Cavs-Heat: Cleveland All Out of Comebacks, Fall to Heat in Miami

DatOne CatContributor IDecember 30, 2008

If you didn't see this one coming, you were'nt paying attention. 

Team Cleveland has been hearing all the acclaim, the rave reviews! 

They believe the hype—they're destined for greatness, right? 

Well, the Miami Heat are not ready to anoint them just yet.

In the second game of the home and home duel between the league's top two scorers Dwyane Wade went out on his home floor and put on his best LeBron James impersonation. 

Flash lead a balanced—young and growing up fast—Heat squad with 21 points, five rebounds, twelve assists, three steals, and just for good measure threw in an authoritative rejection of a LeBron James layup attempt.

Is that really how you treat a good buddy on his birthday?

He reminded us all that he is the same player that just three short years ago, put a veteran Miami Heat team on his back—in the Finals—and carried them to the promised land.

It was the Heat who more closely resembled what we've come to expect from Team Cleveland this season.

Miami had five players in double figures—for some reason, that stat sounds vaguely familiar.  Rookie Mario Chalmers matched D. Wade in leading the heat in scoring with 21 points of his own.  He also served up eight dimes. 

Yakhouba Diawara with seventeen points, Shawn Marion with fourteen, and Udonis Haslem with thirteen rounded out the Heat players in double figures.

That league leading scoring defense that Team Cleveland is known for was apparently delayed in some type of luggage malfunction and never arrived. It was last seen with the crisp passing, and great inside outside ball movement the Cavs were also without tonight. 

There was some very good offensive basketball played tonight.  Unfortunately it just happened to have been played by the Heat. 

The Heat looked like they wanted it more tonight, they were the diving, driving,  hustling on both ends of the court, hungry for a win, and some respect in this league team tonight.

Team Cleveland has fallen in love with the three-point shot this season, and tonight it was to their own peril.  Along the way they have forgotten that you have to work from the inside out.  Thebron's shooting threes, Mo's shooting threes, Big Z (whose ankle I'm convinced is still hurting a lot more than he is letting on) is shooting threes. 

Where is the post game? Miami does not have anyone that should prevent Z, or TheBraun from doing whatever they want in the post.  Heck I'll even take a couple of plays being run for "Wild Thang" in the post with the way he's been playing of late. 

Everyone keeps saying the  Cavs need to get some inside scoring!  How about running some inside offensive plays? 

Whatever happened to that old TheBraun at the four a couple times a game trick? That was working!  Even if he did not take a shot when he got into the post, it opened up the shooters. I wonder if maybe the King vetoed that trick.

And shooters—D. West, Boobie, Mo, Sasha, and Wally, this means you—there is no shame in stepping in and taking the 18- to 20-foot jumper every now and then.  Trust me, it won't hurt. Last time I checked they were still worth two points. 

I hate to say this, but I think Team Cleveland has become a victim of its own success.  Dare I say the Cavs have become lazy.  Don't get me wrong, I don't expect them to win them all—that's never going to happen!  And I know there will be ups and downs over an 82-game season.  But is it just me, or has the Cavs' effort just been flat over the last few ballgames?

I think this team is starting way to early in the season to believe that they can just turn it on whenever they want, and play lock down defense, and pull it out in the end.  Well, I"m no Mike Brown—but if I was, I might consider sending my team this message: You Ain't Won Nothing Yet! 

Not the Eastern Conference, not the Central Division, not the top seed in the playoffs.  Nothing! Nada, Zip, Zero, Zilch. 

What you've won and two dollars might get you a gallon of gas.  So now is not the time to relax.  Did you really do all of that early heavy lifting just to fall back to the pack?

There were a couple of bright spots for Team Cleveland last night.  It was of course The big 24 for TheBraun, and he celebrated in style leading all scorers with 38 points. He also added seven assists on a night when the Cavs only had three players reach double figures.  

That other bright spot was none other than Brother Red Fro himself Delonte West.  Not only did D. West play very good defense on D. Wade and help hold the leagues leading scorer well under his average point production.  But he also contributed 20 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals.  Not to mention he hit four of the Cavs' 11 three-pointers.

It has been Team Cleveland's M.O. this season to follow losses with win streaks. Lets hope this loss is the wake up call that spurs them on to yet another streak of not only wins, but well played basketball on both ends of the court, at home and away. 

You know, kinda like that loss to Detroit did.