Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
The Miami Heat were all business on Tuesday night.
LeBron James led all scorers with 33 points, and Michael Beasley chipped in with 19 off the bench.
Miami shot 58 percent from the floor, hitting on 12 of its 23 three-point attempts. The Heat also out-rebounded their opponent for the first time this season, breaking the dubious spell of being the only team in the league not to do so thus far.
John Henson and Gary Neal scored 18 points apiece for the Bucks, who shot 42 percent as a team and fell to 2-4 with the loss.
Miami is now 5-3.
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
This was a really nice outing for Mario Chalmers.
The point guard got off to an incredibly hot start, scoring 10 points in the first quarter and going 4-of-6 from the free-throw line in the first 12 minutes. He also made some outstanding cuts to the basket and finished 3-of-3 in the first period.
Chalmers' effective play carried on through the rest of the contest, as he dished out assists, grabbed a few rebounds and jumped into passing lanes to pick up some steals.
His final numbers? 15 points, seven dimes, four boards and two steals. He shot 4-of-6 from the floor in 25 minutes of action.
Shooting Guard: Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade was a bit shaky with the basketball on Tuesday night, turning it over six times, but other than that, I like the way the veteran played.
He only scored eight points, but that's because he dialed it back by only taking seven shots. Clearly, Wade is pacing himself and is trying to remain as healthy as possible for the playoffs, and that is always a positive thing.
Plus, Wade contributed in other areas, grabbing eight rebounds, handing out five assists, blocking two shots and recording two steals.
No, he didn't score his usual 20 points, but he lit up the box score in every other category.
Wade also shot a rather efficient 4-of-7 from the floor. He didn't get to the free-throw line, which pretty much never happens, but that's only because he is obviously doing his best to avoid contact, which could result in injuries.
All of that being said, the six turnovers are a bit too much for Wade to receive anything better than the grade below.
Small Forward: LeBron James
LeBron James was flat-out awesome in this one, particularly in the third quarter.
James exploded for 17 points in the third, draining four threes from all over the floor. He also attacked the rim and threw down a rim-rocking jam later in the period.
The rest of the night was pretty kind to LeBron, as well.
He made some outstanding passes to cutting teammates and also completed a fine alley-oop from Chalmers late in the second quarter.
James took a season-high 21 shots and hit 13 of them for 33 points (he also went 4-of-7 from deep). He didn't really fill up the rest of the stat sheet, posting only three boards and two assists, but his scoring output was more than enough.
Power Forward: Shane Battier
Shane Battier got the start Tuesday night as Udonis Haslem missed his second straight game with back spasms.
The former Duke standout scored six points in the first quarter, burying a triple and getting a rare, old-fashioned three-pointer by driving the lane for an and-1.
However, Battier struggled with his shot for the rest of the contest, missing his last three long-distance attempts.
Battier is shooting 32 percent from long range this season, well below his career average of 38.6 percent. Perhaps that number will fall more in line with his lifetime efficiency from beyond the arc as the season progresses, but if not, maybe Battier should curtail the amount of treys he actually takes.
After all, he can still fill a prominent role by taking charges and playing fine perimeter D.
Shane finished this game with six points, three boards and two steals. He shot 2-of-6 from the field overall.
Center: Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh struggled a bit in this one.
By halftime, the center had only three points off a paltry 1-of-6 clip. He misfired on some mid-range jumpers and just did not look too involved early on.
His numbers improved a bit in the second half, as he shot 2-of-3 and knocked down a triple, but he also air-balled another three-point try and pulled down only two boards.
Bosh ended up with 10 points and five boards and shot 3-of-9 from the floor. He did add three assists and two blocks, so it wasn't all bad for the big man.
Sixth Man: Norris Cole
With Ray Allen missing this one due to an illness, Norris Cole stepped in to fill the role of sixth man.
In 23 minutes of floor time, Cole played a solid all-around game, registering seven points, four assists and four rebounds. Albeit, most of that came in garbage time when the contest was already decided, but hey, those statistics still count nonetheless.
You really have to admire the growth of Cole this season. He is clearly not trying to do too much and is playing within himself. He is gaining a better understanding of the offense, and his efficiency has improved exponentially as a result.
Cole shot 3-of-5 in the win.
How about Michael Beasley?
He kicked things off by throwing down an alley-oop dunk in transition late in the first quarter, and from that point on, the forward who was once embattled in Phoenix put on a clinic offensively.
Beasley scored 19 points off 8-of-12 shooting, going 2-of-3 from downtown and putting down some vicious jams. He also tallied three assists. All of that in 19 minutes.
Chris Andersen was very productive, as well, posting eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes of his own.
Finally, Rashard Lewis contributed seven points off 3-of-3 shooting in 24 minutes, and James Jones and Joel Anthony combined for five points in garbage time.
Awesome all-around effort from the Miami bench in this one, and the best news is that Beasley may be coming around.