Ray Allen got hurt on Tuesday against the Knicks after he fell over a cameraman. Mario Chalmers, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade have sat out the past two games. Will Miami’s top players even play with each other for the remainder of the regular season? Only time will tell, but what is not up for debate is that Allen, Chalmers, James, and Wade will be out tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats. Even Erik Spoelstra said, “I don’t anticipate those guys playing”.
However, the Heat can be effective (obviously not as effective — you can’t just replace the league’s MVP and a perennial All-Star shooting guard) with players like Mike Miller and Norris Cole. In the past two games (obviously, a small sample size) the Heat have a true shooting percentage of 59.5% — which would be better than any NBA team’s average true shooting percentage for this season. 65.1% of their baskets have been assisted, which is a little higher than the 59% clip that the Heat have averaged this year. This suggests that there has been slightly better and more fluid passing, especially as the Heat have played relatively good defensive teams in the Spurs and the Knicks.
The other revelation has been Chris Bosh. There was that game winner at the San Antonio Spurs. There is the fact that he has had 46 points in the past two games or the fact that he is shooting 53.6% from the field, 50% from three, and 100% from the free throw line (Steve Nash-like numbers). His ability to step up in the absence of LeBron and Wade shows just how much he defers when they play.
Chris Bosh Game Winner:
Where the Heat need to improve is their defense. In the past two games, they have given up 105.7 points per 100 possessions. Partly this is because they ran into the scoring machine that is Carmelo Anthony (on Tuesday he had 50 points against the Heat, and he had no points in the paint — he was that hot) and partly this is because the likes of Mike Miller and Norris Cole are worse defenders than LeBron and Wade, they aren’t used to this much playing time and have less familiarity playing with certain lineups.
The Heat are 3-0 against the Bobcats with the last game (a 109-77 win) occurring duringThe Streak. The Heat need to focus on stopping Kemba Walker, who is Charlotte’s go-to offensive option (and probably why the Bobcats are 27th in points per game). Luckily for the Heat, the Bobcats can’t rebound (27th in the NBA), or pass (29th), or play defense (29th). Because the Heat are so good at getting open looks, especially from three point range, I expect this game to be a blowout by halftime. Call me cocky, but the Heat will have a 15+ point halftime lead, which they will add to for the rest of the game.
Highlights From Miami Heat-Charlotte Bobcats (3/24/2013):
My one shining hope for this game is that JUWAN HOWARD will be active, play double-digit minutes, score 12 points (at least a couple three pointers), throw down a nasty “humongous big” dunk over Bismack Biyambo, and give Father Time the middle finger.
My goal in life is to age like Juwan Howard.
Top Inspirational Chris Bosh Tweets (only slightly less inspirational than Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday) :