This is becoming too much of a recurring theme.
Outrebounded 40-23 and 13-5 on the offensive boards, leading to the Utah Jazz owning a 19-0 second-chance points advantage, the Miami Heat fell to 1-3 on their road trip following a 104-97 loss. The Heat were down by as many as 21 points before staging a fourth quarter comeback that cut the lead to 93-91 with four minutes remaining. However, it seems like all of the Heat’s energy was exhibited then as the Heat failed to tie it.
LeBron James led the way with 32 points, six assists, four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks in nearly 44 minutes. He led the late comeback that featured a lineup minus Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who were benched throughout Miami’s late run. Bosh was brought in the final minute, but provided nothing other than letting a pass skip through his hands and go out-of-bounds.
Wade had 11 points on 11 shots to go along with five assists and four rebounds in 29 minutes. Chris Bosh had 16 points on 13 shots and had his jumper falling, but his role on the defensive end and hitting the glass canceled out any sort of offensive contribution. In 26 minutes worth of action, Bosh had a rebound.
A rebound. That means one. Chris Bosh, the Heat’s 6’11″ center, recorded one rebound in over two quarters.
Nobody else was much better. Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade led the Heat with five rebounds. The 23 rebounds was a season-low for Miami, who also got only two rebounds from Joel Anthony in 23 minutes off the bench.
There wasn’t much of an effort on either side of the court at that aspect of the game. Al Jefferson had 11 rebounds and Paul Millsap had nine. Somehow, 6’3″ point guard Jamaal Tinsley found himself with five rebounds in 31 minutes. DeMarre Carroll had one of his best games of the season in the form of 12 points and four rebounds in only 15 minutes, while Gordon Hayward came off the bench to score 22 points on 13 shots.
Miami’s role player support was there. Mario Chalmers hit two three-pointers to finish with 12 points and seven assists, while Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis combined for 23 points on 4-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc. Lewis, who had been relegated to the far end of the bench in past weeks, played a season-high 27 minutes. He played a vital role down the stretch in bringing the Heat back from a 21-point deficit.
The Heat really can’t win at the power forward position. They either continue to start Haslem for his defense and five boards per game while he misses open jumpers, or they start Lewis and get the threat of a perimeter jumper while receiving poor defense and minimal rebounding support. Shane Battier can provide shooting AND defense, but not too much on the rebounding front, which is becoming an issue with the Heat.
Miami can still salvage this floundering road-trip. But it won’t be easy. They have a back-to-back that starts on Wednesday in Golden State, followed by a star-studded matchup with a Los Angeles Lakers team who may or may not be without Dwight Howard and/or Pau Gasol.