Lebron James differed on the last 2 possessions on Tuesday night, leaving Mario Chalmers and Dwayne Wade with chances of playing hero. Unfortunately for the Miami Heat neither player came up “big” by making good on their attempts. The game ended in the Pacers favor, 78-75, evening the series at a game a piece.
I, along with every other media outlet, played up the Bosh-Less heat angle. Expecting that Miami, without him, would struggle to contain the beast that is Roy Hibbert. While Hibbert played a fine game, 8 points and 11 boards, he did not exactly set the world on fire. What Miami did miss about Bosh was not his defense or his rebounding. It was his ability to be the 3rd scoring option. Outside of Lebron and Wade, no Heat player scored more than 5 points. Bosh’s 18-8 he usually brought to the floor would have been greatly appreciated on Tuesday night. If Chalmers, Cole, Battier, and the like don’t step up offensively Miami could be in trouble.
Lebron Likes to Differ
Everyone and their respective mother is bashing Lebron for differing on the final 2 possessions. I think we are at the point in Lebron’s career where we should know that he, no matter what point of the game, will make what he thinks is the best basketball decision. Jordan, Kobe, Dirk, Bird, all those guys put their teams on their backs in the closing minutes. But believe it or not, they missed a lot of “game winning” shots too. Lebron is more of a Magic then a Michael, so putting that into perspective we should stop blaming the guy for passing the ball to an OPEN player down the stretch. Instead what we should be focusing on is his missed free throws with under a minute left.
Lebron James: B- Lebron did play pretty well for most of the game. 28 points and 9 rebounds is more than respectable. His grade did not drop below an A because of his preference to defer, but his missed free throws with under a minute to go.
Dwayne Wade: C+ I might be a little hard on Wade here, but he needs to be more efficient. Going 8 for 22 from the floor for a player of this caliber is just unacceptable. While Lebron will take most of the heat for the loss, Wade needs to be more reliable.
Mario Chalmers: D At least he has a cool first name, Mario. To bad his play was not super.
Udonis Haslem: D+ He played12 minutes, fairly decent.
Ronny Turiaf D+ See above.
Mike Miller: F Remember a time when Mike Miller was a really good player. Well this post season has not been one of those times.
Shane Battier: C- He still plays above average defense. He no longer looks for any offense though. The Heat need offense.
James Jones: C He played pretty good in 10 minutes. However he only went 1 for 4 from the floor.
Joel Anthony: D 35 minutes and no points. I know that Miami does not expect Anthony to contribute on offense, but with that kind of minutes you have to score AT LEAST ONCE!
Norris Cole: C He used to play a ton for the Heat. Tuesday night he got 17 minutes on the floor.
Juwan Howard A+ Howard was his usual DNP, but he is still on a roster and making tons of loot. So good for him.
This series is on the way of going 7 like me and my coverage counterpart Jason Leung predicted. The Heat need more offense from their role players. After stating the obvious, people need to lay off Lebron. When Miami wins he gets none of the credit. When they lose he gets all of it. Tuesday night they played without Bosh and Wade was nothing short of inefficient. However all you will read today is about Lebron differing. So what, he made good basketball decisions.
Game 3 will be televised on ESPN at 7pm on Thursday. Watch it, come back to Sir Charles for the recaps.
Joseph Nardone is a Writer/Blogger for Sir Charles In Charge. You can follow him on the twitter machine@JosephNardone