Overview: The Cavs kept the Miami Heat from imposing their will on them for most of the game, but Chris Bosh’s 17 fourth-quarter points led the Miami Heat to a somewhat lackluster 92-85 win over the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 17 points in 26 minutes.
You’ve gotta give the Cavs a lot of credit for taking the Heat out of their game on Tuesday night. The Heat’s offense is built around Pace, Space, and LeBron James being a beast, and none of those things worked for Miami on Tuesday. The Heat managed only four fast-break points, shot 5-18 from deep, and LeBron was held to 18 points on 8-21 shooting.
Unfortunately for the Cavs, Chris Bosh reminded everybody why it’s a “Big Three” in Miami — with the Heat’s best player having an off-night, their second-best player out with an injury, and their shooters drawing iron time and time again, Chris Bosh was able to simply take over the game with a mix of tough drives to the rim and smooth mid-range jumpers. At some point, that’s just unfair, but that’s life in today’s NBA. It would have been nice if Tristan Thompson was available, because he may have been able to bottle up Bosh somewhat, but there’s little comfort in wondering what could have been.
Offensively, the Cavs had a few good performances, but no huge ones. Kyrie had 17 points on 11 shots, but Byron Scott is still steadfastly refusing to give Irving superstar minutes, presumably because of his defense. (To Scott’s point, Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers did have 19 points on 12 shots on Tuesday, which pretty much negated Irving’s offensive effort.) Alonzo Gee continues to look like a new man — he kept the defense honest by hitting a three, which opened up the lane for a HUGE and-1 dunk. I continue to be amazed by his development into an actual NBA player this season.
Samardo had a great game, but I refuse to get sucked into believing in him — we’ll see if he can keep this up before calling him a legitimate piece for this team.
This game was pretty much a classic good news/bad news story — the Cavs did everything right and kept the Heat from playing their game while holding their best player (and the best player in the NBA) in check, but came up short because the Heat’s 3rd-best player is far better than anyone on Cleveland’s roster. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but it’s the truth nonetheless. Hopefully the Cavs can bring this kind of effort against teams with less star power, because the results will come if they do.