Confidence Meter 7.4 (Slightly Giddy)
• On this night the Miami Heat started out fast, with a high level of intensity on defense, and built a 10 point first quarter lead. In the second quarter, with some questionable officiating and red hot three point shooting, the Timberwolves erased the deficit and took a 1 point lead into halftime. To start the 3rd quarter, the Heat bolted out on a 25-1 run, and that was pretty much all she wrote. The rest of the game was just a time killing exercise.
• The Heat’s magic number to take the Southeast Division crown is now ONE. There was no doubt in my mind that they would win the division, but it is still satisfying to do it over a team that talked so much smack last summer (Orlando), and to dust off the extreme haters such as Tim Legler that actually picked Orlando to successfully defend their crown. Oddly enough, if all the top seeds go through, Orlando would play Chicago in the second round, and in my opinion, that is a very favorable matchup for them. I would be inclined to pick the Orlando Magic to upset the Bulls.
• Chris Bosh really did a number on Kevin Love. If you trace his performances versus the better power forwards in the NBA NOT named Lamarcus Aldridge, Bosh has more often than not, fared very well. His defense is really underrated at this point, and he has really hit his stride down the stretch with one hiccup in Cleveland withstanding.
• Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers being out has forced the Heat to play LeBron James heavy minutes to compensate. You can also see how the team defense the Heat plays has suffered as well. Defense is about continuity for this team, and to keep developing their “trust” in the help defense. Speed is more important than anything, and at this time, missing bodies in the rotation is getting the Heat to take “breaks” during the action. It is why you see them play defense in spurts as of late. Coach Spoelstra has made no mention of when both players will be back.
• So Dexter Pittman makes his debut. He is obviously a big man and has very good hands, but is very green. Too green to trust for any meaningful minutes this season. But the potential is there. His teammates used the occasion to play a prank on him in the pregame. Dwyane Wade as team captain and other pranksters, called Dexter to the front of the tunnel and asked him to lead the team out on the floor. Of course..when the team was introduced as taking the floor for warmups, the Minnesota faithful saw….only Dexter Pittman run out onto the floor. The rest of the team stayed behind getting a healthy laugh at the rookie’s expense.
• Next up is the New Jersey Nets in this tour of the dregs of the NBA. Now that the Heat is in the #2 spot, due to the Hawks defeating the Celtics on this night, a quick glance at the schedule shows that the Heat could be a healthy 2 games up going into their April 10th meeting with Boston.