You are now reading the first article of my 2012-13 coverage of the defending NBA champions, the Miami Heat. Covering every game indiviually would be a very long, and draining process so instead I'll be covering this Heat team weekly. The same will go for Anthony, and Dennis as they will be covering the New York Knicks, and Brooklyn Nets on a weekly basis. Let's begin:
Tuesday, October 30th: Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat- The defending champs opened up the NBA season in convincing fashion, against their hated rival the Boston Celtics. The big three in Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade were all smiles as the team received their championship rings, and raised the championship banner. The biggest headline of the night however was the impact former Celtic (now Heatle) Ray Allen would have on this game, and most importantly the rivalry. The Heat would win this heated match up 120-107.
Lebron James looked as if his championship play would continue this season with 26 points, and 10 rebounds. He would leave the game late in the second half with cramps in both legs (played a total of 28:52 mins). Dwyane Wade (29 points, 4 assists), and Chris Bosh (19 points, 10 rebounds) also continued their hot play from last year's playoffs. What may have proved to be the most enjoyable factor of the Heat victory was the play of the newest additions to the team Ray Allen (19 points), and Rashard Lewis (10 points, 5 rebounds). We saw early in this game that this Heat team will be better than the team of last season. They stil rule the court in terms of the fast break, and defensively they are very good at interrupting the passing lanes which lead to those transition baskets.
Things got chippy in this game, as if Kevin Garnett (9 points, 12 rebounds) not acknowledging a Ray Allen handshake wasn't awkward enough. Rajon Rondo (20 points, 13 assists, & 7 rebounds), and Dwyane Wade got into a heated confrontation after a Rondo techinal foul that looked like a WWE closeline. However the Heat finished the game without further distractions, and perhaps their most efficient outing. Shooting 54.4% from the field collectively, 50% from the 3-pt Line, and 81.2% from the free throw line. A good win for the champs, especially when it's a season opening victory.
Friday, November 2nd: Miami Heat vs New York Knicks- An emotional season opening night for the Knicks, due to the crippling after effect of Hurricane Sandy. Carmelo Anthony would address MSG with a heart felt message to all of NY, and to those affected. Come game time things were clicking on all cylinders for the Knicks as they beat the Heat in convincing fashion 104-84. Some would say this victory was needed after all that has happened in New York.
The Heat struggled from the field unlike their season opener shooting a lowly 46.5%, and a dreadful 35% from the 3-pt Line. Lebron James led the team in scoring with 23 points to go along with 5 assists, and 7 rebounds. Dwyane Wade (15 points, 4 assists, & 5 rebounds), and Chris Bosh (12 points, 11 rebounds) didn't get hot from the field like many thought they would as they both failed to score more than 15 points. Even Ray Allen (5 points) struggled as he shot a lowly 1-3 from the 3-pt Line.
Perhaps the most important struggle of the Heat's play that night, was on the defensive side. The Knicks we're red hot from the 3-pt Line (19-36, 52.8%) as they lit up the Heat defense. Carmelo Anthony (30 points, 10 rebounds) was unstoppable as he made the Heat defense pay whether it was in the post, or from beyond the arc. As well as last season's leading 3-pt shooter Steve Novak (17 points, 5-8 from 3-pt line). Collectively the Knicks were just clicking on offense, and with the Heat struggling to defend it made for a pretty big night in the Big Apple. The Knicks also did a great job on defense, stifling the Heat offense to only score 84 points. A great win for the Knicks, and a rough night for the Heatles.
Saturday, November 3rd: Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat- Coming off their loss to the New York Knicks the Heat looked to bounce back in South Beach. The visiting team would be the revitalized, young, and talented Denver Nuggets led by Andre Iguodola. This game turned out to be a high scoring affair, that would end in thrilling fashion, and a Miami Heat victory. The Heat win this game, by a score of 119-116.
Surely dissapointed with his performance agasint the Knicks, Chris Bosh dominated in this game. Bosh finished with 40 points, and 7 rebounds as he was big time in the paint. Lebron James (20 points, 11 assists, and 9 rebounds) had one of his usual well balanced games doing everything from passing, to rebounding, to scoring. Perhaps his best play of the game was his assist to teammate Ray Allen (23 points, 5 rebounds) in the 4th quarter who drained a 3-pt shot from the corner with 6.7 seconds left in the game. Allen not only hit the shot, but was also fouled which led to a 4-point play to clinch the game. This was big for the Heat who were down 115-116, and for Ray Allen who struggled in the NY game the night before.
The Heat shot better from the field this time around with a team FG percentage of 51.8%, they shot 40% from the 3-pt Line, and 85.2% from the free throw line. However Dwyane Wade (14 points, 4 assists) continued with his two game stretch of low scoring which he surely looks to fix. He did however make the block to end all hopes of a Nuggets last second game tying effort. The Nuggets fought hard until the very end despite the loss, Andre Iguodola had 22 points, and had made a clutch shot which had his Nuggets up by one point with less than 15 seconds to go in the game. Kenneth Faried also had a big time game with 22 points, and 12 rebounds. A great game between the two teams, and a big time win for the Heat to wrap up their first week of play.
Points Per Game- Lebron James (24.5)
Rebounds Per Game- Chris Bosh (10.5)
Assists Per Game- Mario Chalmers (6)
Steals Per Game- Mario Chalmers (1.5)
Blocks Per Game- Chris Bosh (2)
Thank you for reading the first article of my coverage of the Miami Heat. The Heat are now 2-1, and will start off their second week of NBA action Monday against the Phoenix Suns (1-1). A Home game for the Heat at American Airlines Arena, tip-off at 7:30 pm.