LeBron James played a dominant game on Thursday night. For 3 1/2 quarters, he and the rest of the Heat controlled the Magic in Orlando. James dropped 51 points on Orlando, but when the game was over, that almost wasn’t enough. The national viewing audience got to see some of Miami’s great attributes, as well as a few very significant flaws. If the Heat want to continue their rise up to elite status in the NBA, they have to exploit the positives and find a way to suppress some of the negative tendencies that continue to surface as the season carries on.
On many nights there can be an argument as to who the best player on the Miami Heat is. Tonight was not one of those nights. James was the best player in the NBA on Thursday and by far the most effective on the court in Orlando. He came out red-hot and scored 23 points in the first quarter. LBJ opened up the game by shooting 11-11 from the field. This just in: That’s 100%. This is a night when Dwyane Wade would go down with an injury(back) and the rest of his teammates really didn’t show up to begin with. LeBron had to take the team on his back, scored the most points he has scored in a game since joining the Heat, and it almost wasn’t enough.
Eric Spoelstra has been preaching defense since he took over the head coaching position back in 2008, and to be fair, this Heat team has shown the ability to play absolutely stellar defense when they focus. Unfortunately, this same Heat team has displayed a remarkable penchant for letting teams back into the game. The Heat were up by as many 23 against the Magic and saw that lead shrink to 3 points towards the end. Should Miami fans be worried? No, probably not. The reality is that defense really is the effort part of the game and when the Heat have put forth the effort, their defense has been one of the best in the league. But fans should be concerned about a few things. The biggest worry has to be injury. The Heat have already seen the havoc that injuries can cause a team. The good news for Heat fans is that almost the entire roster is healthy right now. The even better news is that the Heat still owns the #2 seed. Next up on the tour is Charlotte.
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...).