Five quick-hitting Miami Heat items as the team starts a homestand:
1. LeBron James shed more than the mask—against doctor's instructions—on the Heat's 0-3 road trip.
He shed some points on his scoring average and shooting percentage too.
Since scoring 61 against Charlotte, James has scored 58 total in losses to Houston, San Antonio and Chicago.
"I wasn't in a good rhythm offensively," said James, who went without a free throw for the first time in four years Sunday. "Got to make some shots. I was in the gym shooting yesterday."
Yet his last two points totals, of 17 and 19, represent the first time this season he's scored fewer than 20 in consecutive games, and he did so while making just 14 of 41 shots, the first time he has made under 45 percent of his shots in consecutive games. In fact, he hasn't done that in the regular season since the middle of last March, when he missed 19 of 30 shots against Philadelphia and Atlanta. That came after he scored just 13 points against Indiana.
So maybe it's just March.
Or maybe it's merely regression to the mean.
After all, if you total his past four games, he's averaging 29.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists while shooting 48.9 percent from the field.
His season averages: 27.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists on 57.7 percent from the field.
Not all that different, especially when considering he shot 52-for-76 (68.4 percent) in the previous three games.
"We've got another game (Monday against Washington)," James said. "That's the best thing about this league: I can try to redeem myself (Monday) night. Funny how fast you can get out of rhythm, after I was just in a rhythm for a long time. I'm not really too worried about it. I'll get back to it."
Here's guessing he'll heal his numbers at home.
2. Ray Allen has never come close.
The Heat guard has made more three-pointers than anyone in history.
And yet his longest streak of games with at least one is just 47.
That was 80—yes, 80—short of what Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver just accomplished, with that streak finally ending last Wednesday against Portland.
When asked over the weekend, Allen wasn't aware that it was over, but that didn't mean he was unaware of the singularity of Korver's achievement. After all, the previous record was 89, set by Dana Barros.
"When you go on streaks like that, they're almost great to be over with, because you recognize the true greatness of it when you're finished with it, and how much of a great run you've been on," Allen said. "So it's almost always great in retrospect to see it when it's over with. Because you can appreciate it, and you can go on another streak."
Korver did on Friday, and his new streak is now at two.
"In this game, if you have true intentions, it's never about the individual streaks that you go on," Allen said. "By him doing that, he was doing whatever he could to help the team win. He was always giving his best effort. And those great things happen along the way."
Allen said he never knew the length of his own streaks.
"I always believe that the more available you are, the more opportunities you have to do something great," Allen said. "And that's the number one key to being great is availability. So you just keep yourself healthy and find a way to stay on the floor and great things happen for you."
How great is this streak?
Well, the question of Allen started a locker room conversation prior to Sunday's loss in Chicago.
James Jones, a long-range specialist himself, called it "tremendous" and a "testament to him being available, his durability. He's such a great shooter that you expect if he gets at least two or three shots a game, he's going to make one of them. As a player, it's phenomenal. From the outside, as a fan, I'd look at it and be like, it's an amazing streak. But for him, I'm pretty sure it was just business as usual, just another day at the office."
Shane Battier thinks it should have gotten more attention than it did.
"Unless you play, you don't understand how awesome a record it is," Battier said. "That's impressive. I don't care who you play for, no one's going to touch that for a long time."
"Twenty-seven," he said.
Only, well, 100 behind.
"It's an unbelievable streak, unbelievable," Battier said.
"Oh, man, no one's going to ever touch it, even sniff it," Norris Cole said. "For another 20, 30, 50 years."
"Maybe (Kevin Durant) is the only one, I think, who has enough touches, to come close," Battier said.
Jones had another candidate.
"The crazy thing is (Korver) is probably one of the only guys who can break his own streak, start another," Jones said. "He definitely has more left in the tank."
3. Michael Beasley has put up some numbers that may surprise you.
Per 48 minutes this season, he is averaging 25.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks.
Per 48 minutes this season, Chris Bosh is averaging 25.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 steals.
But as always, the amount of playing time Beasley receives matters the most.
Those have started to pick up again: 104 in the past five games.
That will continue so long as he keeps showing effort on defense. While the Heat lost all three games on their trip, Beasley did some nice things on that end: a baseline block against Houston, stuffing Tim Duncan and staying with Boris Diaw on three fakes in San Antonio.
So can he be adequate in those areas?
At age 25 and his sixth season, he still believes he can be better than that.
"Definitely," Beasley said. "I’m as athletic as anybody, I’m pretty fast for my size, and I’m no dummy, so I can definitely be a great defender. It’s about applying yourself and knowing the plays before they come."
One statistic seems to suggest some progress.
4. Dwyane Wade is always up for some wordplay.
In this case, though, he wasn't giving himself a forgettable nickname (like "WoW" for "Way of Wade").
He was responding to a reporter's question about whether he heard any "scuttlebutt" over All-Star weekend, about Carmelo Anthony going to the Bulls.
"Scuttlebutt?" Wade asked, laughing. "No, I wasn't looking that hard. I got to go look up 'scuttlebutt.' "
And he did.
Popular in media circles, especially about this team.
5. Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers share time at point guard.
And they share an appreciation of custom character-driven attire, dedicated to themselves.
Ethan Skolnick covers the Heat for Bleacher Report.