Finally, the Rockets managed to force a great defensive team to run with them. Unfortunately, they chose the Miami Heat, a team capable of accomplishing about anything imaginable on a basketball court. It was one of the best games of the year from Houston in many areas -- they proved themselves to be as potent as anyone offensively, turning the ball over a mere six times and scoring 119 points despite making only nine of twenty-seven threes. It was a balanced attack for all but five minutes of the game, and in those five minutes, the Rockets couldn't find the basket, the Heat couldn't miss, and thus, the game was decided.
We'll keep this recap short, given how late it is (my apologies for that). Thoughts on the game:
1. I was worried about the Dwyane Wade/Kevin Martin matchup entering the game, from a defensive perspective. I never thought that Wade would be able to go one-on-five, weave his way through three different players in the lane and score nearly every time down the floor in this same fashion. Maybe it would happen a few times, I thought, but at some point, it became laughable how easily he tore apart the Rockets' non-existent interior defense. Thanks for playing, Jordan Hill and Co.
2. When it counted most, in those five minutes of the fourth quarter when one team was going to make a final, deciding run against the other, the Heat made the most of their opportunities. They crashed the paint, knowing that the Rockets would collapse in an effort to prevent penetration, and then kicked the ball out to players who don't miss open jumpshots late in games: LeBron James and Mario Chalmers, to name a few. There was no stopping it. The Rockets did everything that they could to prevent a score, and the Heat brushed them aside and collected their twelfth straight win, because they could.
3. Tip of the hat to Chase Budinger and Aaron Brooks, two players who no doubt fed off their respective performances against Washington and came out firing against the Heat. Brooks couldn't get his threes to land, but he scored 20 points on thirteen shots, dished out nine assists and didn't commit a single turnover, while Budinger nailed all three of his shots from behind the arc en route to 11 points.
4. Notice that the Rockets took twenty more shots than Miami did, yet they shot at a far lower percentage. Despite scoring 119 points against a fantastic defense, it seems the Rockets should have scored even more points, given the number of possessions that they had.
5. Chris Bosh might be the most popular mid-range jump shooter in basketball. He's getting paid $100 million... to shoot open jumpers from the elbow. That's like finding a glitch in one of the old NBA Live games and scoring buckets of points in the most uninventive, least-fun ways possible.
6. Brad Miller needs to realize that he is a point center, not a point guard. The difference? A point center doesn't throw a pump fake and drive to the hole from the perimeter, since he is too tall, too slow and too uncoordinated to turn such an attempt into a successful venture.
7. Kevin Martin had four steals and brought Houston back into the game with a great third quarter. It wasn't his best performance, by any means, but he did the best he could against Wade. You never see Martin force turnovers.
We'll end it here. Discuss the game in the comments. I've just had something come up (dramaaaaa).