Miami started off hot, with an immediate three by Dwyane Wade and two defensive stops. However, as expected LeBron James found himself on the board immediately after. Though one of the fiercest criticisms of Miami thus far has been their lack of time spent together, the chemistry of the first unit was fantastic. The Heat however, looked complacent on defense letting Kevin Love and Timofey Mosgov into the key for easy baskets. This changed incredibly quickly as Whiteside suddenly put on a block party. Dragic looked shaky early on, definitely trying to find his rhythm shooting wise, however as a facilitator he was strong. Winslow was tasked near the latter end of the quarter to cover LeBron James, and did quite a good job despite LeBron connecting on both shots.
Miami’s second unit looked strong as always changing them tempo drastically and once again catching the defense off guard. Amar’e Stoudemire also made his season debut bringing a lot of energy, but also showing some rust as he let Tristan Thompson in the lane for an alley-oop slam. Miami would return fire with a Chalmers to McBob oop shortly after.
The start of the second quarter was a little sloppy as McRoberts’ received his second offensive foul robbing Miami of a Amar’e Stoudemire dunk. The issue with Gerald Green presented itself early on as he missed multiple shots, and didn’t stop shooting. Miami was a mess on defense, experimenting with new lineups and allowing Cleveland to score a barrage of points. The Heat moved quickly bringing their starters back in, and halting their skid with a Bosh three. One thing that was very noticeable was the Miami’s ability to find the open man. Their offensive sets were beautiful, but they just couldn’t hit a shot. This needs to change quickly, or the Heat may have an issue putting points on the board. With that being said, Miami was able to pull it back within four as the quarter waned down really showing flashes of how good they can be.
It’s worth mentioning though appearing nervous through the first quarter, Hassan Whiteside started coming into his own really challenging Mozgov and getting fired up. Led by a crafty Wade, Miami was able to start closing the gap on Cleveland .
Miami once again started out hot finding Bosh right off the bat. Yet still, their defensive lapses costed them especially when Cleveland was in transition. They also continued to miss open looks, leaving it to Bosh and Wade to carry most of the scoring load. It’s obvious that the Heat need to improve their scoring from beyond the arc in order to challenge teams, yet even with their shooting woes Miami was able to stay within 5 as the third quarter approached the 5:00 minute mark. Wade brought the energy up with a phenomenal dunk, but Cleveland quickly snuffed out the fire with multiple threes and more.
The Heat started the court quarter still in the game, but with work to do. Miami’s second unit started great on defense getting multiple stops, though committing fouls at the same time. It’s worth noting that Mario Chalmers appears comfortable for the first time in two years connecting on great drives and shots. Cleveland continued to break the Heat down as the quarter progressed scoring in the key at ease with Whiteside on the bench. Miami attempted a comeback and had some great moments as the game came to a close, but their inability to hit open shots earlier dug them into a hole that was way too deep to climb out of.
Ball Movement: The Heat have a great offensive motion, they have no trouble moving the ball or finding the open man. Except right now they can’t finish.
Dwyane Wade: Wade was fantastic in this game finishing with a stat line of 25 points, and 3 assists.
Chris Bosh: Bosh is coming back into his own very quickly having 16 points and grabbing 5 boards. He is also Miami's main source of threes, which needs to change quickly.
Luol Deng: Deng did a solid job covering LeBron James, as well as producing on the offensive end for a stat line of 10 points and 6 boards.
Dragic's scoring: Dragic was a fantastic facilitator during the game, but was out of rhythm going three for nine from the field.
Amar'e Stoudemire: Amar'e said that he would play in big games, but I really hope this isn't what we can expect from him in the future. Amar'e was absent on defense, and unable to score consistently connecting on only one shot.
Shooting: The Heat need to be better from beyond the arc, it's unacceptable to go 6-21 with the amount of open looks they had.