This is the song that doesn't end. Yes it goes on and on my friends. After 4 straight losses to powerhouses, a match against the solid but not elite Portland Trailblazers should have initiated the comeback revolution every fan is now anxious to see. Instead, the Trailblazers came into the AA Arena without fear, aided with the game plan used by the rest of the league to defeat the elementary Heat blueprint. Game Notes:
- Good Offense, Better Offense: Miami shot a solid .514% from the field to the Blazers .506%. Making buckets was not the issue with James contributing 31 points on 14-of-20 shooting (.700), Wade with 38 points on 12-for-21 (.571) and Chalmers continuing his solid run of late with 10 points going 4-of-7 (.571) from the field. Bosh and Miller had a subpar night, combining for 9 points going 4-of 18. It was costly turnovers (13 to Blazers' 9) and 2nd chance points (6 Off Rebs to Blazers' 12) that gave the opposition the extra fortitude to overcome us.
- Bosh Wants it in the Post: When Bosh was asked about being put in a position to be effective, he commented: "I have to get it where I’m effective. I’m a big man. I can shoot the ball, but I’m a big man. So I have to get it where big guys get it." His desire to be featured in the post may be news to the general public, but one can't be certain it hasn't already been presented to the coaching staff before. As much as it it might be easier to call the bluff, Bosh is certainly right. Pick and pops with the big man have become mundane and predictable, while the triple threat from mid-range is profitable only if often used to drive into the paint to draw the defense and/or the foul. In the coaching staff's defense, Bosh should take matters into his own hands and fight for position close to the basket, ask his teammates for the ball at all costs, and finish with the right plan of attack or efficiently pass out of any double team he might attract. It's on both sides to work it out and whether it was previously voiced or not to the coaching staff and teammates, it certainly is now.
- Consistent Rotation: Wade's comments on the supporting cast: "Of course we’d be more dangerous if there were more productivity off the bench. But also guys have to play more. It’s hard for guys to get into certain rhythms coming in and getting three to five minutes. That’s going to have to be something that Coach is going to have to put the guys on the floor and give them confidence." More wisdom from the players, as they certainly understand the importance of having consistent minutes and a well-defined role. Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers shared the floor together during clutch time in an important game, and one can bet this first time would also be the last.
- The Blazers' trade deadline acquisition Gerald Wallace brought all the intangibles to put his team on top. Coming off the bench, Wallace was active on the boards (led team with 9 rebs) and found opportunities when there would usually be none. Only Miller can reach somewhat of a comparison in the hustle and energy off the ball, but on off-shooting nights it's only to neutralize, not advance.
- Andre Miller on Heat's struggles: "That's for them to figure out. We did our job."