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Heat 101, Pistons 96 (Beyond the Box Score)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Dwyane Wade is going to get his share of calls. He's going to get his share of non-calls, too.

That all comes with being an MVP candidate and one of the best players in the league over the past six seasons. With Wade leading the way early with his offense and late with his defense, the Heat put a happy ending to what had the makings of a horrendous four-game road trip.

Sunday's 101-96 victory over the shorthanded Pistons allowed the Heat to go 1-3 on the trip and notch its first regular-season victory in Detroit since Dec. 30, 2004. Miami (37-32) also needed the win to maintain its grip on the fifth overall seed in the East. Detroit, seventh in the East, had closed to within two games of the Heat heading into Sunday's game.

Now, the Heat returns home for a pit stop. It plays Memphis on Monday before going back on the road to play a back-to-back next week at Chicago and Indiana.

Player of the Game: Dwyane Wade - It didn't look good for Wade in the opening minutes, when he tweaked his right hip strain on his first drive to the basket. Wade winced in pain over the next several minutes. Eventually, he had the Pistons feeling his pain. Wade closed with 39 points, six assists, four blocks and two steals in 39 minutes. He said this was the best he's felt in more than a week. "The main thing is I'm starting to get my timing back." His defensive plays down the stretch were right on time.

Surprise, Surprise: Jamario Moon - He came out of nowhere and had 17 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Moon was 3 of 5 on three-pointers. It was Moon's first game in double figures since March 11. The Heat is going to need his energy and defense. But in games like this, his unexpected shooting was huge. Moon has shown he can make those shots from deep. But he had been in such a slump that you'd almost forget that he's a 40-percent shooter three-point range.

Tough Night: Michael Beasley - He clearly wasn't in this one. As a result Beasley posted one of the worst games of his rookie season. He was 1 of 4 from the field and had only three points and four rebounds in 19 minutes. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had made a point to mention Beasley's struggles to come up with loose balls and key rebounds in recent games. After seeing Beasley miss on three such opportunities Sunday, Spoelstra went back to veteran Udonis Haslem. It paid off, with Haslem making big plays and huge free throws down the stretch.

Shut 'em Down: Rodney Stuckey - If you believe Wade, Stuckey was defended perfectly on his final drive. If you listen to Stuckey, Wade got away with a 10-finger vice grip on the pivotal play of the game. The officials went Wade's way. Stuckey had 24 points, but was shut down by Wade, whose block with 0.6 seconds left sealed the win for Miami. Stuckey was 3 of 9 from the field in the second half.

Stat of the Game: 52.8/71.4/83.3 - Take your pick. The Heat was 52.8 percent from the field in the second half. It was 71.4 from three-point range in the second half. It was 83.3 from the free-throw line.

That Says it All: "I knew his tendencies. I know that he is a good going to right and is strong. He puts his shoulder into you. I just stayed solid and didn't get into his shot fakes and was able to get the block." - Heat guard Dwyane Wade said on his defense on Rodney Stuckey.

Next Up: Monday - Memphis Grizzlies at Heat, 7:30 p.m. AmericanAirlines Arena

Comments

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I posted this on another blog, but I have to post it here as well. Spo is just finding an excuse not to play Beasley. Haslem has blown more shots at the rim than Beasley that has cost us games and he's not been called out or seen less playing time as a result. He has been blocked so many times in recent games that it's mind boggling how he's getting more minutes when Beasley is clearly the better player...

Beasley rebounds better than Haslem. At least he proved it in this game.

Beasley is a better shot blocker as well. He has 31 blocks in considerably fewer minutes and Haslem has only 23.

Call me confused, but if blocking isn't a power game then I don't know what is.

Haslem basically jacks up shots from 15 ft and has no post game or paint presence. He's consistently blocked on his shots at the rim and has been severely exposed as lacking any real PF talents by the absence of Shaq.

If Haslem is the prototypical Heat PF, that is a bit more than a scrub, then yes Beasley has no future on the Heat as he's no scrub.

Beasley's man defense is also considerably better than Haslem's - just ask McDyess.

