Miami Heat clicking at all the important areas at the right time – NBA Feature
The Miami Heat are headed into the NBA Eastern Conference Finals for a 2nd year in a row. They defeated the Indiana Pacers in game 6 to take the Eastern Conference Semi Finals 4-2 after trailing 1-2 after three games.
With Chris Bosh injured and out after game 1 and not returning for the rest of the series, Miami seemed to be in trouble. Then their troubles were doubled when Dwyane Wade seemed was struggling to get into rhythm through three
games. Not only was he failing to score, going 2 of 13 in game three for 5 points, he was also boiling over with frustration, having fought with coach Erik Spoelstra during a time out in game 3 in front of live television.
But just three games later, the Miami Heat are looking better than before.
Basketball is a strange game indeed. Wade has scored 99 points in the final three games against the Pacers. He had 30 points in his comeback game 4 and then topped that with 41 points and a 17 of 25 shooting performance in game
6 which Miami won to take the series.
LeBron James has played like the MVP he is, scoring 98 points in the last three games only. He had 40 in game 4 against the Pacers. He added 28 points in the game 6 victory. He averaged 30 points, 10.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists
per game. He also had 16 steals in the 6 games against the Pacers.
With both Wade and LeBron in top form now and scoring at will, stopping the Heat offense will be a daunting task.
But the best news for the Heat after the series with the Pacers is not related to James or Wade, quite surprisingly. The Heat role players have started contributing as well, which had made them team seem unbeatable all of a sudden.
James and Wade, no matter how good they are, were having difficulties taking on whole teams by themselves. They needed their teammates and they stepped up big time. Udonis Haslem had 14 points off a 5 of 6 shooting performance
from the field. He was big particularly in the fourth quarter, which helped Miami seal the victory. In game 5, Shane Battier went 4 of 5 from the distance to score 13 points on the night. Haslem again added 10 points coming off the bench. And in game 6, Mike
Miller stepped up going 4 of 7 from the distance to score 12 points for the night. Mario Chalmers added 15 points as well.
With Chris Bosh out, the main issue was that despite LeBron and Wade being at the top of their game, it still might not be enough if the role players did not play their part. And they rose to the occasion to contribute their due
in the series victory. 114 of the 311 points scored by Miami in the final three games came from the ‘others’. That is approximately one third of the points which is a good mix for the Miami roster considering the status of James and Wade.
Another important aspect that came out of the series was the defence of Miami. They held the Pacers to 40.6% shooting in the series and to an average of 87.8 points per game. They were outrebounded 308-298 by Indiana even though
the Pacers had a considerable size advantage and the Heat were without Bosh.
After he got injured, Bosh kept saying one thing. His team needed to extend their trip to the playoffs this year if they wanted him in a Heat uniform this season. The team has delivered on their expectations. With Bosh scheduled
to be back soon and the Heat kicking on all cylinders, it is highly likely that the Heat will have a comfortable cruising through the Eastern Conference Finals into the NBA Finals.
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