LeBron James and the Miami Heat thoroughly embarrassed the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Thursday night. It was by far the best game the team has played so far this year. The Atlanta Hawks came to town tonight and brought with them the best road record in the NBA at 7-2. This was a game that would be a test for Miami, but you wouldn’t have thought so watching the first half. The Heat looked completely dominant in almost every important part of the game. They were scoring almost at will, rebounding very well, and making plenty of impact plays, such as steals and blocks. However, this just in; they play two halves in basketball.
The second half, and more specifically the third quarter, was extremely troublesome for the Miami faithful. The Heat started settling for jumpers and Atlanta was able to close the gap to two points on several occasions during the second half. On the good news side, Wade and company never did relinquish the lead that at one point in the game was 17 points. Miami was also able to record a win against a team with a winning record for the first time in a while. The only game that they have looked really good against an upper echelon team was the home opener against Orlando, so any win versus a winning team is important. There is no doubt that the last two games have been very important for this team. The Cleveland game allowed LeBron to slay a personal demon and as Coach Spoelstra put it; “galvanized the team”. Against Atlanta, the Heat looked dominant at times and struggled as well, but they always looked like they were having fun playing the game. That has not been the case with a lot of games this year.
As Miami rolls on, there are some things to keep an eye on. LeBron and Dwyane have both been playing well of late, but everybody in Heat nation would like to see these two really turn it on against a big-time oppenent like Boston or LA. At the point guard spot, Mario Chalmers has been getting increased minutes and currently looks like the Heat’s best option at that position. Down low, Miami’s newest acquisition, Eric Dampier looks like a good fit so far. He is physical in the paint and that is something that the Heat were definitely lacking. Finally, for anyone who doubts just how good Miami can be this year, take a moment to ponder this fact; with all of the struggles the Heat have gone through already this season, Thursday night against Cleveland marked the sixth time that Miami has beaten somebody by at least 20 points. That ranks #1 in the NBA.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).