In a 113-106 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat forced the dynamic backcourt duo of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis into 13-of-41 shooting for only 28 points.
Yet the Bucks scored 106 points and were up by seven with five minutes remaining against the Heat. What happened? Rookie John Henson happened. Going into the game against the Heat, Henson had a mere 21 points and eight rebounds in nine games and had completely sat out of five games.
I can already see the hashtag making its comeback. The twitter hashtag that gained some notoriety in basketball circles, specifically in Miami, could be making its return following the Miami Heat’s 98-93 win over the Denver Nuggets.
When a team wins their first game at a location they haven’t won at in nearly a decade without a specific player, you’re bound to find some who are going to jump to a drastic conclusion. Playing without Dwyane Wade, and Mario Chalmers for all but seven minutes, the Heat led by LeBron James were able to win their first game in Denver since January 29th, 2002. James was still in high school the last time the Heat won in the Mile High City.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: In no way is this Miami Heat team perfect.
It wasn’t until last year when you saw a squad like the Heat win a championship. Size generally is a deciding factor in seven-game series’ because of how prolific and influential big men can be on the boards, scoring near the rim and defending the paint. The Oklahoma City Thunder were perfectly built with those attributes in the form of Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison and the league’s leading shot-blocker in Shane Battier.
Those three gave the Thunder a size advantage, but it was Chris Bosh, Shane Battier and LeBron James playing similar positions that gave the Heat the advantage along the perimeter and in the open-court. Battier and James running at the four made Ibaka’s presence obsolete, causing the shot-blocker to play in less than 30 minutes per game while averaging only seven points and five boards.