♦ Greg Oden started the game and played pretty well on defense, using his size to protect the rim. Oden knows how to use his size, which is exactly what Miami needs from him if he’s going to be a factor in the playoffs.
♦ LeBron James started with 25 points in the first quarter but quickly turned to facilitating after that. He looked tired and wasn’t as aggressive in the offense as he was before going to the bench for his first rest.
♦ Toney Douglas may have had his best box score during his time with the Heat (nine points, five assists), but he did not play that well. He had a few bad passes and seemed to screw up the flow of the offense. His defense wasn’t up to snuff either. Then again, what do you expect from a player who only gets significant run when he starts?
♦ Udonis Haslem started slow, knocking the rust off, but ended up playing a huge role in the Heat’s win. His rebounds were important, with the Heat being out-rebounded 41-30 without Haslem’s six boards.
♦ The Heat find a way to win. This time, it was three big blocks at the end of the game by Chris Bosh and LeBron to maintain the lead. LeBron hit key free throws, too, after going 1-for-5 from the line in the first half.
♦ Mario Chalmers may have scored only three points on 1-of-7 shooting, but I thought he had a good game. He was 1-for-3 from three-point-range, which I’ll take, and stayed agressive when going to the basket. He forced the Cavs to respect both his three-ball and dribble. Chalmers has made real improvements this season, and being able to impact the game when not shooting well might be his most important one. He also has a team-high nine assists.
♦ As for the Cavs, I’m starting to like that foundation. I’ve always liked Spencer Hawes a little more than I probably should, and his ability to stretch the defense will only help Dion Waters and Kyrie Irving. If they can keep Luol Deng and clean up the power forward position and let Anthony Bennett start at his natural position next year, they may have a decent foundation.
♦ I don’t like Matthew Dellavedova.
♦ Anderson Varejao may have had 11 rebounds, but don’t let that fool you. All of them were on the defensive glass. Not one offensive rebound. His 16 points were good, but that was a week double-double.
♦ The team missed Dwyane Wade’s cutting and defensive help. What he does off the ball is so important, you really appreciate it when he isn’t playing (and when he is). He should be back for Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Celtics.
♦ I don’t expect that Oden will start that one.
Tags: Miami Heat