Recap: Heat 117, Cavs 90 (Or, total defeat)

January 31st, 2011 by John Krolik

Overview: The Miami Heat got whatever they wanted against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and held them to 33 points in the second half of a 117-90 victory. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 58 points, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had a season-high 14 rebounds.

This team just went 0-for-January bullets:

No answers. When Wade wanted to drive, he sliced through the Cavalier defense and finished in a wide variety of fashions. When LeBron put the ball on the floor, the Cavs were forced to foul him or leave a shooter wide-open. When the Heat missed, it was because the Cavs had left Ilgauskas alone underneath to contest the shot. The Heat had the advantage in the paint, in the frontcourt, in the backcourt, from beyond the arc, off the bench, on offense, on defense.

The other thing of note in this game is that it followed a familiar pattern. The Heat jumped out to a double-digit lead, the Cavs came back and cut it to three, the Heat called a time-out and got some variation of a “seriously, why are you only beating the Cavs by three points?” lecture, and then they proceeded to snuff out any hopes the Cavs had of actually winning the game. It’s something we’ve seen a lot, and I can’t honestly say that the phenomena is the product of anything other than teams coming out and executing, relaxing as the Cavs get some cheap points, then stepping on the gas when they realize the Cavaliers might actually tie the game. It’s not really fun to watch, but at least the Cavs are trying sometimes. Don’t put that last sentence on any team promotional material.

Individual notes:

Hickson hit a jumper or two early, then fell in love with it. 6-14. Him and Jamison did do a surprisingly decent job on Bosh, though.

Manny’s running the floor and making wide-open threes when they’re there. His shooting stroke reminds me of Troy Murphy’s in a way — it’s flat and there’s a ton of lower-body noise, so he can’t really get it off unless his feet are set, but he’s decently accurate with it if he’s wide open.

How about Eyenga beating LeBron off the dribble twice?

That’s all for tonight. Total defeat. Winless in January. The record is on the horizon.