LeBron James Scores 40 But Miami Heat Fall to Milwaukee Bucks 105-97

LeBron James started the game as hot as a blowtorch as the King produced one of the most individual scoring quarters we have seen in a very long time.

James went 8/9 from the field en route to a stunning 24 point first quarter, jumping Miami out to a perfect and needed start against a team that humbled the Heat in Miami just over a week ago.

LeBron slowed from there, scoring a further 16 points over the remaining three quarters, adding 8 rebounds and 5 assists to fill out the stat sheet in typical style.

Miami were in complete control at the half and threatened to move into an unassailable lead, but in true Scott Skiles fashion, the Bucks came out of the half energised and consistently threatened and stopped Miami for the first time in the game. On the back of a stunning performance from streaky star Brandon Jennings, who had 7 three pointers, Milwaukee rallied and took the lead from Miami, who were unable to stem the bleeding.

Uncharacteristically, Miami’s defense looked conservative, unresponsive and failed to close out on the Bucks shooters. The speed, awareness and sixth sense communication of the Heat’s defense has been the backbone of the team’s success thus far this season, but they looked nothing of the side they normally are.

The Bucks played great team offense, registering 30 assists on 39 field goals, a stunning number. Aside from this, Milwaukee lost nearly every other major statistical comparison, yet still managed to close out Miami without too much trouble.

We find ourselves blowing up over every Heat flaw. People asking for Dwyane Wade to be traded, LeBron to take no shots down the stretch, calling Bosh a bust, determining their 1 and 5 positions as woeful and basically anything else we can find that isn’t perfect with the team.

I think we need to realise that even Jordan’s Bulls had huge flaws and certainly had bad nights against bad teams.

Let’s try and keep everything in perspective.

Topics: Basketball, Brandon Jennings, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

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  • CCSilverman

    It’s gotta be disheartening to lose a game like this the way they did. Especially when you look out west and see the Blazers absolutely smoking the Bobcats, never letting up and embarrassing them by 44 points. This is what people give Lebron a hard time for: not having that killer instinct and not putting teams aways (see last year’s finals for an even more high profile example). Of course you can’t lay this all on Lebron it’s a team effort out there and Jennings was a mad-man down the stretch. The Heat had a bad second half, only scoring 37 points so I would consider this a failure of their offense. These things happen during the course of a season even to great teams as you said.

    Chris Bosh needs to be a little more consistent in asserting himself and getting his shots but I understand it can be hard on this team because of the the other ‘big-name’ players. He played pretty darn well with Dwayne Wade out of the lineup… Maybe trading Wade isn’t such a crazy idea after-all… But if the heat ever traded him I don’t think they would ever win a game in which Wade was on the other side of the ball. He would score 60 ppg against them, through sheer anger and will alone. Good luck beating a scorned Wade in a playoff series.

    One thing: I don’t think the Bucks are that bad of a team. They are middle of the pack and can probably take anyone when they are playing great. They don’t look like much on paper but they have a lot of OK guys who can put up 10+ points so as a whole they can stay in games and feed the hot hand. This game proves they can’t be slept on. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute quietly had a heck of a game and is the type of player who takes nothing off the table. They are certainly better than the Bobcats.

  • Sam McPhee

    @CCSilverman I agree with pretty much everything you said except for putting that on LeBron. I don’t think there’s anyway we can criticise LeBron for last night, he scored 40, which is hard to come by given he has two other possible 30 point scorers on his team. He scored 8 in the fourth I believe, but it’s natural to everyone to blame him after every loss so I’m getting used to that.

    Other than that you’re right. Bosh is not aggressive enough when Wade and LeBron are on the court, but he’s great when there’s just one. Whether that is the fault of Spoelstra, James/Wade or himself, we don’t know, but I do know that if he is scoring over 20 per game Miami will not lose many if any games. So he can make that happen himself if no one else does.

    The Wade trade is something I’ve thought about a lot and I can’t decide what would be better. I am a believer in pieces that fit, for example I think a team of Chris Paul, LeBron James and Dwight Howard would be better than a team of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Ok maybe not, haha, that’s maybe a bit extreme, but maybe not. Either way you get the point. So sometimes it turns out fine and James and Wade switch from being the facilitator, but then other times they don’t get it done. I will leave it by saying you cannot possibly get better but trading away a top 5 player, but if they could get Dwight then I may reconsider that, but so hard to say.

