It might be, for a few reasons.
The Cavs are athletic up front, which has always given Heat problems, and have two point guards who can score in Ramon Sessions and Baron Davis (officially on the "Heat Killers" list), and we know how those have given the Heat problems all year.
Yet, the Heat has solved those issues with effort and defense at times this year. This time, though, that wasn't there -- at least not when the team was falling behind.
You'd think that another trip to Cleveland would keep this team into the game. You'd think LeBron James and Co. would want to dominate this team every chance it got. But they let up, which is disappointing.
Another disappointing aspect was the play of Chris Bosh, who hasn't had a stinker like this in a while. He looked like he was wearing butter gloves most of the night, and when he was making a move to the basket, was predictable and gave those athletic Cavs big men either bother or flat-out block every shot. And those free throws with the Heat down nine late in the game? Yikes.
But you almost want to give Chris a pass given how well he's been playing of late. It just makes you wonder if he'll respond this way during road playoff games.
This probably ranks right up there with the home Indiana loss and the home loss to Orlando that featured a 24-point collapse.
But all that said, it really doesn't mean much other than the Heat can no longer reach 60 wins for the season.
The No. 2 spot is still right in the Heat's reach, especially considering the Heat plays Boston on April 10, and if the Heat comes out of this road trip 3-1, there's a good chance it'll come back home at least tied with Boston, given the C's schedule.
Two quick side notes on the game: Mike Miller would've been fairly important in this game, because his rebounding would've helped. And what in the world got into James Jones? He hasn't played this many games in a season since 06-07, so maybe it's fatigue? Because 0-for-5 from three, and some pretty awful misses, just doesn't look like him.
And just a note on that three-pointer that was first ruled no good, then good by the officials at the end of the third quarter. Normally, in those situations where the clock clearly started before a player touched the ball, they would literally run the play again, rather than count anything that happened after. But these officials literally pulled out a stopwatch while watching the video replay, checking to see if LeBron's heave would've gotten off in the 1.9 seconds left on the clock. Now, that would seem to be the right thing to do, call it a "clock malfunction," and let a very meaningful play count rather than try to make LeBron make that shot again. But it also feels like these officials panicked because it was obvious neither of them was watching the clock like they were supposed to.
Not surprised that the NBA said the shot shouldn't have counted. But if the clock operator had just done his job correctly, it would've counted, so in a sense it was the right thing to do. These officials (Ed Malloy was the lead official, and his charge call looks like a "count it," motion, which was extremely confusing) are lucky that it didn't come down to a one-possession game.
(Update: Technically, it could've been the clock operator or any of the three referees that started the clock early on that 3rd quarter play. Each of the refs have the ability to start the clock. So it's not necessarily the fault of that hometown clock operator.)