Miami Heat vs. Detroit Pistons: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
For the second time in the month of December, the Miami Heat have lost to a bottom-feeding opponent.
Led by Will Bynum's 25 points and 10 assists, the Detroit Pistons upset the defending champions by a score of 109-99. Andre Drummond also finished with a double-double, tallying 10 points and 10 rebounds.
In other words, the Heat allowed two reserves to pick up double-doubles. Neither saw 30 minutes of action.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to pick up the W. These player grades will tell you why.
Mario Chalmers, Point Guard
Overall Grade: D+
Mario Chalmers finished with four points, four assists and two rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
Will Bynum tallied 25 points, 10 assists, two rebounds and one steal in 28 minutes of action.
If you think that won't hurt Chalmers' grade, you're off your rocker.
As Bynum went off for his second consecutive game, Chalmers was nowhere to be found. Even as he finished with a Heat-high plus-minus of positive-2, Chalmers had a terrible game.
One-of-6 from beyond the arc basically sums it all up.
His lone turnover came with the Heat down, 99-90, with 3:33 remaining. They had a chance to score their second consecutive basket, but Chalmers threw it away and Will Bynum came up with it.
Thus leading to two points. Thus summing up Chalmers' poor outing.
Mike Miller, Shooting Guard
Overall Grade: D
With Dwyane Wade absent due to suspension, the Miami Heat needed Mike Miller to step up.
During the first quarter, Miller was quick to fill the void. He tallied five rapid points and grabbed four rebounds, thus creating a pace that could have led to his first double-double since April 21, 2012.
The former Florida Gator disappeared, failing to tally a single point or rebound throughout the remainder of the game.
In 23 minutes, he finished with those five points and four boards, tacking on a plus-minus of negative-8.
Shooting 2-of-6 from the floor and 1-of-5 from three only further damages his grade.
LeBron James, Small Forward
Overall Grade: A
Statistically speaking, LeBron James had yet another phenomenal performance.
James finished the game with 35 points, six rebounds, five assists, six steals and one block. He shot 15-of-22 from the floor and made two three-point field goals.
James also assisted four fourth-quarter field goals to bring the Heat within striking distance.
The question is, where was his facilitating touch during the opening quarters? More importantly, where was his aggression during the first?
Four of five dimes came during the fourth quarter. That may seem good, but it was all too little, too late.
Thus leading to a rare drop from a perfect grade.
James was attacking the rim and finishing powerfully, as we all expected him to. Unfortunately, he failed to get his teammates involved along the perimeter.
This led to spot-up shooting without ball movement. In turn, the Heat shot just 31.0 percent from beyond the arc.
James was a statistical master, but his inability to facilitate through the opening quarters hurts. Especially when he had the lanes to kick it out.
Just don't blame him every time the shots don't fall.
Udonis Haslem, Power Forward
Overall Grade: C-
Udonis Haslem finished the game with seven points, two rebounds, one assist and one block. He played 20 minutes and posted a plus-minus of negative-3.
Haslem was also one of the many to fail in preventing the Pistons from scoring 48 points in the paint.
Haslem was not to blame for this loss, as the former Florida Gator contributed in a balanced attack. With that being said, he also failed to provide the interior presence expected of him as one of the team's top rebounders.
An even C would be generous, so we drop him slightly lower.
Chris Bosh, Center
Overall Grade: A+
There isn't much you can complain about when it comes to Chris Bosh.
Bosh finished the game with 28 points, nine rebounds, one assist and three blocks. He shot 11-of-17 from the field and scored 10 points during the fourth quarter.
Including four in the final two minutes.
Unfortunately, Bosh wasn't met with the proper support from his frontcourt mates on the defensive end of the floor. The Heat allowed 48 points in the paint and Bosh committed three fouls in the process.
His four turnovers also hurt, but not enough to drop him from a perfect grade.
With that being said, Bosh proved, once again, why he's one of the game's elite offensive threats. With his smooth shooting from mid-range and underrated interior toughness, Bosh made this one interesting.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for a win.
Ray Allen, Sixth Man
Overall Grade: C+
With Dwyane Wade suspended, the Miami Heat received good news to counter his absence. Ray Allen's return from injury.
Allen may have been quiet for three quarters, but he found the perfect time to heat up. Specifically in the fourth quarter, with the Heat seemingly on pace for a second underwhelming loss of the season.
Allen would hit three key jump shots, both of which reduced the deficit to a significantly smaller margin. His three-point field goal with 2:39 remaining cut the lead back down to single digits.
Thus saving the Heat from letting the game slip away. You know, until they let that happen a few minutes later.
Allen finished with nine points and five rebounds. Eight of those points came during the fourth quarter, but we can't overlook one important fact.
Allen shot 3-of-13 from the floor and 2-of-7 from beyond the arc.
His fourth-quarter shooting helps his grade significantly, but his overall shooting hurts just the same.
Overall Grade: D+
For the game, the Miami Heat's second unit combined for 20 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
The Detroit Pistons' reserves combined for 64 points, 22 rebounds, 12 assists, four steals and two blocks. Every one of their bench players was in double-figure scoring.
When you fail to produce at a third of the opposing bench's rate, your grade is going to suffer.
Shane Battier's defense was uncharacteristically absent, as Charlie Villanueva scored 18 points. Norris Cole played well, but his five assists coincided with a plus-minus of negative-14.
The one bright spot is that the reserves made five three-pointers. That counts for something, right?