Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
The Miami Heat lost a heartbreaker to the Golden State Warriors, as they lost 97-95 on their home court. Jarret Jack found Draymond Green for an easy layup with a second left in the fourth quarter, as the rookie shook Shane Battier and found himself wide open under the rim.
This was the sixth straight win for the Warriors, as they continue to be one of the NBA's most surprising teams.
The Heat fall to 14-6 and 10-2 at home, as their bench contributed just 19 points to the effort. While that type of production is already abysmal, it becomes even worse when Ray Allen's 14 points is removed from the equation.
Miami has a lot of questions surrounding their bench, and it could come back to haunt them in the playoffs.
Both James and Dwyane Wade hit the deck hard in the second quarter, although each superstar turned out to be fine.
The Warriors deserve credit for upsetting the defending champions on their home court, although the Heat aided in that effort by committing 17 turnovers.
Mario Chalmers: D
Mario Chalmers remains an enigma, as he continues to be one of the NBA's most inconsistent point guards.
In the first half, Chalmers matched Stephen Curry's scoring production but not his impact on the game. While Chalmers is not asked to play as integral of a role as Curry, he has regressed statistically this season.
Chalmers took six shots in the opening quarter but only converted on two of them, which could have been forgiven if he had compiled more than two rebounds and a steal in other areas.
Rio is currently averaging just over six points per game, which is two points lower than his career average.
Curry finished the game with nine points, which is 11 below his season average of 20 that he entered the game with. Chalmers deserves praise for slowing Curry down, as he did not surrender many open looks to the Warriors point guard after the first quarter.
Chalmers finished the game with eight points, two boards and a single assist, as the starting point guard split minutes with Norris Cole.
This was not a strong performance by Chalmers and his grade reflects that.
Final Grade: D
Dwyane Wade: C+
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Dwyane Wade got shaken up late in the second quarter when he collided with Mario Chalmers and was hit with an inadvertent elbow by a member of the Golden State Warriors.
As Wade laid on the hardwood in pain, the crowd at the AAA was extremely concerned about what appeared to be Wade's newest ailment.
Fortunately, Wade turned out to be fine and returned to the game after half.
Wade may be the Miami Heat's most important member in their attempt to defend the NBA title, as his performance has been the most volatile thus far this season.
When Wade is healthy and the Heat are spacing the floor properly, their offense is one of the league's most efficient and difficult to stop.
Wade finished the game with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, which leaves something to be desired. He did make a difference in other areas though, as he added four rebounds and five assists in just 29 minutes of action.
Miami's all-time points leader will be under the microscope more and more if he continues to have games that make him appear mortal.
Erik Spoelstra is clearly limiting Wade's minutes, as he is more interested in having a fresh star once the playoffs start.
Final Grade: C+
LeBron James: A
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LeBron James is the best basketball player on the planet, and he was by far the best player on the court Wednesday night.
While his first-half stat line was a bit underwhelming by LeBron's standards (12 points, two assists and one rebound), as always, the box score does not tell the whole story of James' overall impact on the game.
LeBron tallied 31 points, three rebounds, five assists and a steal while turning the ball over four times.
James fell hard to the deck toward the end of the second quarter, as David Lee fouled him while LeBron was driving toward the rim. The fall looked bad, as James came down on his right shoulder and was clearly in pain after the play.
Luckily for the Heat, LeBron turned out to be just fine as he turned in another monster performance.
Also of note is that James converted on all five of his free-throw attempts, which was a good sign because he has struggled from the charity stripe this season.
After Draymond Green's layup gave the Warriors the lead with a second left, James failed to convert on a desperation jump shot as time expired.
LeBron cannot be criticized for this loss, as he did just about everything he could down the stretch.
Final Grade: A
Udonis Haslem: C
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Udonis Haslem got the start at power forward, but he only received 15 minutes of playing time in the contest.
For all intents and purposes, LeBron James is the power forward for the Heat, as he has the size to defend opposing PFs and the athleticism and versatility to dominate on the offensive end of the court.
Haslem is on the team for his rebounding and interior presence, each of which was on display in the first quarter against Golden State.
While Haslem is an important member of the rotation, he was not a factor in this Heat loss, as most of his 15 minutes were logged in the first and third quarter. Haslem finished with two points and four rebounds.
Miami does not ask much of the franchise's all-time leading rebounder, but Haslem never fails to hustle when his number is called.
Final Grade: C
Chris Bosh: B+
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Chris Bosh continued to build upon his strong season, finishing the game with 21 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in 38 minutes.
Outside of LeBron, Bosh was the most consistent player for Miami and battled David Lee, Carl Landry and Festus Ezeli inside all night, as the Heat are thin in the frontcourt.
Bosh is one of the NBA's most selfless players, as he did not complain when he was moved to the center position. With his range and soft touch inside, Bosh is one of the league's most versatile big men. That was evident throughout the game, as he shot 64 percent from the field.
Bosh did struggle to slow down David Lee, but Bosh had his way with the Warriors frontcout on the offensive end of the court.
While the Heat did fail to close out the Warriors at home, they would never have been in position to win the game without Bosh's strong and steady performance.
Final Grade: B+
Ray Allen: B
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Ray Allen continues to play efficient basketball as the Miami Heat's sixth man, as his shooting prowess makes their already explosive offense even more dangerous.
While Allen does come off the bench, he is on the court in crunch time when the game is on the line. This was the case against the Warriors, as he played the final eight minutes of the game.
In the first half, Allen converted on four of his six shot attempts, which yielded him eight points and a plus/minus differential of plus-four.
Allen missed two wide open three-pointers in the fourth, which is something that cannot happen in crunch time against quality opponents. If Allen had made either shot, the Heat probably would have escaped with the victory.
The ex-Boston Celtics star finished the game with 14 points while shooting 60 percent from the field.
Final Grade: B
The Bench: F
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The Miami Heat bench is far from elite, which was reinforced once again against the Golden State Warriors.
Outside of Ray Allen, the Heat bench contributed just five points in 63 combined minutes.
Mike Miller and Joel Anthony were both held scoreless, although they only took one shot between them. It's quite clear that Miami's bench players are nothing more than minute eaters, as they are rarely involved in the offense.
While it's hard to blame Erik Spoelstra too much, his approach is and will be very taxing on his starters and Allen. The Heat need more out of Norris Cole and Shane Battier, as each fulfills an important role with the team.
Battier is a defensive stopper, although he failed to effectively guard Draymond Green on the game-winning basket. And Cole is an adequate backup point guard, but he must add to his offensive repertoire in order to progress as a player.
This was a bad game for the Heat bench, as they did nothing but put their stars in an unfavorable situation.
Final Grade: F