Nov 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Fans line up outside the American Airlines Arena before a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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Nov. 10, 2013

That may have been the ugliest series of free throw shots I’ve ever seen. What was Dwyane Wade thinking? — me

He was thinking, “hey, instead of making this free throw, I’ll just force a rebound situation. They couldn’t possibly get a clean rebound and a shot with less than second left in the game.” And, actually, Wade is correct. The execution was horrible, but I wonder if we would bash him if it would have worked. During these situations, I like to think about how I feel if it worked. I still think I would be uncomfortable with this. If Wade hits the first free throw, I’m not sure he throws the ball at the rim. It is certainly possible that Wade had decided before his first attempt that he would do what he did, but my gut tells me it was a split-second decision. I think it says a lot about Wade’s confidence at the line.

How do you give up 111 points to the Celtics at home? — me

Not just this game, but for the season the Heat’s defense has been pretty week. The Heat are among the worst in the league giving up 100.9 points per 48 minutes. That is terrible, especially considering that the Heat were among the best last season with 94.1 points per 48 minutes (via NBA.com/Stats). So much for starting the season strong on defense. The Heat have a tendency to start off slow on defense in the beginning of the season, but this was obviously something Erik Spoelstra wanted to avoid, and the team did not execute. Frankly, that worries me.

How do the Heat bounce back from that loss? — me

That Celtics game was supposed to the first of a slate of coasting games for Miami. They did coast, and almost got away with it. The Heat will need to make games easier by playing better defense. This is a team that, unlike the Spurs, is still learning how to “coast.” When I say coast, that doesn’t mean not trying. What it means is finding a consistency and doing the big, important things perfectly so that the team doesn’t have to expend more energy doing those little things like clutch stops or bouncing the ball off the rim with one second left in the game. Here’s the thing, even though the Heat’s schedule is weak sauce for the rest of November, every team (including those that are tanking) will approach the Heat game as its Super Bowl. If a tanking or bad team could at least beat the defending champs, at least they can tell that to its season ticket holders.

Nov. 9, 2013

Heat-Celtics tonight. Was that Heat’s biggest rival before Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce went to Brooklyn? — me

Three years ago, definitely. Two years ago, probably. You still had that LeBron against the Celtics narrative and the C’s were, well, better. Last season? Not so much. I think that is when the Chicago Bulls, even without Derrick Rose, eclipsed them as the Heat’s biggest rival. Some would say the Indiana Pacers, but remember how LeBron dapped Paul George in the Eastern Conference Finals? That would never happen against the Bulls. There is no love lost between the Bulls and Heat. I believe that the Pacers and Heat could mail it in for a regular season game against each other and then sleep at night. The Heat and Bulls go all out every time they play each other.

What gives? In just four minutes of play against Toronto, Michael Beasley has 6 points and a block. Why doesn’t Beasley get more playing time? — me

Because Beasley has to finally earn it. Yes, maybe to us it seems like he has earned it with that great four-minute stretch. But coach Erik Spoelstra has said that Beasley needs to continue to develop and buy into the system and organization. Until Beasley proves he is dedicated to stepping in line with the Heat’s organizational values and coaches see the dedication to his game that they want to see, don’t expect B-Easy to catch a break. This is someone who was a top recruit, drafted No. 2 overall and was handed major scoring roles with every NBA team. Now he has to earn it. Beasley has a ton of support and the organization seems optimistic.

Alonzo Mourning, the politician? — me

According to the Sun Sentinel, Zo was golfing with Barack Obama in Davie. Zo has always been involved in the community with his philanthropic efforts and recently got involved in some political fund raising. Would it surprise me if Zo left the basketball world and went into politics? No. His position as Vice President of Player Programs and Development with the Heat now is not related to basketball operations and covers community outreach and helping out players on the team. Zo is testing the waters, and ex-professional athletes entering politics is hardly an anomaly.

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