Our PFs shouldn't be taking charges as if they're soft. They should be blocking shots and contesting them to make it harder on other PFs.

Our defensive scheme is also very horrible and I really don't have a problem with Beasley not being good at it. Neither is Wade good at it...our guards are always leaving the perimeter open and clogging the paint. Beasley should be bad at bad basketball and the fact that Haslem is better at it shouldn't be considered as a knock on Beasley at all.

Give Beasley and Wade a better coach and it's almost guaranteed this team would be significantly better.

There is no way an MVP candidate and a no 2 pick with tremendous offense and a clear ability to rebound and block should be struggling to beat depleted teams this late in the season.

Spo was never ready, is utterly stubborn and almost always overcoached in games. His adjustments are little to slow, his rotations are predetermined before games and never take into account what's actually happening in the game.

I'm sorry, but he may be good in some future, but right now, if he judged himself by the same metric he uses on Beasley he Spo won't even be in our rotation. Unfortunately he gets away with cliches and nonsensical phrases about "it's time for us to take the next step." How about he takes the next logical step in allowing Wade and Beasley to play off each other and with each other? What rule says that we can't have our best players on the court together for most of the game? Hiding Haslem's shortcomings with Wade and JO in the game is making it harder on Wade than it ought to be. Play Wade with Beasley and JO and bring in Haslem for the hustle and energy that are obviously his talents.

Spo is a mediocre head coach.

so dont hold back jones, tell us how you really feel

beasley plays better lately and the reward? more minutes for haslem. spo is an absolute idiot, wade is the one carrying this team.

Couldn't agree with you more Jones/Franz. Spo FINDS things (like Beas missing key rebounds or loose balls) to keep the media off his a.. about not giving Beas a starting job or at least 10' more minutes a game. Ok--this game was not Beas's best, but I beginning to wonder if the Riley/Spo tandem even want to keep him in Miami. I could easily see this brain trust trading Beas for the #2-4 picks (forget about Griffen) or for a good Vet+ 2nd rounder. Hey Dwyane-- speak up for him before he's gone or worse-- wants to be gone!

They won the game.Actually haslem won the game.I don't have a problem with Haslem sta
rting games,It's just when Beasley got it going and is shooting well(like 8 of 11) there is no way he should be on the bench.We
got a bench that usually out scores there opponents and Beasley deserve a lot of that credit.I think he needs to get in the game earlier than he does,but coming off the bench isn't really that bad.I like to see Chalmers get off a lil earlier and you got to try to establish JO WITH A INSIDE GAME.Mr
Wade needs the ball but is also good at picking his spots so B Easy is fine way he's at for now. When he learns that ball movement will make him and his teamates
even better thats when he'll start.Starting isn't importing right now,but finishing when
he's doing a great job is. That's when I hav
e issues with SPRO. GO HEAT!

The Beasley bus is getting full.......... we are not gonna win the championship , so why are we not developing our future now instead of further growing pains.
Has can still be effective in a more limited role.

Beasley shoots very well most games. His lefty outside shot is smooth. Dude does not play defense.

I love the guy and he's going to be a staple in years to come, but dude does not play D. He turns the ball over, looks frustrated when he gets beat to the basket.

I think he should get more playing time, but he needs to earn it by developing the part of his game that still needs it. All of the Spo haters that are always clamoring for a high profile coach just need to relax. This guy has been in the system, knows what to do, still has the complete assistant coach system in place behind him, and I'm sure is having the puppet strings played from upstairs anyways. With the help of Wade, he's got a team that should be in the tank almost to the brink of being a division leader in his first year.

Much like you all say, you are all looking for an excuse to not "play" this coach. He's doing fine. Go to a game, watch the flow of the game. Watch Beasley a little closer. Unless you can tell me we are getting a Greg Popovic or Phil Jackson, you can keep the rest of the bums out there. Who do you want? Mo Cheeks, Terry Porter? Larry Brown? Doc Rivers just looks smart because he's smart enough to have a great assistant coach on his bench and smart enough to get out of his 3 All-Stars' way. When he was in Orlando he couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag.

