The Wheels Are Coming off in Miami; An EPIC Meltdown at the Big East Tournament

Dwyane Wade
Here’s something to cry about: The Miami Heat were beaten again last night, this time to the Portland Trail Blazers, taking their 5th L in a row. Miami was outrebounded, outshot and outhustled by the Blazers on their home floor, losing 105-96 … The Blazers had the lead for most of the game, but Miami battled back to tie it up at 77 at the start of the fourth on a sequence where Dwyane Wade blocked a Brandon Roy pullup jumper and raced the length of the court for the dunk. It was the kind of sequence that championship-caliber teams would use to turn the tables on their opponents to run them out of their gym. Miami is clearly not a championship-caliber team … LeBron had 31, but it was Wade who really came to play. As the Blazers snatched the lead back, it was Wade who kept Miami within striking distance all by himself, scoring 24 of his 38 points in the second half … The Blazers’ bench depth was overwhelming, outscoring Miami’s reserves 41-8. Gerald Wallace led the bench mob with 22 and nine boards, including a few moves in the lane that saw Wallace physically overpower LeBron. Not sure we’ve ever seen that happen to James with a non-center before. It was unsettling … “We Want Riley” chants started at AmericanAirlines Arena with the Heat down nine and eight minutes left in the game … When the final buzzer sounded and the broadcast switched back to the NBA TV studio, Chris Webber was pretending he was “misty-eyed.” He also pointed out that Miami would have to finish 18-0 to match the Cavs’ record from last year… Yesterday afternoon in the Dime office, we were fired up when we saw that Bucks/Wizards was on the Tuesday night lineup. The NBA is a league of matchups – on paper a Brandon Jennings/John Wall head-to-head matchup should be great. Speed vs. speed. Swagger vs. swagger. Two of the NBA’s best young guards battling for supremacy. And for the most part, those two did their respective jobs. Both guys pushed the pace like crazy, as Wall flirted with a triple-double, going for 10 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and three steals and Jennings went for 23 (on multiple long threes), four dimes and three steals … Unfortunately though, the rest of their teammates were just horrendous. Missed layups, turnovers and knucklehead plays all over the floor made for a mess of a game. Milwaukee was less terrible, winning 95-76. Poor John Wall had the thousand-yard stare going in the second half … One highlight you will definitely be seeing today? In the first half, Wall tracked down Jennings on a break, elevated and smacked Brandon’s layup off the glass … The game was a good opportunity for the newly-acquired Wizard Jordan Crawford to turn the game into the “I’m Getting Mine Classic.” No way was he passing to anybody. He overdribbled and put it up every time he touched it, finishing with 22 … Read more: Psycho T goes off, the Lakers dominate another team from the East and an EPIC meltdown at MSG …

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