It’s a glass half full, glass half empty thing.
Normally you would say LeBron James hitting a game-winning layup and Chris Bosh sealing the win with a block on Damian Lillard would be a good, if not promising, end to a game.
It’s hard to argue the good, but, man, was that ugly.
After dominating most of the game, the Miami Heat led by 17 points in the fourth quarter before the Portland Trail Blazers came back to tie it with 30 seconds left.
That’s when LeBron had to go around a Mario Chalmers screen on a score-or-go-to-overtime drive.
“It was time for me to shoot one,” LeBron accurately told Ethan Skolnick after the game.
That’s when Bosh had to make one of his best defensive plays of the season on his 30th birthday.
That’s what it took for the Heat to wrap up the game.
It probably shouldn’t have come to that.
Am I wrong to complain? I don’t know. I guess I should be happy that the Heat, without Dwyane Wade, won a game against a playoff team after going 4-7 in the last 11 games.
To look at the glass half full, LeBron scored more than 25 points (he had 32) for just the second time since his 61-point facial against Charlotte on the third of March.
The Heat won without Wade, something that has been difficult for them this season (just 11-7 this season with him).
Miami’s defensive rotations looked good for most of the game, until the last five or six minutes when Portland started draining everything.
Really, most of this game was great for Miami. Cut the last few minutes and paste it in the beginning of the game and I wouldn’t even remember. But that’s not what happened, and I can’t shake the fact that the Heat almost blew it.
Imagine that they did. Twitter would have destroyed them. The Internet would have shat a Heat-hate storm. I probably would have expressed my frustrations with a series of f-bombs, an hour’s-worth of trade machining and a half-full cocktail glass.
Ah, hell. It would’ve been full.
But hey! People! That’s not what happened!
Instead, the Heat played Championship Basketball (TM) for the last 30 seconds. A LeBron Championship Layup (TM) off a Championship Screen (TM) by Chalmers. Bosh with his Championship Block (TM).
Miami played C-Ball (TM) for most of the game, save for whatever the hell happened between 5:26 and 0:11, when the game went from 84-72 to 91-91.
And that’s looking at it half full. Miami avoided hitting rock bottom with a strong effort for most of the game and an even stronger one in the last few seconds. Being able to close games, that’s Cham—well, you get it.
If the Heat showed anything tonight, they showed passion.
It started with coach Erik Spoelstra shoving LeBron in the second quarter.
I asked Spo to explain the shove. "I wanted LeBron to be aggressive. … That energy was terrific."
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) March 25, 2014
They wanted the game. They wanted to win because they were flat-out sick of losing. Sick of sucking, as Bosh so politely put it.
They showed they cared by verbalizing that they gave a shit about the No. 1 seed for the first time by asking reporters about the standings after the game.
LeBron on Pacers and top seed: "Who wants to be second?"
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 25, 2014
The Heat play the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night.
Let’s revisit this whole “how full is the glass?” thing then.