It would be foolish to think last night was just one of 82 games.
In the span of 48 hours the Miami Heat went from jumpstarting the season to experiencing an engine failure . This team NEEDED last night to be a victory and it thankfully came against an opponent that had no idea how to win.
With nine players only dressing, Miami had every reason to lose and blame on the loss on the unexpected surprises of life and no one would be mad at them for making excuses. Instead what happened was eight out of nine players scored in double digits. Is this the victory that will turn the season around? Well you need more victories to do that and from here on out just about every game is a must needed win.
Time to look at some players:
[Dwyane Wade: 12 points and 4 rebounds] - Wade didn't try too hard to be a superstar and part of it was there was no reason to be last night. He only played 22 minutes last night, but the real test of how his hamstrings are will come tomorrow night, on a back to back with the New Orleans Pelicans coming to town.
[Shabazz Napier: 18 points 7 rebounds 6 assists] - With Norris Cole now gone, everyone is crossing their fingers that Napier doesn't become the next version of Cole. With Zoran Dragic being available Saturday, will Napier be the odd man out when it comes to minutes? Well if he does what he did last night (minus the seven turnovers) that's not a worry he'll need to have.
[Hassan Whiteside: 12 points 9 rebounds] - Miami has gone from being happy at anything this man provides to needing everything this man provides. Due to Bosh being out, it will be Whiteside who will get touches everytime in the post, but he has to become less foul prone. Every team is attempting to get him in foul trouble early and it's been working for the most part. He had two fouls once again in the opening minutes.
[Mario Chalmers: 13 points 8 steals 6 rebounds] - With Goran Dragic coming in, Rio can now go into the more comfortable role of being a backup shooting guard, a role he thrived in earlier in the season. Chalmers can easily become the X factor off the bench for the team and hopefully this type of production continues.
[Udonis Haslem: 13 points 5 rebounds] - It only made sense for UD to start. Not because he's a power forward but he is the heart and soul of this team. Him starting was a message to rally the troops around and dig in to fight. The Captain played well. So well he hit a three pointer and is now 1/15 lifetime behind the three point line. Please don't make that a habit though.
[Tyler Johnson: 14 points, 4 rebounds] - It's refreshing to see the energy of Tyler Johnson. He, just like Napier, could be facing a shortage of minutes due to Zoran Dragic coming in but if he continues to play with this all-out energy from the second he enters, he'll be fine. Oh and he dunked.
The Dragic brothers make their debut, as the Heat host Pelicans on Saturday at 7:30pm. See you then!