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Postgame Breakdown: Nuggets 114, Heat 96

Dwyane Wade must be a Coke guy. Heat_Nuggets_Wade

Because his teams just can't seem to get anything accomplished at the Pepsi Center.

Denver remains the only spot in the league where Wade has yet to experience a victory in his seven NBA seasons. The drought continued Thursday, when the Nuggets simply pummeled the Heat 114-96. The up-and-down play continued for Miami (10-8), which followed its most complete victory of the season Tuesday in Portland with perhaps its most uninspired game of the year against the Nuggets.

This was the equivalent of a varsity team schooling the JV. Chauncey Billups' experience, swagger and veteran play simply made Mario Chalmers vanish. Billups forced Chalmers into early foul trouble and did whatever he wanted in the matchup. It was almost sad how bad of a mismatch it was.

Michael Beasley was able to keep up his recent scoring edge. But he offered very little on the defensive end as veteran Kenyon Martin bullied him down low for buckets and rebounds. Nene's strength and explosive play made it seem at times like Jermaine O'Neal wasn't even on the court.

The game was billed as a showdown between Wade and Carmelo Anthony, the league's scoring champ last season versus the NBA's current leading scorer. Neither had a particularly good night. But the Nuggets secured the series split after they were blown out in Miami three weeks ago.

As bad as things were Thursday, it could get even uglier for the Heat on Friday against the Lakers in the second game of a back-to-back set. Or, if the current pattern holds, don't be shocked if Miami has its best game of the season. Go figure.

D. WADE'S DOINGS: Anger, a retooled body and a determination to prove any doubters wrong inspired Wade through an MVP-worthy season a year ago. He's yet to find that proverbial chip on his shoulder this season. Something's missing from his approach. Yes, the defenses are focusing on Wade and forcing him into tough spots. But that's been the case for years now. And you can't blame it totally on his teammates not consistently helping him out, because these were the same teammates he had last season when he was torching the league. He's never had such a sustained stretch of offensive sluggishness. Wade missed 7 of his first 8 shots Thursday and finished 8 of 20 from the field for 25 points with a season-high 10 boards. He also had 4 turnovers and had his shot blocked three times. He didn't seem to get fired up until the third quarter, when he directed that anger toward officials instead of Denver's defense.

Heat_Nuggets_Beas TURNING POINT: The Nuggets used a 13-0 run in the second quarter to open up a sizable cushion and establish their dominance in the paint. Majority of that run came with the second units of both teams on the court. Chris Anderson blocked shots, J.R. Smith made plenty of them and Denver's energy and aggressive play set the tone for what essentially was the early knockout blow. The lead stretched to 23 by the midway point of the third quarter. The Heat got very little from its bench in response. Udonis Haslem, Carlos Arroyo, James Jones and Dorell Wright only added to the problems during that decisive stretch.

LOSING EDGE: The Heat was outscored 33-20 from the free-throw line. The Nuggets also shot 52.9 percent from 3-point range.

HEAD SCRATCHERS: If you watched the game in high definition, perhaps you can answer this one. Who wins the tattoo matchup between Miami's Michael Beasley and Denver's Chris Anderson? Throw in Quentin Richardson, Dorell Wright, Jermain O'Neal, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony, and you might have the two most tatted teams in the league ... Also, Richardson attempted his first free throw of the season Thursday. It only took 18 games for the Heat's starting small forward to find his way to the line. But he missed the first quarter technical free throw ... How does the point guard not know the shot-clock situation. Carlos Arroyo committed that cardinal sin in the second quarter, when he inadvertently dribbled out the final seconds of a shot-clock violation for a turnover during the 13-0 Denver run.

KEY CONTRIBUTION: Beasley got his numbers again, continuing a stretch in which he came in averagingHeat_Nuggets_Quentin 19 points and eight rebounds the past two weeks. He had a solid start and scored eight consecutive Heat points in the first half. But he sort of lost his way once the Nuggets began to attack him on defense. Beasley finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes. The Heat's other three starters - Richardson, O'Neal and Chalmers - combined for only 19 points. Credit Richardson for making Anthony work hard on a night when he was held 8 points below his league leading 30-point average and was 6 of 17 from the field. Miami is now 1-1 on the four-game trip that ends Sunday at Sacramento. 

