Health and balance are the two words that the Miami Heat have been using a lot this year. It has been the excuse for their up and down season as well as an emphasis of why they were not going to panic after putting up a bagel in the win column versus the reincarnation of the Brooklyn Nets.
They pointed out that Dwyane Wade was out of the lineup and cautioned that all of the absences may have taken the “others” out of their comfort zone. In other words, excuses, excuses, excuses. But last night might have proved — if only for one night — that some excuses can actually be legit.
Not only was it a rare night when Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Wade each showed up, but the role players fell into place.
Chris “Birdman” Andersen brought his usual energy with four blocks. Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers dominated at the point guard position with timely shots, and Ray Allen broke out of his playoff slump by hitting four threes in the first playoff game against the stars from his old team.
The Heat even had a 10-4 run with James sitting on the bench.
However, one of the biggest contributions came from someone (Shane Battier) who only scored eight points, missed two shots and barely played two minutes in the entire first round. And his ability to guard multiple people on defense and move the ball with the extra pass resulted in one of the better games in his farewell tour.
Still fans shouldn’t get too happy because this was only Game 1 — keep those emotions at a healthy balance.