Miami Heat vs Memphis Grizzlies: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
You know when you see Josh Harrellson checking into the game things are either going very bad or very good, this was one of the bad times for Miami.
Miami wasn't just outplayed in this one, they were downright overmatched.
Maybe the trip all the way to Memphis from Atlanta had them worn down, or perhaps the sight of stars and stripes on the headbands and socks was distracting, but the Heat were downright throttled in this one.
Memphis pulled out to a lead early on, and save for a brief lead by Miami halfway through the first quarter, Memphis never looked back.
So what happened in this one that made the Heat look as bad as they did, or is it just another case of a bad night of basketball like their first loss of the season against the New York Knicks.
It's easy to harp on the fact that Miami got beat resoundingly, but you've also got to give it up to Memphis for putting on an absolute show. They were running and gunning a beautiful balanced attack from the moment the game started. Kudos to them.
Still, it's not every day Miami ends up getting blown out of the water, so this is a little glimpse into Miami's weaknesses that we've got to take a look at.
PG: Mario Chalmers
It just wasn't a pretty game for Mario Chalmers. It's gotten to the point where you can tell what kind of game he's going to have within the first few minutes of the first quarter, and that was definitely the case tonight.
In the first 10 minutes of this one Chalmers had a steal and an assist to his name, to go along with two missed free throws (clankers), two missed jumpers and a foul. It's a small sample size, but when Norris Cole replaced him with two minutes to go in the first, Miami went from down four points to down just one.
You can't blame the entire loss on 'Rio, but his two of nine shooting that garnered him five points to go along with two rebounds and three assists didn't help out very much.
On top of all that, he just wasn't able to cover the stronger, smarter Mike Conley. Conley pulled together an 18-point game, making seven of his 11 shots.
Final Grade: D+
SG: Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade had an extremely uncharacteristic game in Memphis tonight, and it seems like it might be a little bit concerning moving forward.
There are games when Wade can't shoot, plain and simple. They aren't common, but they happen more than they used to, and when they happen it gets to the point where he needs to back off and focus on playing defense.
Unfortunately he did neither in this one.
Wade went an atrocious 3-15 in this one, scoring only eight points while grabbing eight rebounds and doling out three assists.
Most concerning, however, was the fact that he was constantly sagged off the shooter on defense. Wade was a part of the reason why Wayne Ellington was able to go bonkers from the three-point line and put up 25 points.
It wasn't a game to forget for Wade, it was one to dwell on and remember when things start to go south again. It was one to drive himself in the future in order to avoid such an utter failure in the future.
Final Grade: F
SF: Shane Battier
Statistically Shane Battier had a game that Shane Battier will always have, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a weakness in Miami that one of the guys in their starting five isn't going to contribute much offensively.
The good news is that Battier was one of the lone bright spots for the Heat defensively.
Throughout this game he showed why he continues to be one of the most versatile defenders in the league.
For a while he was situated with guarding Rudy Gay, and he did so admirably in the most part. He didn't stop Gay, but then again Gay was having one of those games where you would have to concede that he would "get his."
Impressively, when the Heat needed him to he would switch off of Gay and go give Zach Randolph fits.
Final Grade: B+
PF: LeBron James
LeBron James didn't have a bad game, he just had one of those games in which he isn't particularly spectacular.
LeBron's 10-19 shooting night yielded him 20 points and he also pulled down 10 rebounds and ended up with six assists. His four misses from the free throw line left something to be desired, but there's going to be imperfect nights for even the most perfect players.
There wasn't one particular thing (besides the free throws) that looked bad for LeBron, but he wasn't his usual spectacular self.
By his standards his defense was okay, he had a decent night shooting and he was able to let loose some nice passes (he probably would have had a triple-double if his team didn't shoot 38 percent from the field), but he didn't take this game over and dominate in a way that they needed him to.
Final Grade: B-
C: Chris Bosh
Chis Bosh was the best offensive player for the Heat tonight, and that has become a story that's been told quite a bit so far this season.
Bosh's 22 points led the team and only trailed Wayne Ellington's 25, and he did so making eight buckets on only 12 shots. There isn't anything offensively that you can harp on and call him out for at this point.
However, on the defensive end Bosh continues to play like a power forward. It's not that he's not challenging shots, it's just that he's positioning himself far too far away from the basket in order to corral rebounds on defense.
11 offensive rebounds isn't a huge number against this Heat team, but most of them came from guys like Zach Randolph and Marreese Speights just outworking Bosh in the paint.
It's been a bit of an unbalanced attack from Bosh so far this season, and this game was no different.
Final Grade: B-
Sixth Man: Ray Allen
This was the game I was waiting to see Ray Allen have. He wasn't particularly bad game for Allen, he actually had a pretty good defensive game, but he didn't knock down his shots, so he didn't do his job.
Allen made just two of his seven shots, knocking down one three in three tries, and it really hurt Miami in the long run.
On a night when nobody is knocking down their long range shots, you've got to rely on Allen, and he simply couldn't be relied upon in this one.
Aside from his poor shooting night, Allen was able to come away with three steals and block a shot, so it wasn't all bad, although he did get rejected at the rim pretty resoundingly on a drive to the bucket.
It wasn't a pretty night from Allen offensively, but you can't expect the guy to shoot 50 percent from downtown all season long.
Final Grade: C-
Miami Heat Bench
Tonight was the first game of the season in which the Miami Heat didn't have a double-digit scorer from their bench, and they really seemed to feel the effects of the missing productivity.
The Heat were victimized by poor shooting all night long, and a big portion of it came at the hands of their bench. They collectively took 21 shots, but made just six of them. That's below 30 percent for those of you keeping score at home.
Individually they were the sum of their parts.
Udonis Haslem's offensive woes continued, plus his defensive activity continued to be a bit lax, ending his night with only one rebound and two blocks. Rashard Lewis made just one of his four shots, Norris Cole missed all of his field goals, but made seven of his eight free throws, and Ray Allen struggled all night.
Surprisingly enough, Josh Harrellson came in and cleaned up in garbage time. He ended this one with five points, a three-pointer and a jumper drained, and four rebounds all in just four minutes of play. Harrellson gets an "A+" the rest of the bench, well they don't.
Final Grade: F