NEXT UP: Heat at Lakers, Friday - 10:30 p.m., Staples Center

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Comments

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we need to have trade now...

ELLIS, GAY, M.GASOL, STOUDEMIRE, BAYLESS...


FOR TRADES:

HASLEM,Q-RICH,CHALMERS,QUINN,MAGLOIRE,COOK, JAMES JONES + 4.2M TRADE EXEMPTIONS WE GOT FROM TORONTO, DRAFT RIGHTS: DOZIER & BEVERLEY, 2ND ROUND PICK 2010...

WE HAVE STILL TWO 1ST ROUND PICK 2010...

WAIVED: ARROYO & RANDOLPH,S.= FOR SALARY CAP SPACE...

PLAYERS TO REMAINED:
WADE,BEASLEY,ANTHONY,J.,D.WRIGHT O'NEAL,J.= (received pay-cut) so that we have a salary cap to offer a max deal to AMARE STOUDEMIRE...

dream line-up:

pg *ellis(sg) / *bayless
sg wade(pg) / d.wright(sf)
sf * gay / beasley
pf beasley(sf) / *amare(c) / anthony,j.(c)
c *amare / o'neal,j.(pf) / *marc gasol

thoughts???

LET RILEY MAKE SOME MOVES NOW!!!

What does Riley see in Chalmers that makes him think he is starting a pg.
Jamal Tinsley is playing GREAT in Memphis.
AI WILL be playing great in Philly.
Chalmers WOULD have made a great back-up pg.

It's a shame Riley didn't pick up Tinsley for peanuts to fix the current point guard mess. Wade simply can't be expected to play the point...and do everything else while getting double and triple teamed.

Riley scored on his Q-Rich pickup to help at the 3 spot squelching the retarded progress of both Cook & Wright...but why in the world would Riley re-sign Quinn then also just settle for Arroyo at the point ? Surely, there must be a mid season solution without screwing up 2010 cap space and Chalmer's mind.

This game has been our worst of the season. I was there when they got beat by the Wiz and OKC, but it wasn't like this. They just didn't come out ready.

This was a team that wanted to beat us after a defeat courtesy of the Heat 3 weeks ago and we just didn't respond.

Something is missing from Wades attack and he is settling for to many shots - where is the Wade that gets to the rim??????????

To me this situation is simple. Make a push for Andre Miller. We can trade Dorrel Wright and a pick to get him. Make the move Riley. He is the floor general we need.

Totally agree with Jose here. Pick up Andre Miller. He would be a perfect fit in Miami. He is a create 1st point guard and can defend. Have Chalmers back up and get Arroyo out of here. No wonder he was in Israel. He is TERRIBLE!! I get sick every time he is on the floor. What is wrong with Wade? He is totally out of it the last few weeks. Personal problems with the divorce and lawsuits? He is not the same Wade. Then when his production his down he forces, forces, and forces and buries the team. Play like you did Tuesday Dwayne!! You can do everything here. He cant even make an outside shot this season. Drive it to the hole and go to line. Drive and dish to the shooters instead of 360 degree fadeaways from the corner. I watch other teams and no other offenses look like the Heat. They make it look so hard to get a basket.

We just got a bad history of playing 1 of the 2 games of a back to back like garbage.They'll
ball hard tonight and play a good game.Spro ca
n't use Wade at PG to early.Especially if he is not in a groove.Beasley started looking bad
when he came back in at the 3 again.The PG situation is bad as I seen on any team.Dressin
g only 2 PG is putting a lot of faith(I don't
have it)in Chalmers.We got to make a trade for
another PG.There is way too much room between
our ups and downs.We have beat some good teams
and some we usually struggle against,but our
record at home is bad.I really can't figure this team out.They need extra motivation.Spra y a can of lysol while telling a player(whoev er he is)he is stinking up the joint.Let em smell some of that funk on the pine.I mean dam
find a way to motivate.Motivation and leadership is the only thing it could be.If i was at work and we was one of the best crews 3
days a week and 1 of the worst 3 days a week,it would reflect leadership and motivation.I think we gonna beat L A tonight &
look like 1 of the best crews.Lord knows we looked like the worst last night.

