Overview: The Cavs put up a good fight against the Miami Heat, but had no answer for Dwayne Wade in the second half. Daniel Gibson had one of his best games of the year, finishing with 26 points on 10-16 shooting from the field. The Heat have won their last 10 games. The Cavaliers have lost their last nine.
– If moral victories can exist in a nine-game losing streak, this was one. The Cavs were competitive throughout the game. They moved the ball on offense and spread the floor with shooters, keeping the Heat defense off balance and committing only eight turnovers. The latter was a big deal — the Heat weren’t really able to get out in transition, which forced them to rely on their inconsistent halfcourt offense. On defense, the team moved its feet, didn’t concede easy drives, and made the Heat shoot mid-range jumpers.
– In the second half, the Heat took the game over with an abundance of three-pointers and Dwayne Wade. The Heat relied on the three against the Cavs, going 10-23 from beyond the arc. Three of those 10 threes were corner threes from James Jones, and the product of good ball movement by the Heat. Four of those threes came from Mario Chalmers, whom the Cavs dared to beat them. And three of those threes were from Wade, who was absolutely on fire in that second half. Boobie was playing good defense on Wade, but he was having one of those nights. His crossover was evil, he was making incredible drives to the basket, and he made a lot of jump shots that you have to let him take.
The Heat still haven’t found offensive symmetry, and it can be rough to watch them play offense. Wade and James can nail threes off the dribble, but can’t make open catch-and-shoot threes. James hates moving when Wade drives. Bosh doesn’t attack the rim much. However, they’ve found a pretty good formula: tighten up the defense, attack in transition whenever the opportunity presents itself, and give LeBron and Wade chances to take the game over. It works.
Can’t say enough good things about Boobie Gibson, who played like a man possessed. When he got an inch of space on a three, he hit it. He hit some beautiful pull-up jumpers from midrange. His floater, which never really worked for him last year, was money. Throughout his career, Boobie has stepped up when the pressure’s on, and it’s clear he put a lot of pressure on himself to win this game. I used to have a rule that prohibited giving Boobie a shirt in losses, but it’s time to revise that rule. Great game, Boobie.
Mo had some nice floaters and did a good job running the offense, but it would be really nice if he could make threes when the team needs them. Not the best night for him to go 1-10 from beyond the arc.
Jamison kept the floor spread and hit some threes, but couldn’t do anything inside the arc — Bosh is a bad matchup for him. Jamison did do a good job of containing Bosh on the other end, though.
Great game for Andy, who was everywhere on both ends of the floor and was a menace on the boards. Does anyone doubt that Andy and Boobie are the team’s two best players?
Bullets of Randomness:
Just one tonight — Joel Anthony had a really good game, and his shot-blocking in the fourth quarter was huge. Maybe he wasn’t a terrible signing after all.