I would of passed it to Henry Walker. While I tend to give Dwyane Wade a pass often because superstars know best and I don't like playing the result, he let go of the shot with 3 seconds while Walker was waiting to take a three. Sure Eric Gordon would of closed on him but last night I would of trusted a contested Walker more than a contested Wade. Walker was 4-9 from beyond the arc while Wade was 0-4. Wade had an off-night but his teammates were able to carry the load offensively while Wade facilitated. So wouldn't it make sense to give one of those teammates the rock for the last shot?
Before I go into specific players quickly, let's look at one stat that doomed Miami before the heartbreaking 104-102 loss. The stat that stood out most was with 9:27 left in the fourth, the Pelicans were in the bonus and took free throws the rest of the way. Being able to shoot foul shots that late only makes a team more aggressive, knowing there's 50% chance you can get a guarantee 2 points from the possession. Miami led 82-73 after three quarters and 85-79 before the bonus. The effect of the bonus took a 6 point lead into a 2 point loss and it's the reason why I'm shaking my head a day later. Ugh. Time to look at some players
Dwyane Wade 11 points 8 assists: While it's great to see your leader be able to effect the game in other ways when his shot was off, it didn't mean he should be taking the last shot. There was every reason to defer, especially when you have the rest of your lineup producing more than you are that night. Wade needs to step up tonight against the Hawks though.
Henry Walker 16 points - So it's safe to assume Walker will be playing here the rest of the year and even possibly having a future in Miami. He went from 12th man to 6th man. The guy who changed his name to the guy who's name you can't stop saying.
Micheal Beasley 7 points: Beasley played in college with Walker an their team was known as the Wildcats. So #HeatNation can call it "Wildcat offense" (creative points to Ira Winderman on that.) Beas provides a much needed offense with the second unit of players, and while his 7 points came from 7 shots, his aggression was always there. But it also seems like Beas is still streaky, being only able to score in bunches because once he got in again in the fourth, he wasn't scoring anymore.
Goran Dragic 20 points, 5 assists - Love the attacking by Dragic so far scoring 12 of this 23 points in the first period. He comes out ready to attack all the time but because of his pesky defense, he ended up with his fifth foul midway through the fourth.
Luol Deng 22 points - Remember that stat I kept mentioning of how the Heat are 9-0 when Deng scores 20 or more? Yea well there goes that.
Hassan Whiteside 16 points and 7 rebounds 4 blocks - I'm going to assume Whiteside practiced his hook shot before the game because he certainly unleashed it all throughout the game. On the defensive end he blocked Eric Gordon on the first play. Whiteside does have to learn to adjust to big bodies though because Omar Asik certainly won the battle of the big's last night. Whiteside usually gets 10 rebounds easy, but last night was held to 7. When it wasn't Asik, it was Alexis Ajinca who did the damage with 24 points 8 rebounds of his own. So umm...who is Alexis Ajinca?
The best way to forget a heartbreaking loss is with a win right? Hawks at Heat tonight at 7.