When it comes to focus, the Miami Heat still have something to be desired, but when it comes to backing up their words, the team really knows how to make things happen — sort of.
On a positive note, the team came out playing more like a squad wearing a hardhat than the flashy Heatles. They moved up and down the court with nothing but desperate energy.
LeBron James was active with the jumper and actually took his broad shoulders into the paint and reintroduced himself to running a little offense through the post. Chris Bosh even parked himself in the paint, after struggling early and almost having to turn his criticism of the team around on himself.
However, the key to Miami’s victory — besides no LaMarcus Aldridge — was their determination on defense, for much of the game.
“Until about four minutes left in the game, that’s how we probably would have liked to have scripted it, with a real defensive effort,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “[We were] not necessarily scoring the way we typically do, but our effort and intensity was great throughout the game.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
So much so that the Heat actually beat a team in steals, blocks and rebounds. But with all of that said, they still fell into their habit of poor rotations and giving up wide-open three pointers to a great shooting Portland Trail Blazers team that just happened to be off last night.
Still the stars stepped up big to back up all of the talk — James with the game winner and Bosh with the block. Now, they have to make sure that they don’t reduce themselves to onlookers once Dwyane Wade returns.