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Analysis: Miami Heat’s First Week

November 2, 2010

It’s been one week since the South Beach mob landed and it has been a riveting first week. The team is 3-1 and is headed in the right direction. A week ago, the Heat lost their season opener to the Eastern Conference champion, the Boston Celtics, 88-80. In that game, the Heat dug themselves in too deep of a hole to crawl out of and couldn’t pull through. LeBron James led all scorers with 31 points in the losing effort. Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo led the way with 17 assists, while Boston’s Big 3 combined for 49 points. In the very next night, the Heat traveled to Philadelphia to take on the young 76ers. In this game, James would assume the role as facilitator and let Dwyane Wade handle the lead role. Wade finished with a remarkable 30 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in a 97-87 victory over the 76ers. Friday night, the Heat would face their home opener against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. Howard would have a phenomenal performance but be limited in minutes due to foul trouble. From there, the Heat ran away with a 96-70 victory. Wade led all scorers with 26 points. To conclude the week, the Heat headed north to face the New Jersey Nets. Shooting almost 54% from the field, the Heat easily had their way with the Nets with a 101-78 victory. James led the way with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in only 30 minutes worth of work.

After seeing the Heat play four games, they will be a forced to be reckoned with but they are not, I repeat not, invincible. Their biggest issue is rebounding and interior defense. Joel Anthony can only do so much, Chris Bosh has been absent and Big Z is getting up there in age and can no longer bang with the newer breed of the NBA’s young big men. Another issue for the Heat has been the sour play of premiere big man Chris Bosh. Bosh had just one rebound against the Nets-Yes, I REPEAT, ONE! He is averaging 13 PPG and 6.5 RPG. Both of those numbers need to improve drastically if this team wants to reach its peak level.
On the bright side of things, the Heat look phenomenal in every other aspect of the game, especially on fast breaks. The speed and ferociousness of LeBron and Wade leading the break with Carlos Arroyo and James Jones on the wing has been an instant headache for NBA coaches. Another nightmare for defenses has been Eric Spolstra’s decision to institute offensive sets with James playing the point. This could an even bigger problem for opponents once Bosh’s presence is felt on the offensive end. No doubt, the bench has been a great source of points as well. Jones and House have shown why they are pivotal to this offense and are really coming through in key moments.

In the end, my message to the Miami Heat is simply: “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

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