No Wade. No Deng. No problem. Actually there was a few problems but the Miami Heat were able to win last night with a total team effort against the Brooklyn Nets. Was it easy? Absolutely not. The team shot 38% and scored only 38 points....in the first half. That's right, the first half. But what you saw last night was the Heat not repeating the same mistakes from past games and found a way to close out an opponent.
Most importantly, the team needed this win no matter who suited up because the possibility of going 1 game under .500 was looming. After a 3rd quarter of 32 points and a 4th quarter of timely plays, the Heat don't have to worry about .500. At least until Thursday. Time to look at some players.
Chris Bosh [15 points 9 rebounds]: He once again struggled but continued to attack in hopes of getting his shot back. Bosh went 3-9 on FG's but late in the game, he hit 2 key jumpers to put the Nets away. So the question becomes will Bosh use those last 2 critical shots as his momentum carrying into the next game against the Clippers?
Mario Chalmers [22 points, 5 assists]: What impressed me the most about Mario last night was his relentless attack to the basket. We've all seen Mario settle for 3's as a bailout but last night Rio was able to put his team on his shoulders, drove and got to the line a career high 13 times. So how happy is Rio knowing he can now yell at someone else for their mistakes?
Norris Cole [11 points]: Solid effort by Norris last night, who finally was able to score more than 10 points for 2 games in a row. Hopefully now there is consistency. Oh and great pass here.
James Ennis [10 points, 8 rebounds]: Ennis responded from the bench the way you wish he responded as a starter the other night. The kid is raw but there was a stretch of time (a very small stretch) where he was the best player with a Heat jersey on. You get excited every time you see him in the open floor and even though there will be some bad games, the overall feel for his play has been exciting.
Shabazz Napier [11 points] First off, you can't be the best point guard on the team and have 6 turnovers. He was able to keep defenses honest with 3point shooting through the night and it was entertaining to see Napier spin Deron Williams around to the point Deron needed GPS to get back on offense.
The Heat got help from the kids last night and won. Can they do it again against a Championship contender? Will Deng, Wade and McRoberts be back by then from the 2 days of rest? Miami will have it's hands full against the Clippers on Thursday.
See you then!