About the only coach I would take would be Mike Brown from Cleveland, and he struggled at the beginning while having one of the basketball holy trinity on his roster. No different than what we have now. The guy did it right. Learned on the bench from Pop for a while, moved on to Cleveland and kept running a system he knew. Same thing applies here. Spo has been at every position on the staff, worked with the players directly, has their trust, and employs just about the same system he's been in. He's going to go to the playoffs in the first year with a team that had the worst record in the league last year. If that's not an improvement, then what is defined as good for any first year coach?

Jones, I think your overdoing it a bit. Look at Durant, They have let him run wild in OKC, and they suck, The heat are bringing beas along slowly. I do agree beas should start and bring in haslem as the 1st big. But, hes 20 yrs old and is the PF of the future. Haslem in a few games a few weeks back did get blocked at the rim and cost us. However, its a road game, and we won 15 games last yr. Before kobe had a team, even after shaq, they struggled to make it in the post season. EVEN with a healthy dwade, NO ONE thought we would be a 5 seed this yr, let alone possibly get home court in round 1. NO ONE wants to play dwade and the heat in a 7 game series. Dwade gets hot, the heat are in the eastern finals with a shot at going all the way. Its been a great season however, YOUR Acting like we are 17-52 like Memphis tonight. We are 37-32-----HELLO----and all 3 losses on the road just now we were winning or tied in the 4th------we are that close to being an elite team.

You guys are jumping on spo way to hard though about beas. They are teaching him the right way and making him earn his minutes. We are not trading beasley, he will be starting alongside wade and lebron or wade and bosh next summer. Hes 20, and they dont want him getting bad habits. I mentioned durant in my last post. who also is beas best friend. but that team is loaded with young talent in OKC, and , due to durant jacking up shots and not keeping everyone in the game or PLAYING D, the suck. He went out 2 weeks ago and they won 2-3 in a row W/O HIM. He is developing so many bad habits that its gonna be tough for that OKC team to ever win. With beas, he is seeing what it takes to succeed, and next yr I will bet you MB is the starting PF, and haslem is the 1st big off the bench, or traded for a Small forward like Caron or somebody. Beasley , wade, and the MAX FAgent in summer 2010 are the future with chalmers, cook. Stop bashing spo though, he has us in the playoffs and looking good. Kevin Garnett went 10 yrs and never got out of the 1st round in Minn until that 2 yrs before he went to boston, and then they didnt make the playoffs his last 2 yrs in Minny. SPO HAS DONE A GREAT JOB

Screw Beasley. If he wants to play the minutes he has to EARN the minutes. We are in the middle of a playoff race and Spo is doing the right thing to win now and not tank games by playing someone who is definitely NOT ready for prime time.

Spo is the coach, not a friggin baby-sitter.

I think Beasley is going to be great, once he packs on about ten pounds of muscle and tweaks his game. However, it's obvious he doesn't fit on this team. They prefer Haslem at the four, short comings and all. If they were offered the 2nd pick in next years draft, they'd jump at the chance and draft Thabeet. Riley must be licking his chops trying to figure, how to work it out.

An Observer,

We want a coach that would have developed Beasley this year. In my mind, that means playing time, running plays for Beasley, and actively working on his deficiencies on the court this year.

I disagree with Spo's approach. I don't think Beasley's development accelerates while sitting on the bench. If anything, it slows down the rate of improvement.

I prefer any of the coaches you mentioned above as long as they would have worked on Beasley's improvement this year.

I stress this year because this was supposed to be our re-building year. With the way Spo ran things, I see this year as a wasted opportunity.

Dom,

The expectation was that we are an average team this year. In fact, we are meeting those expectations. We're not close to being Elite. We're not as bad as Memphis. We're average.

I think Udonis should start when he is healthy. If he is not, the Heat should not force him to start just to make a stupid "Beasley should earn his minutes" point.

I'm not in the fire Spo bandwagon. But I do think Spo blew a major opportunity this year to get better for next year. In my mind, SPO HAS DONE A HORRIBLE JOB.

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