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Heat 97 – Wolves 84: Wade gets 82 points in 48 hours

  • If the Milwaukee Bucks were the media darlings of the NBA last month with their impressive run after acquiring John Salmons then surely now is the time to anoint the Miami Heat as the "league’s most surprisingly hottest team of the moment". The Heat has now rattled off 8 straight wins as well as 14 wins in the past 17 games with the last losing game back in March 18th against Orlando in overtime. The Heat is now perched all the way up to the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference with the fading Bucks having won only 3 of the last 7 games including last night’s victory over the Phoenix Suns. To make matters worse the Bucks have seemingly lost Andrew Bogut for the season and face a complicated schedule with two games against Boston and matchups with the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls. In stark contrast, the Heat have to face the Sixers (twice), Pistons, Knicks and the Nets. Unfortunately, the Celtics would have to basically lose all their remaining games to catch up with them so no homecourt advantage for the Heat.
  • As for the game at hand, what more can be said about Wade’s late season heroics? Maybe he really was on auto-pilot for some stretches of the season because his game has returned to last year’s MVP-worthy levels (since he won the All-Star MVP trophy perhaps?). Wade scored an astounding 82 points in a back-to-back set that had first featured 44 minutes of work in the overtime game against the Pacers. Coupled with another 40 minutes against the Wolves and D-Wade averaged just under a point per minute.
  • Michael Beasley again with foul trouble ruining what could have been a monster game, a disturbing trend that recalls his rookie campaign when he was too slow to react on defensive rotations. Once again, Haslem picks up the slack with a double-double already by halftime and finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds.
  • Wade’s fellow 2003 lottery pick Darko Milicic actually looked pretty good for the Wolves in the first half before leaving the game after getting elbowed in the face and not returning for the second half. Good to see one of the biggest draft busts in recent history actually get a chance to play some significant minutes and show his skills. He proved to be quite the handful for Joel Anthony and Jamaal Magloire with some pretty decent footwork and spin moves. Has Darko finally been freed?
  • Anthony was a non-factor for the first time since O’Neal got injured with a largely ineffective 22 minutes with only two rebounds and zero points to his name. Here’s hoping that O’Neal can come back as sharp as he was looking before his injury and Anthony can continue to be a force to be reckoned come playoff time.
  • Quentin Richardson is back to his sharp-shooting ways beyond the arc with a sizzling 4 of 5 against the Wolves. He’s still prone to disappearing from time-to-time during a game but his offense will be needed in the playoffs and will make a tough matchup for the Celtics or the Hawks if he can mix up the long range shooting with his underrated post-up game. Remember, Riley got him for Mark Blount.