Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets: Grading Miami's Performance
LeBron James and Chris Bosh paced the Heat, combining for 32 points, but the reserves played a very underwhelming game. Brooklyn was in control of the scoreboard for the majority of their fifth preseason contest, and Miami's only lead came during the first quarter.
The Nets jumped out to a nine-point first-quarter lead and held Miami to just 10-of-32 shooting during the first half, increasing their advantage to 16 points by halftime. Additionally, the Heat hit a frankly embarrassing 15 of 35 free throws.
It was the first time Erik Spoelstra and company had a front-row look at the star-studded Brooklyn squad, but Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and Michael Beasley had the night off for Miami.
The Heat dropped to 3-2 in the preseason and will take on the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.
Mario Chalmers, Point Guard
Mario Chalmers played very well on one end of the court, but left much to be desired at the other.
Chalmers showed his quick hands early by going behind Shaun Livingston and knocking the ball away from Brooklyn's point guard. He finished the game with an impressive five steals.
Later, Chalmers forced a 50-foot pass into traffic, but Livingston stole it and the Nets earned a trip to the free-throw line. He finished the game with a less-than-impressive three turnovers during 27 minutes of work.
Chalmers shot just 2-of-8 from the field and missed four of his eight free throws.
James Jones, Shooting Guard
It is not perfectly clear what James Jones' role will be once the regular season arrives, but due to Mike Miller's departure, Jones has an opportunity for more playing time.
Jones logged the most minutes (39) of any Heat player, and it was a valuable game for the sweet-shooting reserve in that regard.
However, Jones did not put together a great performance, tallying only three points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals throughout the night.
Shane Battier, Small Forward
Shane Battier played fewer minutes than his fellow starters as he ceded some playing time to Roger Mason Jr.
Battier took his turn guarding Brooklyn's best offensive players, and the lockdown defender also played down low when the Heat temporarily switched to a zone defense.
Battier, as expected, did not light up the box score—failing to score on two shots—but grabbed two rebounds, dished an assist and grabbed a steal.
With that being said, he was the only Miami player to not post a negative rating.
LeBron James, Power Forward
The play of LeBron James was one of the few bright points in the Heat's performance—unsurprisingly.
James scored five of Miami's first seven points and finished the game with 16. He connected on his patented turnaround-J from the corner, while six of his seven made field goals were jumpers. Of course, he did miss three of his four free-throw attempts, though.
One of James' four assists was a nifty pass to Chris Bosh for an emphatic slam. LeBron snagged five rebounds as well.
Defensively, he was matched up with Paul Pierce throughout the night, and was a big factor in holding the Brooklyn scorer to six points.
Chris Bosh, Center
Chris Bosh was Miami's MVP of the night, tying with LeBron for the scoring lead and dropping 16 points during 30 minutes of action.
Bosh drilled two jumpers and connected on three shots inside the paint, adding a 6-of-10 mark at the charity stripe.
The 6'11" Bosh also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and nabbed three steals.
Spanning from the late first quarter to midway through the second, a LeBron-less lineup was held without a field goal for nearly six minutes.
Justin Hamilton buried a wide-open jumper to end the drought, and that was the highlight of the young center's two minutes.
Roger Mason Jr. simply did not have a productive game. He easily played the most minutes of any reserve, but Mason scored just two points on five shots. The biggest surprise was Mason missing a wide-open three-pointer from the corner—something the sharpshooter rarely does.
Norris Cole spelled Chalmers, but he struggled mightily throughout the night. Cole missed each of his first six shots before canning a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter.
Early on, Joel Anthony was whistled for a moving screen, and it was his most noteworthy action of the game. Anthony logged 16 minutes, scoring two points and swatting two shots.
Jarvis Varnado and Eric Griffin played 12 minutes each, and Griffin managed six points, but he also missed five of six free throws.