Miami Heat MiamiHerald.com Miami Heat Home Delivery

« Ugly but effective | Main | Any real reason for concern? »

That just happened

When Dwyane Wade hit that three-pointer with 7:14 left to put the Heat up 15, the Heat was in celebration mode. At least the offense was. Because there was no flow to it after that.

It was nothing but ground-and-pound, and NOTthe kind that Erik Spoelstra talks about.

After so many successful close-outs in this postseason, surely one of those plays would result in something good. Surely, the Mavericks couldn't make up 15 points in seven minutes. Surely Wade, who had 36 points to that point, would finish with at least 38 points.

Nope. Just standing and watching. Just shooting and missing. Just confusion and staring.

And then there's the very end. The Heat did nothing right in defending Dirk Nowitzki on the game-winning bucket.

First, why Chris Bosh? Dirk had scored seven points in the fourth to that points and 22 overall. That would be considered a quality defensive performance. Yes, Bosh played him some during the game, but Udonis Haslem is supposed to be the best option. Not sure what changed for that final possession.

Second, the Heat had a foul to give and failed to give it. That one's on Spo, probably. Marion

Even Dirk expected a foul to come.

"We talked about, they had a foul to give, so I actually drove a little earlier than I would have," Nowitzki said. "The foul never came, so I was able to get to the basket and lay it in."

Finally, even though there was only 3.6 seconds left and the Heat was without a timeout, both Wade and LeBron James made poor decisions in getting that last shot off. LeBron probably should've hit Chalmers, who was a few steps ahead of Wade, for what would've been a decent look at a 30-footer.

But that game shouldn't have come down to that final sequence. The Heat offense should've gone through Wade more often in those final minutes. The Heat offense shouldn't have been so confused, so stagnant, so BLEH in those final seven minutes.

"Our offense, I think, was inefficient enough to spark them and give them some easy baskets," Spoelstra said.

Added LeBron: "Offensively, we just weren't in a good rhythm. We've been out of rhtyhm before. At the end of the day, we hang our hat on our defense."

That's fine to say and all, but the Heat knew it needed to hit another basket or two to win. Everyone in the arena knew it for about five minutes of basketball, because the Mavs were making a run.

So to say it's a defensive letdown, that's only partially true.

As for that "celebration" among Heat players that supposedly sparked the Mavericks run, Wade had a perfect response to it.

"Every team in the league, when they go on a run, they do something," Wade said. "Celebration is confetti. Celebration is champagne bottles. That wasn't a celebration.

"Don't make nothing out of that celebration, like you did in the Boston series. It's just being excited about the moment."

Moving on, it might not be the worst thing for Miami to be reminded how bad the offense can be. Because, as LeBron said, "We'll be back to square one and figure out a way to win that game."

When this team has a setback, like it did in Game 4 in Philadelphia or in Game 1 against Chicago, it tends to recover well.

How will Miami recover this time?

"Only time will tell," Wade said. "Obviously we gave them and they gave themselves life. We had an opportunity to put a little doubt in their minds.

"This is a big challenge for us. We're going to have to live up to the challenge."

Comments

 
About MiamiHerald.com | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | Copyright | About the McClatchy Company