BEST OF LAST NIGHT: Ray Allen's game-winning shot
Leave the greatest three-point shooter in the history of the game wide open in the corner at your own peril. LeBron James drove towards the basket with time expiring and multiple defenders collapsed into the lane to defend the play. It left Allen wide open and he buried the triple, drew a foul on Corey Brewer and converted the four-point to give Miami a three-point lead. Allen had 23 points in 29 minutes and was 6 of 10 from three-point range.
WORST OF LAST NIGHT: Paint presence
The Heat was outscored 70-32 in the paint. On second-chance points, the Heat was outscored 30-6. The Nuggets had 15 more rebounds, including 11 more offensive rebounds. In its first three games, the Heat has allowed an average of 109 points per game.
"We know we have to get better defensively and we have to make a better commitment," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Our foundation is built on defense and we're not going anywhere unless we shore that up."
That the Heat found a way to win on Saturday is a sign of just how good this team is. Wins even on a really bad night.
NIGHTLY NUMBER: The committed just eight turnovers after losing possession 21 times against New York on Friday.
LINE OF THE NIGHT: Chris Bosh had 40 points, his career high with the Heat, and also had seven rebounds and two assists. Bosh was 15 of 22 from the field and 9 of 10 from the line. Bosh currently leads the Heat in scoring with 23.7 points per game. James is second with 23.0 points per game.
"People are going to act surprised, but this isn't my first 40-point game," said Bosh, who has had 10 in his career. "It was all within the offense."
NIGHTLY ANALYSIS: The Heat's defense is ranked dead last in the NBA in points per possession after its first three games. The Heat has allowed 1.022 points per possession, according to SynergySportsTech. What does that mean? It means the Heat has been below average in transition defense, terrible in overall half-court defense, terrible at defending jump shots and subpar in almost all defensive situations.
Consider this: Opponents of the Heat are shooting 41.7 percent on jump shots, according to Synergy. If you adjust the field-goal percentage statistic to account for the impact of three-point shooting, opponents are shooting 53 percent against the Heat on jump shots.
According to Synergy, opponents of the Heat have attempted catch-and-shoot plays on 67 possessions over three games. The majority of those possessions (50) were unguarded by the Heat. That means nearly 75 percent of the time, opponents are unguarded on catch-and-shoot plays against the Heat. Not surprisingly, opponents are shooting 50 percent on unguarded catch-and-shoot possessions.
Granted, the Heat wasn't very good at defending the catch-and-shoot last season either but, overall, the Heat's defense was ranked fourth last season in points per possession (0.872).
ABOUT THE OTHER GUYS
The Knicks made 19 three-pointers in their victory against the Heat on Friday. On Saturday, the Nuggets completely flipped the script and nearly beat the Heat with constant pressure inside. Denver was just 5 of 21 on three-pointers but dominated the glass. Second-year pro Kenneth Faried (22 points, 12 rebounds) is a handful and Denver is one of the deepest teams in the league, especially when Andre Miller is on his game. A poor game by Danilo Gallinari (13 on 3 of 17 shooting) worked in the Heat's favor. Gallinari is still recovering from injury.