Miami produced the worst defensive performance I can remember since they contracted the biggest 3 the NBA has seen, allowing an understrength Denver to run away to a 117-104 win.
Miami started poorly, allowing Gallinari and Mozgov two take control of the game (that is a sentence that should never have existed). Despite exchanging leads throughout the third quarter, Denver looked the better team throughout the 48 minutes and were deserving of the win.
It was an important win for the young Nuggets who are still without several of their best players because they bought into the hype and ran off to China during the lockout.
Both teams now share an 8-4 record, a good start for Denver but certainly not the hot start most people thought the Heat would get off to.
Dwyane Wade came down badly on his ankle towards the end of the game and limped off into the locker rooms. The early diagnosis was not overly positive and it’s likely he misses a few games. That may not be a bad thing considering how badly he has played the last few games.
Wade finished with just 12 points on 6/14 shooting. His shot selection was poor, his transition offense was mostly selfish and it was largely a very uncharacteristic performance from the Heat’s captain.
Chris Bosh is either the best power forward in the league or he’s the most painfully underachieving player in the league. There really isn’t much in-between for Chris Bosh. Last night we received the latter.
LeBron finished with 35 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. He was all Miami had on the offensive end. He worked as hard in the game as I have seen from him in some time. He ran himself so hard into the ground he had to ask to come off the court. Making blocks, altering shots, getting out in offensive transition and getting back in defensive transition. He was one of a very select group of Heat players that can hold their heads high.
However, he still is struggling from the free throw line after starting so positively. Before this 3 game Western road trip he was shooting 80% from the line. Last night he shot 6/11, and that percentage of around 55 has been a more accurate number than the 80 he was shooting of late. I am not sure where the form has gone.
In some smaller news, Dexter Pittman was given a decent 15 minutes to show his worth, and showed very little. I have been anxious for some time to see what he could do when given an opportunity, and I was disappointed in what we saw. Hopefully he does get some more time to attempt to work his way into the rotation.