Heat-Cavaliers: A Pistons Fan Sizes Up Dwyane Wade and LeBron James

Ray StoneCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2009

American Airlines Arena is a beautiful building.  Its right off of the water near the port of Miami.  it is a modern looking building.

Inside, however, it is very dimly lit, with a lot of cement.  Red lighting everywhere gives you the feeling you are inside of an old nightclub rather than an NBA arena. 

It has really small hallways. (Think Joe Louis Arena, Detroit fans).

The cheap seats in AA are nose bleeders for sure.  The seats are sky high, seemingly miles away from the action. 

Edgerin James and rapper Lil’ Wayne, among other notables, sat courtside to view the action, giving Miami that Hollywood feel.

The Palace aesthetically is a far nicer arena. 

If only we could hire the Heat’s deejay—who played the latest hip-hop tracks that kept heads bobbing. 

The Palace continues to remind us that "its fun to play at the Y - M - C - A” for some reason!  It sucks!!

Notes from the game

LeBron James is all that and more.  Seeing him in person was worth the price of admission.  Of course he sideways slammed the last bucket for Cleveland that put the game away. 

One play LeBron went in and took a foul with no whistle.  (That happened quite a bit in the first half actually.)  He missed the lay up but came up with his own board somehow, while falling off balance.  D Wade was behind him, he swiped the ball from him and darted to the other end. 

LeBron was on the chase—trailing Wade with a purpose.

Bron' timed his steps and when Wade elevated to lay it up, he smeared it against glass with Cleveland fast break the other way. 

Dude is an absolute monster for real.  He was visibly bigger than the Heat's power forward Udonis Haslem and moves that fast?  Damn.

He finished with 42 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and six turnovers.)

I am not a D Wade fan by any stretch, but he has impressed this season.  He doesn't seem as soft these days.  Less dramatics.

He was aggressive going after rebounds and attacking the rim.  

He was busy shooting with high arc, turning to run back up the court celebrating before the ball even gets to the rim, knowing it was cash. 

Miami swagger—that was cool. 

Wade tallied 42 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, seven steals, and eight turnovers.

Cleveland had Delonte West and even Mo Williams guarding Wade and he continued to remain on the perimeter.  It would be nice to see him work with his back to the basket in those cases. 

He can make those guys too little to defend him.

That is an area that both of these young talented guys need to add to their repertoires±a strong post-up game.  This would give them a chance to draw fouls and control the game, with less effort. 

Wade shouldn’t be trying to blow past smaller guys even if he can.  He should punish them down low and force a different match up. 

That is one thing Kobe Bryant continues to do better than either James or Wade. 

Every Wade free throw, the home crowd chanted “MVP” for their young star.  He is having his best season, a great one.  But LeBron still does more. 

And the league owes Kobe a couple trophies.  Steve Nash should have to give him one of his!

Other notes

Michael Beasley is average at best.  Borderline bust.  He looks slow and not particularly athletic.  He has a good short-range jumper, but nothing about the guy says future All-Star at all. 

Mo Williams gives Cleveland a chance to win the East, but the loss of Ben Wallace will hurt, especially versus the Celtics

Jamario Moon, who came to the Heat with Jermaine O’Neal, is pretty good.  He is athletic and he shot the ball well too.  He seems to be confident getting minutes in Miami.

He caught a nasty lob pass from Wade and two-hand smashed it.

O’Neal is a legitimate center and he still has some gas in the tank as well.  That was a good trade for the Heat.

I’ll be back in AA next time the Pistons visit April 15.

That night, it won’t be so casual.


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