The Miami Heat were able to pull away late in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics last night and secure their 30th win of the season with a 93-86 victory. This game was a lot more difficult for the defending champs than many thought after letting an early 18-point lead in the second quarter disappear and allowing one of the worst teams statistically in the NBA to crawl back into the game and tie it.
Although the Heat won, this veteran squad can’t be too hyped on how their performance on the court went down. The Heat’s team defense as a whole was not too shabby, only allowing the Celtics to score 86 points on 39 percent shooting from the field. What killed the momentum for the Heat was allowing the starters to sit early in the third quarter and the role players not performing at a high level when called upon. Only one role player notched double digits in this game, and that was Chris Andersen with 13 points and seven rebounds. The second unit has to be a lot more productive and efficient in order for the starters to perform at their highest level without exhaustion being a factor.
The Heat’s starters outside of Chris Bosh and LeBron James were also inefficient. Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier and Ray Allen combined for just 19 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in the Heat’s win. If the bench were performing better these numbers would be moderately acceptable, but because the bench hasn’t been playing well, starters outside of James and Bosh need to become a lot more productive when they get the ball in their hands and put up bigger numbers. It’s that simple.
See if the Heat can make these changes by their next game tomorrow night against the Lakers and get your Heat tickets here.