline and was aggressive going to the basket without being out of control, which has been a problem since he came into the league. But he didn't have to worry about his shots getting swatted on a night where the Pistons started a power forward (Jason Maxiell) as their 5 and promptly lost him to injury a few minutes later. That necessitated a dosage of Kwame Brown and a middle-aged Ben Wallace to fill in in the gaps with Charlie Villanueva a DNP due to coach's decision.
  • It looked like it was going to be a long night during the first quarter with Pistons guards Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey causing all sorts of problems for the Heat guards with their quickness and penetration coupled with the threat of Ben Gordon coming off the bench and lighting it up. The Heat quickly adjusted their defense and the Piston guards were relatively quiet the rest of the game while the Heat forwards Beasley, Quentin Richardson and Dorell Wright took control of the game. They did it by balancing their games by getting to the rim coupled with some dazzling three-point shooting with Quentin going 4-6 from beyond the stripe (after going 3-19 the last 4 games) along with Wright going 4 for 5.
  • Wade looked a bit off with his game but then again not much was needed from him in the second half with the Heat comfortably ahead and the Pistons unwilling or unable to mount much of a threat. Yes he only had 10 points but he wasn't even needed in the fourth with Beasley, Carlos Arroyo, Mario Chalmers and Wright doing enough to keep the Heat coasting to the inevitable victory.
  • Udonis Haslem posted an efficient double-double with 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting and 10 rebounds. On this current winning streak Haslem has now recorded 66 points and 53 rebounds in just 5 games (he missed the Nets game).
  • The knee-jerk reaction after every bad Beasley game from the media and fans is getting old. All NBA players (even more so players around his age who don't have a complete NBA game yet) are capable of struggling over long stretches so the second-guessing over Beasley's maturity, while certainly a valid topic of conversation some other time, is not necessarily indicative of his struggles on the court. There's no denying he's had a rough month and hasn't progressed since his career-high 30 points in February 19 against the Memphis Grizzlies and this game marked his first 20+ game since March 6 against the Atlanta Hawks.
  • The schedule for the Heat is really paying dividends at the right time of the season while teams like the Bucks are going to have to expend a lot of energy to get through to the playoffs. If the Heat can keep players like Wade and O'Neal fresh for the post-season by taking advantage of their weaker opponents like the Pistons and putting away games early then they will have a big edge over other Eastern playoff teams.