Fewer than 24 hours after trading for an All-NBA Third Team player last year in exchange for spare parts and two first-round draft picks, Chris Bosh entered a Miami-area hospital for possible blood clots that could put his season in jeopardy.
But the Heat needed to carry on for the post-All Star break push. Even when Goran and Zoran Dragic could not play yet. Even with only nine guys to play.
In Dwyane Wade's first game back in three weeks, the Miami Heat blew out the New York Knicks, 111-87 to improve to 23-30 on the season. It was the Knicks after waiving Amar'e Stoudemire and shutting down Carmelo Anthony. But the Heat made a decisive 14-4 run to close the third quarter with Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside on the bench.
That decisive run put Miami up 19 heading into the fourth quarter. It included a Shabazz Napier 3-pointer, a James Ennis putback dunk after one of eight (yes, eight) Mario Chalmers steals. And in the final minute of the third, Chris Andersen ran the floor after yet another Chalmers steal and made a putback shot of his own.
All but one of Miami's nine players scored in double figures. Udonis Haslem started in place of Bosh and made his first career 3-point shot in garbage time. Haslem finished with 13 points and five boards in 27 minutes.
Wade and Whiteside continued to work well together. The three-time NBA champion found Whiteside near the basket again and again, and Whiteside used his towering presence and massive hands to score around the basket. The 7-footer finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in just 20 minutes. Wade forced up some tough shots, but played well around the rim and also finished with 12 points.
Shabazz Napier finished with a team-high 18 points for the Heat. The highlight of his night came when he launched a 30-foot heave on a broken possession at the end of the shot clock before seeing it swish through the net. The Heat's 2014 first-round pick also went coast-to-coast on a fast-break after after a Hassan Whiteside block.
Friday night, Miami ran after missed shots and turnovers and racked up 58 points by halftime. With Goran Dragic's addition, the Heat should exploit those situations more often. Napier's one blemish for the night were his seven turnovers. Miami committed 22 turnovers in this game and still managed to win in blowout fashion. Yes, it is the Knicks.
Luol Deng made six trips to the foul line in the first quarter alone, helping get Miami in the bonus with more than seven minutes left in the quarter. His cuts to the basket and hesitation dribbles flummoxed the New York defenders. He finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Miami had 28 assists as a team, and started out the game making crisp passes and finding easy shots.
Tyler Johnson even made some highlights of his own. After Chalmers stripped the ball from Quincy Acy, Johnson ran to Chalmers' side and raised his hand in the air. Chalmers threw a lob to the 6-foot-4 white guard, and Johnson jammed it home. Johnson finished with 14 points and made three 3s.
Tonight was a nice win, but the Heat have to continue moving on, with or without Bosh. Miami will face the New Orleans Pelicans at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Dragic brothers may be available then.