It was easy to tell that the Miami Heat weren’t mentally prepared for their second game in China, this time a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers in Shanghai.
How do I make this assumption? Easily. Rodney Carney led the entire Heat team with 15 points in 28 minutes.
It was that kind of night. And can you blame them? They already put on their show in Beijing with a blowout win. Plus, with a 12-hour trip back to the United States awaiting them shortly after, taking this one easy seemed like the popular thing to do amongst the Heat’s brass. It would explain a lot in the Heat’s 99-89 loss; a loss that featured Miami getting outrebounded 49-36.
DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin had 19 rebounds between them, while the Heat were surprisingly supported by Josh Harrellson and his six caroms. Carney and Chris Bosh both had five, but the team was beaten early and often inside, especially by Clipper center DeAndre Jordan who finished with 18 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the field in 24 minutes.
Bosh, who finished with 11 points and another converted three-pointer, dealt with foul trouble for a second consecutive game, needing only 20 minutes to garner four fouls.
With Bosh and Dexter Pittman sitting out, the Heat decided to allow Harrellson an opportunity to prove himself in a larger sample size of nearly 21 minutes. In that time, the 6’10”, 275-pound center had nine points on 4-of-9 shooting, six rebounds, two blocks and four personal fouls. Among hopeful centers attempting to make the team, Harrellson outshone Mickell Gladness, who missed his only shot attempt in seven minutes.
As for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade? They were on the floor, but they didn’t really show up.
Dwyane looked a lot better in his second start since receiving July 9th knee surgery, ending up with seven points on 3-of-7 shooting, three assists and one rebound in nearly nine minutes. LeBron James posted up an effortless 11 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals in 20 minutes, but also had the time to be in one of the game’s top highlights.
Norris Cole had another tough showing. Replacing Mario Chalmers in the starting lineup for a third consecutive game, Cole had turnover problems once again and ended up with six in 25 minutes. He finished with just as many points, converting both of his three-point attempts.
The famed newcomers in Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis both struggled, collectively shooting 4-of-16 from the field and 1-of-8 from beyond the arc.
This was a game the Heat never had the heads in. A trip back home should do them some good, especially for LeBron who has seemingly been all over the world over the past few months. With injuries and ailments to tend to, this Heat team could use the three days rest and a game against the Detroit Pistons.