The San Antonio Spurs didn't have much of a chance Sunday as the Miami Heat coasted to a 113-101 victory. There were some good things to take away from the game for Miami, but also reason not to get too excited.
Dwyane Wade Getting Healthy
Dwyane Wade came off the bench Sunday for the first time since the 2007-2008 season. Bringing him off the bench was a great idea because it allowed him to go at his own pace. The Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman reports that it was actually Wade's idea to not start.
Spoelstra on Wade as a reserve: "He came to me and we talked about. He said he wanted to work his way into the rhythm."— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) January 26, 2014
Allowing Wade to come off the bench let Wade recover without any added pressure. It's not like he is useless right now, even though he is playing hurt. In Sunday's game, he had eight points and five assists in 24 minutes.
For Miami to win the championship, it needs a healthy Wade, but there was no need to rush him into anything on Sunday.
According to Shandel Richardson of the Sun-Sentinel, Wade could be in the starting lineup against the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday. That is good news for the Heat, who have missed Wade in the lineup.
Heat are 24-6 this season with Dwyane Wade in the lineup, compared to 7-6 without him. Last season, Miami was 11-2 without Dwyane Wade.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2014
Chris Bosh Playing Hot Right Now
Chris Bosh is a big reason for Miami's success over the last few games. In the last two contests, he has 55 points on 24-of-32 shooting from the field.
In Sunday's matchup, he scored 24 points—the most by any Heat player. ESPN Stats & Info reveals that Bosh had a special game against San Antonio.
Chris Bosh had 2nd-best shooting day of career, going 9-10 from field in Heat's win pic.twitter.com/ZrbeN9If88— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2014
With Wade banged up, Bosh has stepped up and carried the load on offense along with LeBron James. It will be interesting to see what Miami can do with Bosh on a hot streak and a healthy Wade.
Miami had six players score in double-digit points Sunday: Bosh, Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, James, Michael Beasley and Ray Allen. Miami is continuing to prove that it's more than just Wade, James and Bosh.
The ability to get consistency from role players makes Miami even more dangerous. James, Bosh and Wade all healthy at the same time is scary enough, but if the Heat can continue to get contributions from other players, they will be hard to defend.
Beasley and Cole both came off the bench, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Don't Get Too Excited, Though
Don't get me wrong, Sunday's win over San Antonio was huge, but it wasn't what it seemed. San Antonio was without three key guys in Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Danny Green.
Miami's defensive intensity looked much better against the Spurs, one of the NBA's top teams with a 33-11 record. As SportsCenter's Twitter account indicates, however, San Antonio has struggled against the best teams in the NBA.
Spurs have struggled against NBA's elite. San Antonio is a combined 1-10 vs. Thunder, Heat, Blazers, Rockets, Pacers, Clippers.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 26, 2014
This was a big win for Miami, especially after some recent struggles, but Wednesday's matchup with Oklahoma City will be a better measuring stick for where the Heat are at right now. The Thunder have a 35-10 record and are one of the hottest teams in the league.
This victory will give the Heat some good momentum and confidence regarding Wade. If Bosh and the rest of the supporting cast can continue to show consistency, Miami will have a very good chance at beating Oklahoma City.