The Miami Heat lost an unfortunate game to the lowly Sacramento Kings on Friday night. The Heat were carrying momentum into the weaning minutes of the fourth quarter, and were up by four with 1:15 left to go when Mario Chalmers delivered a horrendous flagrant foul on Demarcus Cousins underneath the rim.
This not only allowed Cousins to shoot two free throws (he made both) but to receive the ball back, which allowed the Kings scored again, thus tying the game and sending it to overtime. These types of situations are typically when LeBron James does his best work, but he just wasn’t able to get it done during the second half and especially during overtime.
James’s lack of domination and explosion in the second half was the direct result of him straining his groin and re-aggravating his problematic ankle. On a night when Dwyane Wade, Chris Andersen and Ray Allen were all sitting out due to nagging injuries, the Heat needed a much more dominant James offensively in the second half, and he wasn’t able to deliver.
The Heat will now be limping into their game tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Heat training staff isn’t confident James will be able to play tonight due to the severity of the groin injury. If the Heat’s coaching and training staff were smart, they would allow James to rest his groin solely based on the fact that these types of injuries can linger for long stretches of time and can effect how a player performs on the court.
The Heat will need every ounce of James’s MVP caliber talent during the playoffs, so allowing him to miss this marquee matchup with the Trail Blazers and to rest due to this injury is the only choice the Miami has.