The Heat played well in the first half, but were just unable to maintain the same level of play in the second. This lead to Cleveland completely blowing the doors open in the third and leaving Miami in too big a hole to climb out of. See how it all went down below:
Miami started off well drawing first blood by immediately feeding Hassan Whiteside on two possessions (he only converted once). Not too long after Josh McRoberts would score two baskets of his own, one being a dunk. McBob would stay consistent throughout the first quarter, even contributing on defense.
Unfortunately, despite some decent offense Miami’s defense didn’t seem up to par. The team’s shell defensive rotation was sloppy, and they barely crashed the boards. They would clean this up somewhat, forcing Cleveland to earn easy buckets from the free throw line.
Midway through the first quarter Tyler Johnson would enter the game and inject some energy into Miami’s offense picking up right where he left off against Atlanta, scoring 7 straight points successfully helping the Heat to a 10-3 scoring run.
Cleveland would continue scoring on offense, but still Miami managed to keep it close. Miami would head into the second quarter down by only four.
The Heat would begin the second quarter with a three from Goran Dragic. Dragic has been phenomenal as of late, he’s really picked up the scoring slack with the Heat missing so many players to injury.
Miami was solid offensively for most of the quarter getting contributions from Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Willie Reed and Derrick Williams. With that being said, their defense remained average with Cleveland getting good looks at the basket often. These open looks would allow Cleveland to build on their lead. Later Miami would step up slight forcing multiple turnovers and converting on offense to keep the game fairly close.
Cleveland would convert from beyond the arc multiple times as the first half came to a close. Heading into the second half Miami was down eleven.
Kyrie Iriving would score the opening five points of the second half, and spark a small Cleveland run. Nevertheless Miami would consistently chip away on offense in an effort to stay in the game. Despite Miami’s best efforts (and there were some great plays) Cleveland would not let up. Cleveland was not only spectacular from beyond the arc, but incredibly efficient and as a result blew the doors off the game in the latter half of the third quarter.
Though the Heat would try, they were just unable to get back into this one. The Cavaliers have a lot of depth and are frankly are just a better team. The fourth quarter was largely forgettable notwithstanding some plays from Tyler Johnson. It’s sad that even in garbage time, Miami’s lineups right now pretty much stay the same because they don’t really have anybody on the bench.
It’s tough to watch the Heat right now. Not because they’re not fun to watch, and not because they’re not competitive because at times they seriously are. It’s just that with so many players injured, they can’t maintain any steam they get going. Additionally, with so many people missing they need all active bodies to contribute, which isn’t always a given. At this point they’re a first half team, and with the level of success Heat fans are accustomed to this will make for a long season, but possibly make for an exciting draft day as well.
- Miami’s main problem at this point seemed to be their turnovers, all things considered they weren’t playing bad at all, but their turnovers sparked Cleveland’s scoring runs.
- Tyler Johnson is always competing, no matter what the score is. That’s awesome.
- Derrick Williams was very good. He’s an athletic player with a lot of talent, hopefully he solidifies a role in the rotation when everybody is healthy.
- Willie Reed also had a solid game picking up the slack from Hassan Whiteside, he’s been underrated this year.
- Hassan Whiteside seems unable to perform with too many games in a week. I don’t know if this a conditioning problem or not, but without him playing well Miami doesn’t even have a shot.
- If this was 2K game, Miami probably would have rage quit.