Here’s the scene. Let’s say you’re the head coach of the Miami Heat and you’re down one with 16 ticks on the clock. You can get a one possession lead with the right play call. Who gets their name drawn for the potential dagger?
A. Mario Chalmers
C. Udonis Haslem
D. Dwyane Wade
E. Chris Bosh
Now, everyone who picked C, get out!
Seriously, sensible basketball nerds know the answer is D. Too bad Erik Spoelstra keeps giving James chances to shine as if he’s livin’ a movie. You’d think this would be an easy answer for Erik considering James’s last days in Cleveland and his missteps last year multiple times. But nah, Spoelstra said “Go get him, tiger!” with the same play from the previous possession with no results.
The Clips got going in the third as Caron Butler got aggressive on offense. Three free throws from Billups, thanks to James fouling him with 27 seconds left gave LA an 86-84 lead. After that, the Heat only mustered two points via repeat trips to the foul line by James. Chris Paul put NorBel on NBA Live skates in the ensuing play but couldn’t seal the game with a floater. The Miami Dudebros imploded in OT, Spoelstra got ejected and that was all she wrote. The Clips doused the Heat 95-89 largely behind Paul’s 27 and 11, five blocks from Deandre Jordan along with 20 point outings from Caron Butler and Blake Griffin, who also cleared 12 boards.
For the Heat, Wednesday night’s game had too many questionable plays occurring down the stretch, but that wasn’t all. Miami’s terrible free throw percentage (20-34 for 58.8%), lapses on defense and poor shooting from the field (32-81 FGM-A) ultimately did them in. Nevertheless, mind-boggling ain’t enough to describe shunning Wade as the first option in crunch-time. Heck, Chalmers could’ve gotten more looks since his perimeter shooting kept Miami in the running. It’s just one loss in a 66 game trek. Yet something tells me this story will repeat for South Beach when the postseason rolls around.
Enough about the losers. Hat’s off to the Clips for hanging in there when things got uncertain. It wasn’t a pretty W but it’s a sure character building victory since they’re often chastised for their lacking depth. Now let’s see if they can repeat their success against the Lakers on Saturday. Until then, feast your eyes on the latest CP3 to BG connection. Paul and Griffin may dislike the Lob City name but, hey, life is tough and it fits. Besides, I’d encourage folks not to call them Lob Angeles as a substitute despite SportsCenter telling everyone it’s cool.