What did you think was going to happen?"We just keep fighting. That’s all we can do." said Cavaliers coach Byron Scott of his team. Pure words of competitive placebo, setting a solid smoke screen on the banality that is now the post-LeBron Cavaliers. Their daily battle against the world starts uphill, with just enough steam to maintain some decency on the scoreboard but not nearly enough to close games with their glaring deficiencies. A visit to Miami would be slightly different, only in that it would be worse. It’s been a while since the breath-taking feeling took over and a game against the league's worst would be the perfect setting for the goose bumps to resurface. Fittingly, the Heat’s first bucket would come from a Chalmers steal resulting in an alley-oop to a driving Wade cementing his ownership of the game from that moment on. Dwyane would go through his repertoire of abilities found in highlight films found all across the web. Step-back jumpers, crossovers leaving his opponent on the floor, euro step drives, momentous put-back dunks, gravity defying moves and anything a normal human is not able to do, Dwyane did in 33 minutes. He would score 11 field goals in the first half, tying a Heat record, on his way to 34 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Miami led from start to finish going on continuous dominating runs but lapsing into boredom in the third quarter. The lack of focus saw their double digit lead dwindle down to 3 points but the Heat regained form late in the third and into the fourth quarter, running away to a decisive 117-90 win. James added 24 points and 8 assists, Bosh struggled from the floor scoring 10 points and 7 rebounds and the Miller-House shooting duo scored 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Just another game, but one like a Bosh. Chill, fun.
Miller Time ContinuesMike Miller continues to organically grow his roots into the team. Every day is another day to heal his injury, every game a chance to showcase the reasons why the organization signed him. Aside from his shooting ability, he’s shown rebounding prowess, grit and the will to claw his way to loose balls. Most important and underrated -- his intelligence quotient (IQ) to be at the right place at the right time. Nothing strikes his awareness more basic than this short sequence: Mike serves his role as a shooter on the floor, standing in the corner waiting for the opportunity to bomb away. Once he realizes the ball will not be coming to him and James hoists up a jumper, Mike smoothly runs toward the rim and sneaks under the basket to grab the offensive rebound giving the Heat a second chance at a basket. Simple and basic, but surprisingly uncommon for a player with the "shooter" label.
Fan Up – Hip HopThe city of Miami is yet to develop a lifelong following the likes of basketball mecca New York or celebrity abundant Los Angeles. Not long ago, Lil’ Wayne could be found sitting front row rooting for the team until The Ignore (when Wade or James didn’t acknowledge his presence, or in his words: "holla at" him). His absence would leave room for his comrades. Hip-hop artists Rick Ross and Sean "Diddy" Combs, or whatever he’d like to be called now, were present at front row to witness the Dwyane Wade show. A sequence of highlight worthy plays from Wade would build the perfect crescendo for a vocal eruption. He would finish his reel with an impressive under-the-legs, behind-the-back step back three jumper, prompting a timeout from the Cavaliers and a mild exuberance from the crowd. Diddy had had enough. Sean Combs outstretched his arms, bewildered. After looking around and failing to see the crowd sharing the same enthusiasm he stood up from his seat, faced the crowd and swung his arms in the air coaxing a loud cheer from the docile fans. What had just occurred was extraordinary, and maybe it was the Heat’s grandiosity becoming common or just the lack of boisterous passion, but the crowd was not as impressed as the man who sells impressive for a living. He was slightly agitated, saying in the most polite of manners after the timeout: "Coming from New York, I’m used to the arenas being loud and full of action. And this probably is one of the most dynamic teams in the NBA. And, you know, we’re just here to have a good time." Mr. Diddy likes to get his money’s worth, getting involved and "fanning up" from his 10k seats. If only the rest of the rich felt the same.