Revenge comes in the form of a victory over the villainous Lebron James Tuesday night, as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated their former teammate’s new squad 102-90.
The loss stings the Miami Heat, as they had a golden opportunity to overtake Boston as the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference, giving them home court in a second round matchup that will likely be against the Celtics.
Miami trailed the entire game, and essentially received no help outside of James, Dwyane Wade and Mike Bibby. Chris Bosh, for as good as he has been, was downright pitiful. Bosh finished the game with 10 points on 5-14 shooting while being -24 for the game.
Cleveland forced Miami to switch into a zone defense, which brought them back from a 21 point deficit to tie the game at 83. The Cavs would not look back from there. They attacked the basket, converting on layup and dunks and getting to the foul line closing the game on a 19-7 run.
In 33 minutes of action, James Jones missed all 5 of his three-point attempts, the majority of which were wide open. Jones, along with the rest of the Heat bench, has really been struggling of late. He is shooting just 22% from beyond the arc in his last 5 games.
This is without a doubt a very embarrassing loss for Miami. It was a huge missed opportunity and they will be forced to play catch-up again as they fall one game behind Boston in the loss column.
One factor that cannot be overlooked is how thin the Heat really are. It is alarming how nobody (other than Bibby) seems to be able to knock down an open jump shot.
It is not as if the Heat needs much production from its bench, but they are literally getting nothing. Miami’s bench managed to score 6 points, and they all came in the first half.
Someone needs to step up and show the ability to hit 3 or 4 shots coming off the bench, especially with the wide-open looks these guys get playing aside Wade and James.
What may be more disconcerting is that Miami allowed Cleveland to shoot for over 55% from the field. Shots were coming way too easy for the Cavs all night.
It is just one game however, and this is the most important game a 15 win team has ever played in the month of March in the NBA. The Heat will just have to move on to Washington and bounce back with a win tomorrow night.