And this was before the game even started...
Tonight was a rare win. It's a win that benefits both teams. The Warriors continue to play some excellent basketball with their playoff push and have now avoided a 2 game losing streak for a very, very long time. The Heat avoided a win and increased their chances at getting a top draft pick. Michael Beasley anyone? The Warriors starters got their rest while the Heat's season can simply rest in peace.
I have to think the Warriors were motivated to put this team away quickly so that they could get some rest to go out on the town and still be ready for Orlando tomorrow. No? Okay maybe the Heat really are just that bad.
Continue reading after the jump. A couple moments of silliness if you'll allow it.
I don’t know how much there is to say about this one. The Warriors came out smoking in the first quarter and the Heat matched them nearly point for point. But while the Warriors continued to throw 30+ point quarters up there for the rest of the game, the Heat decided to be nice and only score in the 20’s for the final 3 quarters. Some teams can hang with the Warriors scoring pace for a quarter or two, but after awhile, they just can’t keep up. That’s what happened tonight.
I think a few NCAA teams could have beat that Heat team that hit the floor tonight. They only had 7 guys playing and looked like a team just waiting for the season to end. Are they tanking it? Is it called tanking if you can’t help it? Even if this team tried to win, could they even do it? This is tarnishing the Pat Riley legacy and the Dwyane Wade superstar label. How good of a coach is Pat Riley right now? Is Dwyane Wade any good anymore after his surgery?
Put simply, it’s UGLY in Miami.
One thing that did strike me as "wow that would be cool" was when at the end of the game when players shake hands, the camera focused on Marion and Baron talking. I’m an expert lip reader so this is what I saw:
Baron: Good game tonight man.
Marion : Thanks, you guys played awesome tonight.
…Blah blah blah…
Baron: You opting out of that contract after this year?
Marion: Only if I can come play with you guys.
Marion: Yep I’ll even sign for the veteran minimum. I got beef with Phoenix.
Baron: Aight I’ll let Mully know.
Marion: Just let me know where and when to sign.
If only I could really read lips. I’ll just pretend that’s what happened in the conversation.
Brandan Wright look Alike Contest
Then I started thinking, Brandan Wright reminded me a lot of some guy I knew throughout my high school years. I found a picture of my high school classmate (he was always doing crazy stuff in my notebook). Let me know if you see a comparison. Here’s Brandan Wright:
And here’s my high school buddy. See how much they look alike?!
Now compare that to this next guy. You won’t ever mistake Brandan’s "biceps" for Buike’s BICEPS.
Sheesh. I don’t know why I just wrote that above. On to the rest of the recap.
Al was on fire off the bench tonight. On fire! He went 6-8 from the field, and shot 5-7 from 3 point territory. In 19 minutes, he scored a quick 17 points. It was like he got in, did his damage, and got out. Good night Miami. Very good to see Al find his stroke. Hopefully that carries over into Orlando.
Baron had it going again tonight. He’s really in MVP caliber form right now. His 10 assists in just 28 minutes was quite impressive. Even more impressive was after the sloppy 6 turnover game against Charlotte, he had just 1 against the Heat. I’ll take that any day. Most importantly, Baron got rest in this game. His 28 minutes were significantly lower than the 42 minutes he’s been averaging. That’s perfect for facing Orlando where we’ll need a rested Baron.
Monta shot poorly tonight, only 50%. I’m so used to him shooting over 60% that when I see he only made half his shots I say, "what happened?" But I’m loving his emergence on the offensive end, it’s such a joy to watch him get better and better offensively. He’s not relying solely on his quickness to score. It’s the combination of the 1 man fast breaks, the dribble penetration, and most importantly, to keep defenses honest, the money mid-range jumper.
And I can’t forget Pietrus. The guy has somehow turned the switch on. Pre-trade deadline, he seemingly couldn’t do a whole lot right. But now, he’s contributing on the glass, he’s scoring, and has been willing to play the power forward position and mix it up with the bigs. I have this sinking feeling that this is just a mirage, but I can also seeing him play the same key role as last year. It’s starting to look like he can be that solid role player.
The bench got some extended minutes tonight which was fun to watch and finally, we welcomed back Andris. He looked good out there after missing these last few games. I’m looking forward to what he can do against Orlando.
The guy did everything tonight. 22 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and a cool 5-8 from the land of plenty. That +25 plus/minus is pretty nuts too. Not as nuts as the 3 Miami players in -30 territory. Jax has been playing well ever since he’s come back from the injury not only because of the scoring but because of the increase in his board work. 37 boards in 6 games since the injury compared to 4.5 per game on the season. Good to see him going to the glass more and helping out. It probably started out of necessity with Beans out, but hopefully will continue through the rest of the season.