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MIAMI’S DEFENSE COMES TO THE RESCUE
Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Mar 7 2012 @ 10:49 pm In Miami Heat | No Comments
LeBron James said it at the end of the game. This is the type of win that the Heat needed. They hosted the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in a game that went back and forth until the very end. Even after DWade made two clutch free-throws at the end of the game, the Hawks still had a shot to tie the game with a 3-pointer. All season long, Miami has been blowing people out in wins, while the losses would take a few different forms. There haven’t been many games that were tight at the end that the Heat have won, and that of course was one of their weaknesses last year. This game, their defense stepped up and shut down the Hawks every time Atlanta seemed to have momentum. Miami finally prevailed, 89-86.
This game was never easy. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh couldn’t hit the ocean in the first half. The two all-stars combined to shoot 2-13 from the field. Yet neither guy ever put their head down. They both continued to press on and in the end both guys played a key role in the win. Wade finished with 18 pts and 9 rebs, but it was his defense and passing that really set the tone as the game went through the 4th quarter. It also was no accident that Miami made sure that the ball was in his hands during the final 30 seconds of the game. LeBron will have better numbers on most occasions(31pts, 11 rebs tonight), but the team will put it’s trust in Dwyane come crunch time. Right now, people enjoy arguing about the way Miami goes about winning, but as long as the winning continues into June, those same people will have to shut up.
The Heat winning back-to-back games is always a good thing. Five of their nine losses have come on the back end of a 2 in 2 night game situation. This game also marked the Heat’s eleventh win in a row at home. On the down side, this was the first time the Heat didn’t have a 3pt field goal in 455 games. Miami finished 0-10 from behind the arc, yet this might be a good thing, because while Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers can catch fire, Heat fans don’t want to see Wade and James start settling for 3′s. Those two guys need to stay in attack mode. When they do, guys like Udonis Haslem get to make big plays, like the alley-oop he got from Wade at the end of the game. Even Dexter Pittman got involved in the dunk show in the second half, and let’s face it, the more frontcourt scoring Miami has, the worse it is for the opponent. Yep, at the end of the season, the Heat might look back to this game as a mentality changer. A game that made them stop thinking about trying to win a championship, and realize that they just need to take the NBA Title away from everyone else.
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