Today's game was the first of that set of matchups, against the Timberwolves and the Heat pulled out this one despite the massive rebounding disparity, favoring the Timberwolves 52-24.
But Wade and LeBron and the help of 20 turnovers and +16 in the fastbreak points were the difference in this one. The offense was smooth with Wade driving at will and showing versatility on the block. LeBron facilitated the offense and with the team playing this way the team becomes hard to beat.
The Heat had 25 assists for 36 makes shooting 52% from the 3 point line. This is a desirable ratio that we want to see from this team. In most cases when the 3 point shooting is this efficient, the ball moves more which is reflected by the assists and now multiple "triggers" as coach Spoelstra calls them, occur within one possession.
The Heat's defense showed up this game, especially at the 3 point line holding the TWolves to 43% from the field and 23.5% from 3 and recording 14 blocks. The key piece missing was the defensive rebounds horrendous and the Heat cannot expect this result with type of rebounding effort.
In fairness when watching the game, many rebound stat opportunities were actually missed due to the hustle from the TWolves that ultimately sent the ball out of bounds with the Heat retaining possession.
Norris Coles' on ball defense has been sharp of late and today was no exception. He made the speedy JJ Barea look like he was in quick sand, unable to burn him to use the penetrate and kick attack. That said, the Heat got the good Mario Chalmers today scoring 12 points on 4/7 shooting.
It was a fresh reminder having Dwyane Wade show everyone why he's considered one of the best shooting guards of all time and best blocking shooting guard of all time showing explosiveness translating to 24 points and a couple blocks, one on Love on a dunk and one on Pekovic and throughout the game basically abusing Shved on the block.
Based on how things are lining up at this point I won't waver from the prediction of the Heat beating the Mavs on the road for this next one. We will follow up after this game and see how I stand with the 3-0 call.
1 for 1 so far.