Miami Heat Confidence Meter: 8.3 (Wade sucks now?)
• Unacceptable. This time, Heat fans begged for somebody to step up in the absence of Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers did. Mario Chalmers was his old reliable self when asked in a big spot. When I say reliable, think of it. In big games, more often than not, Mario Chalmers can be counted on to play with all out effort and do a little extra. Chalmers did. Mike Miller chipped in with 2-3 shooting on threes to contribute something off the bench. Heat won by 20 right? No. The Heat got blown out in the second half with a display by the signature franchise player as embarrassing as any other in Heat history. More on that later. I won’t mention Lebron James, he plays his game, which is at a MVP level, and when his sidekick acts like a complete jackass/loser, there is no need to mention him.
• Mario Chalmers is to be commended. He showed up, and then some. Chalmers showed the type of player he is. He has deferred what could be a borderline all-star mention into his support role. Maybe he shouldn’t as his game is suited to be a top 10 point guard if consistent. Do you remember Derek Fisher at his best? That is Mario Chalmers. He can be better though. For this night, he gets a nod and a hearty salute. Udonis Haslem is either injured, done, or Coach Erik Spoelstra has lost confidence in him. 7 minutes? Haslem on the defensive end alone would have been worth 20 minutes on David West alone. There is something going on there that they are not alluding too. Mike Miller was effective in his role and hit 2-3 from downtown. Overall however, the Heat’s three point shooting was an albatross, yet again, shooting a paltry 4-20. Among the culprits was Shane Battier who cannot hit his open shots. After a decent start from three in the Knicks series, Battier has gone silent and back to his poor shooting ways, and this time, they are on wide open shots in rhythm. His poor performance tonight contributed mightily to the flow of the game and to the deficit they found themselves in, in the third quarter, for the second game in a row. Back to back games, the Heat allowed 28 and 26 points in the third quarter. Problem is that you can’t figure out why that has happened.
• Dexter Pittman started the game, and quickly got dismissed. Bad move on the starting lineup. Easy to see that Ronny Turiaf and Joel Anthony are the most effective centers, so expect one of them to start in Game 4. Roy Hibbert had his way with every cover the Heat had for him, so change can only help. Now for Dwyane Wade. Wade was an embarrassment. Was this what he asked Lebron James and Chris Bosh to come to Miami for? For him to play lazily and uninterested in a Game 3, where he is getting contributions throughout? Dwyane Wade lost this game. He plays his regular game, they win. He plays like a Bum, like he did, this is what happens. This was the most disappointing moment in Dwyane Wade’s career. He played terrible, actively hurt his team when playing, and then argued with Coach Spo in a timeout when Erik Spoelstra correctly pointed out that he was playing a lazy game. I have elaborated before on this, but the king of laziness and expert on in-season pacing, Shaquille Oneal, was the worst influence on Dwayne Wade’s career. He taught him how to have a long career and “pace” himself throughout a season. That has led to laziness in the offseason and three consecutive out of shape entrances into Heat training camp. It has resulted in early injuries for Wade in each season. Coincidence? NO. His insubordination with Spoelstra when he was sabotaging the Heat’s efforts was a sad event. Dwyane Wade went from jewel and signature player to trade bait in an instance. The pressure is on Wade to reverse his series and in fact, be the reason the Heat pull out a series win in this round. I still have faith in him, but Dwyane Wade will have to find it in himself to be Dwyane Wade. The player AND the person. This was his ugliest moment as a member of the Heat, and his “pass” for winning a title, ended on this night. Sunday will be interesting.
The Heat is in Indiana for Game 4 on Sunday. Tipoff is at 3:30pm.