Miami Heat Play A Game of Next Man Up

By Richard Nurse
Miami Heat
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

“Nothing really happens out of the ordinary,” Chris Bosh told NBATV when asked about preparing for games without Dwyane Wade. “Coach [Erik Spoelstra] pretty much tells us the news, tells us the starting lineups and it’s business as usual.”

That’s the perfect quote to describe what the organization calls the Miami Heat way. It was a motto that Pat Riley pumped into people’s heads during the team’s 2006 NBA Finals run, and it’s still a slogan that you hear everyone from LeBron James to Wade mention when they’re interviewed after games.

Regardless of what players are missing the Heat seem to have no problems plugging people into the rotation wherever they are needed.

And things were no different on a night where their No. 2 guy sat out, again, and their No. 1 could not score in the first quarter. But the Heat showed that they were indeed 15 strong. And this is not the first time they’ve done it.

There was the 0-2 deficit to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 Finals — where Wade, Udonis Haslem and Gary Payton stepped up — the 2012 playoffs when Shane Battier filled in for Chris Bosh — and his abdominal strain — and the 2013 stint where Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers made up for D-Wade’s bruised knees.

It’s a common theme around Biscayne Bay. One man goes down and everyone else fills in. So it should be no surprise that on a night where the Heat started their sixth different lineup in 11 games Ray Allen ended with 17 points, Chalmers went for nine in a row in the third quarter, and Bosh shot 8-for-9 with 19 points. They didn’t even need the King involved in the fourth quarter.

Stop me when this sounds familiar.

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Richard Nurse is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.

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