    Bucks are a good team man. They’re a good defensive team, Scott Skiles is a great coach, they play great team basketball, they have Andrew Bogut (aussie so I love him) who is one of the best centres in the game and when Jennings is on he is a straight up baller. Luc had a great game, he’s a very good defender, as are most of their undersized 4s. They might be one of those tricky 7th or 8th seeds.

  • CCSilverman

    @Sam McPhee I guess I did make it sound like I was blaming Lebron. Was trying to say it’s a team effort and despite that many people would still blame it on him.

    The Magic would definitely not go for a Wade for Howard straight up deal. I thought about a deal that could send Wade to his hometown of Chicago but the Deng injury kinda ruins it for now. Also, the Bulls would be smart not to trade any of their bigs for wade. Rose and Wade in a backcourt might sound pretty good but I don’t think that would work out so amazingly, especially if you had to give Noah to get Wade. You’d have some of the same problems the Heat are having right now.

  • Sam McPhee

    @CCSilverman Yeah I knew you weren’t blaming him but it has become a staple of sports media these days to blame LeBron for losses but give him no credit for wins. That’s maybe a bit exaggerated for the wins, but people found a way to blame him for scoring a hugely efficient 40 against a good defense and pin the loss on him. But as I said this is the world we live in, have to get used to it.

    I dunno man, I don’t think they’d get a better offer than a straight up Howard for Wade swap, and the numbers work. But he wouldn’t solve anything, he can’t win on his own, they’re better to young players and picks and rebuild.

    Yeah that’s what I was thinking of as well but the Bulls supporting cast have played themselves out of having any worth to interest Miami. Rose and Wade would work worse than LeBron and Wade, that backcourt would be a mess. Rose would have to completely change his game, whereas its much less of a stretch for LeBron and Wade to facilitate to the other, which is ironic given Rose is the point guard.

    Yeah it’d end up being Rose and Wade and absolutely nothing else, plus Miami would have to send something with Wade to make it all work and that’d probably be Haslem and/or Miller and there’s no way they’re doing that.

    But hey, we forgot the first three rounds of the playoffs so quickly, because of the unexplainable Finals, but remember how destructive those two were, how well they were playing together. We’ve all seen them do it and when they did they were light years ahead of the Bulls who are in my opinion the clear second best team. So let’s not get carried away unless we see them fall short of a championship again, which I don’t see happening.

  • CCSilverman

    @Sam McPhee I have to agree. I got swept up in the backlash that followed the decision so I was more than a little scared of the Heat coming into the finals. I really didn’t want to see them win it all because I couldn’t stomach the fact that they just put that team together through collusion and backstabbery, while my preferred teams seem to never be rewarded with championships (Seattle sports fan here).

    Totally biast, but even I could see that they were just dominating people. When they are playing their best they are the best team in the league, easily. Bound to happen when you have the most gifted athlete of all-time. Anyway, still hoping they don’t get it this year but, yes, they are the team to beat. The only team I don’t want to see win even more are the Thunder. Not because I don’t like the players, but because if Clay Bennett get’s a championship after all the shit he pulled it would make me question everything that is good in this world.

  • Sam McPhee

    @CCSilverman Haha I’m a big Seahawks fan. I used to love to Sonics as well, thought it was a disgrace they were taken away from Seattle. Love Seattle. Big Nirvana fan too.

    Agree 100% with the Thunder jibe, the guy doesn’t deserve anything for what he did and I can’t see the Thunder beating the Bulls or Miami anyway, they’re still missing something in my eyes. Don’t know what it is, maybe a post scorer, but yeah they’re missing something.

    I think the majority of people are in your boat on the Heat and it’s certainly warranted. I’m not going to try to talk anyone out of that because it won’t work and its not necessary. What I don’t like is when people frame LeBron James as something he’s not, painting him as this evil, heartless person when we all were in love with his character before he was misguided in making those decisions. So I’m fine with Heat hate (I’m not even a Heat fan, I’m a Cavs fan but I still love LeBron) but I am not fine with LeBron hate.