Going into another game sans Dwyane Wade looked ominous even after the weekend's back to back wins for Miami. The Golden State Warriors are a top tier Western Conference team afterall. The scary thing about the Golden State Warriors is the way they can jump all over you in a game.
We know about their offensive firepower with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Their big man is even a great playmaker with the pass, so when you get Andrew Bogut involved in setting up their shooters, they can really overwhelm you. That's what happened to the Heat in the early parts of the first quarter. Their offense was showing off and everything was a highlight.
Don't forget that this Warriors team is also the best defense in the NBA. They came into the game ranked No. 1 in the league in defense. That's what makes the Heat's response to the Warriors quick display of offense so impressive. They didn't get overwhelmed at all. They just kept playing and doing the usual program of trying to find their identity, their game, and everything else that Spo seems to spout to media in soundbites.
Mario Chalmers did his best Curry impersonation by scoring 14 points in the first half, and helped get Chris Bosh going. Bosh led the Heat with 17 points in the first half, and Luol Deng had a strong performance with 12. The Heat botched a 16 point lead and couldn't keep the Warriors from coming back to nearly even it up at halftime, but at least they limited the early teamwork and playmaking. They turned the Warriors into less of a team game with assists and made them do work individually.
Miami emerged from the half with a 62-61 lead, however, Thompson and Curry worked together to edge ahead while testing Miami's scrambling defense. Shawne Williams again showed his prowess in the perimeter shooting 11 points. It was the energy from Shabazz Napier and James Ennis that kept Miami competitive, the rookies showed they have plenty to offer despite it still being so early in their career. Bosh reigned supreme for Miami, 26 points and 9 rebounds and Deng looked more comfortable posting 16 points.
VIDEO FANSHOT: Napier to Ennis for the slam to bring the house down! http://t.co/L7OHGcZQNA— Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) November 26, 2014
A win for Miami looked in reach until Thompson and Curry sank some daggers in the final five minutes. Curry finished with a whopping 40 points, Thompson with 24. Overall there were promising signs for Miami.
The good news is the Heat were able to find success against such a good defense by spreading them out. This is a tough match-up, but their system worked for much of the game. They just need consistent guard play out of Cole and Mario to keep good starts like they had against the Warriors consistent through an entire game.
The Heat next play the Knicks on Sunday night, 7:30 PM EST in New York.