You win some, you lose some. An average team getting beat by a deeper and more talented team. No big deal.

We'll kick their ass, on their floor, in 2010.

Not so easy to deal for Miller with his fat salary and old age unless Portland paid almost all the freight. Riley had Tinsley available for the taking but apparently got scared for some reason. Cook, Wright, Jones and of course Randolph and Quinn are probably worth a 3rd round pick collectively. So much for getting next to nothing with a proposed trade.

MW - "Billups forced Chalmers into early foul trouble and did whatever he wanted in the matchup. It was almost sad how bad of a mismatch it was."

---

HUH? "Sad?" "Did whatever he wanted?" Total "mismatch?"

Were we watching the SAME game?

Sorry Wallace but in the REAL game, Billups went 1-5. ONE for FIVE.

Rio finished 3-6. THREE for SIX.

Billups also got 11 FTAs, some earned, some gifts. Sure, (Billups) 13 pts + 7 dimes had an edge over (Chalmers) 7 pts + 4 dimes but that edge is hardly Gozilla stomping Sponge Bob.

If the numbers were reversed, i.e., if Chalmers had gone 1-5, I'd say yeah -- Billups had his way with Rio because Billups IS far more experienced, savvy on defense and still an *elite* defender.

The Heat player who really got torched, who basically allowed his Denver counterpart to do "whatever he wanted" -- Wade.


Affalo finished 7-9, SEVEN for NINE, including a PERFECT 3-3 on 3s. If ANYONE had a sad, bad, defensive game, it was Mr. Franchise. Luckily for Wade, Affalo did not have a green light a la Melo.

I also thought Andersen, a crowd pleasing crown with freakish hops, bothered Beasley more than KMart. Beasley hasn't back down from physical 4s. But he's still looking for answers to longer, more athletic 4s with superquick hops (to block, change his shots).

Otherwise, yeah. I'd agree most of the Heat came out flat. Lame. Uninspired and almost uninterested.

Will they embarass themselves AGAIN on national TV vs LAL tonite?

Do they have the cajones grande we saw against ORL or POR or the teeny tiny BBs exposed by DEN + others?

I also thought Andersen, a crowd pleasing [CLOWN]...

Forgot Diawara to add to the lump... Teams will be doing deals and just hope the Heat don't wait until next summer to drop the hammer on something. Don't think Wade's heart is there to carry this whole season again and who can blame him. The biggest plus from this is Beasley finally getting more of a chance to grow.

Beasley hasn't [backed] down from physical 4s but is still [ an answer short ] against longer, more athletic 4s with superquick hops (who can block, change his shots).

back-to-backs against the two best teams in the west is pretty brutal. tough game last night for the heat. the got outrun in the denver altitude.

on the plus side, i like what i've seen from chalmers. yes, we need a better option than arroyo at backup, but mario has played pretty well the past couple weeks. if cook finds his stroke, spo should play him at point.

and i live in portland, so trust me on this one. you do not want andre miller.

beazy is also coming into form now. i think this team needs to run more of the offense thru beaz. wade is in a slump, and beaz is on fire. lets give the kid the ball and let him go to work. for the first time this season, i am saying it:

free mike beazy!

Glad to see Beas figuring out scoring in the NBA. It would be nice to see Beas look for the open man moving forward. I'd like to see his assists go up. If he does that, that means he is making the game easier for his teammates as well.

It's too bad he didn't play as much as he should have last year. He should be further ahead on the learning curve. But it is what it is. Let's hope he excels well enough by 2010.

Beaz has got better about his hesitation when he gets the ball, except for last night when he looked up and saw Melo or KMart.

Chalmers AND Cook are both capable of driving more and creating but never do. With Chalmers, he's slowly getting there - but it would do some much for our teams for guys to drive and maybe even draw a foul or two. Instead our guys take jump shots and on nights like last night - it just hurts and keeps hurting.

one other thing beasley still cannot do is set a decent pick on a pick & roll

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