Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
Miller used seven threes to post 26 points, while Bosh netted 18 to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. Even without the other members of Miami's Big Three, Bosh was able to put together a familiar all-around performance.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist put together an impressive double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds, but the depleted Heat were still too much.
After clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Heat have little to play for. However, there was still a lot to learn from the role players stepping up to pull in another win.
This victory pushed the Heat to 59-16, one away from the 60-win milestone. The Bobcats move to within two losses of 60, at 18-58 on the year.
Let's hit the Bleacher Report classroom to see how the Heat's secondary players graded out.
Mario Chalmers, MIA PG: B-
After missing three straight games with an ankle injury, Mario Chalmers returned to play 27 minutes.
Chalmers played a bit passively in his return, taking only four shots and scoring four points. However, he did manage to be effective at both ends of the floor.
He scored or assisted on seven points during a 9-0 run in the third quarter to give his team a double-digit lead.
When playing without Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in the starting lineup, the Heat place a premium on ball movement. Chalmers was a huge reason the team was able to assist on 26 of their 31 baskets.
Chalmers finished with seven assists and three steals.
Mike Miller, MIA SG: A
Mike Miller started hot for the Miami Heat, hitting three treys in the first eight minutes of the game.
He finished just as hot, tearing up the Charlotte Bobcats' defense from the perimeter. Miller attempted just two shots from inside the painted area, yet still came away with a game-high 26 points.
Those came courtesy of a 7-of-11 performance beyond the arc. Miller's threes were spread out well, but it was his late floater in the lane that meant the most to his team. The Bobcats were staging somewhat of a comeback when Miller took the ball to the rim and popped it over the arms of Charlotte's bigs for two.
This has to inject the Heat with a lot of confidence moving forward. Last season Miller proved he can play these kinds of games late in the playoffs. The fact that he can still do so when needed is a huge boost to the Heat's plans.
Rashard Lewis, MIA SF: C
It isn't often that Rashard Lewis still gets to take 12 shots in a game, so you can bet he was going to take advantage Friday night.
Lewis earned his seventh start of the season for the Miami Heat and was predictably mediocre. He scored 14 points, including a pair of threes, to go along with five rebounds.
This can't be incredibly comforting for the Heat to see, as Lewis was unable to dominate a very weak Charlotte Bobcats' frontcourt. Once he slides back into a slimmer reserve role, things should be fine for Lewis.
Udonis Haslem, MIA PF: C
Udonis Haslem's goal of keeping the Miami Heat close in the rebounding battle was accomplished.
Haslem's seven boards in 18 minutes helped his team stay within five rebounds of the Charlotte Bobcats. That is exactly the range the Heat have to keep in order to be successful moving forward.
Miami isn't going to blow teams away on the glass, and that is why having Haslem active for chunks of time is still important.
He chipped in two points on 1-of-2 shooting.
Chris Bosh, MIA C: B+
As the lone member of the Miami Heat's Big Three, Chris Bosh held a lot of responsibility in this game.
Bosh's game was reminiscent of his time with the Toronto Raptors. He did a little bit of everything, including bringing the ball up the court and shooting a few threes.
He came away with seven points in the big first quarter that set up the Heat's game. Bosh's all-around game really came through in his final line of 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Heat had immense trouble getting to the line without their foul-magnet stars, so Bosh picked up the slack, hitting 5-of-6.
Bosh sort of toyed around a bit against the Charlotte Bobcats, which he's earned the right to do after clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Still, there were things to learn Friday night, even against such a weak opponent.
Norris Cole, MIA PG: B-
After earning his first two starts of the season, Norris Cole slid back into a reserve role for the Miami Heat Friday night.
His scoring ability was important to the first half for Miami, as the bench was depleted of a lot of options. Cole tossed in a pair of threes en route to eight points. He coupled that with five assists, though his four turnovers were dangerous for the Heat.
The Heat's carelessness with the ball was what allowed the Charlotte Bobcats to stage a small comeback in the fourth quarter, keeping the lead to single digits for a period. They surrendered 20 turnovers, of which Cole was a major criminal.
Miami Heat Bench: B
With Rashard Lewis and Mike Miller in the starting lineup and Ray Allen sitting out, this was a very slim unit.
The limited reserves of the Miami Heat were still able to keep up with the Charlotte Bobcats' second unit.
Chris Andersen was hugely effective against the Bobcats' frontcourt. He was active in fighting on the offensive and defensive glass, causing a lot of issues for Charlotte.
Andersen finished with eight points and eight rebounds in 19 impressive minutes.
James Jones didn't make the most of his playing time, going 1-of-6 from the field in 21 minutes. Shane Battier was solid, but he had a light outing of four points and four boards in 28 minutes.