Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
The Heat got off to a scorching start, hitting 12 of their first 14 shots and scoring 33 points in the first quarter. It was the first time all season that Miami scored 20 points in the first period.
The Heat ended up shooting 52.9 percent for the game and connected on 11 of their 27 three-point tries. Not only that, but they also assisted on 32 of their 37 field goals.
The Wizards did not have as much luck offensively. They shot only 42.9 percent from the floor, and no one dropped 20 points (their leading scorer was Bradley Beal with 19).
Miami snapped a two-game losing streak with the win and improved to 2-2. Washington falls to 0-3 with the loss.
Note: Grades are based off of stats, efficiency, overall impact on both ends of the court and how the players performed when it mattered most.
Point Guard: Mario Chalmers
Coming into this game, Mario Chalmers' season-high in assists was four. Well, he equaled that in the first quarter on Sunday night.
By the end of the contest, Chalmers had racked up eight dimes and compiled what may have been his smoothest all-around performance of the season.
Not only did he do a great job of getting his teammates good looks, but he also did a fine job defensively, coming up with three steals and playing a significant part in holding John Wall to 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Chalmers also scored six points, all six of them coming on a pair of threes.
Shooting Guard: Dwyane Wade
Solid effort by Dwyane Wade.
The future Hall of Famer was consistent throughout the contest, filling up the stat sheet with 20 points (13 in the first half), five assists and five rebounds. He also picked up two steals and blocked a shot. Wade actually turned the ball over five times, too, but they ended up being relatively harmless.
What I liked most about Wade's performance in this one was that he did not try to force anything inside. Instead, he protected his body by taking what the defense gave him, knocking down some mid-range jumpers and making off-ball cuts to the rim for easy buckets.
Dwyane also shot an efficient 8-of-15 from the floor.
Interestingly enough, he registered a minus-one, but that was likely based more on other circumstances than anything he did (or didn't do) individually. There is no way D-Wade was a liability out there Sunday night.
Small Forward: LeBron James
LeBron James got off to a bit of a sloppy start against Washington, turning the ball over three times early. However, he made up for those miscues by dropping 14 of his 25 points in the first quarter. He drained three triples in the process and went 5-of-7 from the floor in the period.
The rest of the game didn't feature much scoring from James, as the world's best player put up only 11 points for the remainder of the contest, but his damage was already done.
LeBron spent the latter portion of his 35 minutes of action primarily setting up his teammates (he finished with five assists) and playing great defense. He did an outstanding job closing out on shooters and did not bite on pump fakes.
His final numbers? A total of 25 points and five dimes off 9-of-14 shooting (3-of-5 from deep). The only real downside to his performance were the six turnovers. James has been uncharacteristically careless with the basketball this season. Perhaps we can chalk it up to it being November.
Power Forward: Udonis Haslem
Udonis Haslem played well in the 17 minutes he logged on Sunday night.
The 10-year veteran only scored four points, but he was very active offensively, cutting to the basket and getting shots at the rim. He also grabbed four rebounds, blocked a shot and registered a plus-six.
It's not exactly what one would call a gaudy stat line, but this was a much better effort than we saw from Haslem in the previous couple of games.
Center: Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh was outstanding against the Wizards.
The center tallied 24 points off 8-of-12 shooting, knocking down two of his three attempts from long distance and also going 6-of-8 from the charity stripe.
Bosh's versatility was on full display Sunday night, and he did a great job of spreading the floor in particular.
It didn't just end with scoring, though.
Bosh also hauled in seven rebounds, three of them being offensive to help create second opportunities for his ballclub. Finally, he added two blocked shots.
Sixth Man: Ray Allen
It was a quiet night for Ray Allen in terms of shooting the ball, as he did not hit a single triple and ended up with only four points. Not that he had many opportunities to let loose from long range, as Washington defended him well (he went 0-of-2 from downtown).
However, Allen did a remarkable job setting up his teammates, and that is reflected in the six assists he recorded in 31 minutes of playing time.
He also pulled down three rebounds and didn't turn the ball over.
You really have to love the effort Norris Cole and Chris Andersen brought off the Heat bench on Sunday night.
In 22 minutes, Cole scored nine points, all nine coming off three-pointers (where he shot 3-of-4). He also recorded two steals. Little by little, Cole is showing growth, and that is absolutely huge for Miami.
Andersen also had a solid performance, posting eight points and five rebounds, three of them coming on the offensive glass.
However, the struggles continued for Shane Battier. He went 0-of-4 from three-point range and has now misfired on his last 13 long-range attempts.
Still, Cole and "Birdman" did more than enough to overshadow Battier's ineptitude shooting the basketball.