The Miami Heat’s 27 game win streak was snapped last night at the hands of the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls in a 101-97 loss. Being a witness of how this team plays, it wasn’t too surprising that the Heat lost last night. Throughout the three seasons that this team has been assembled, they’ve had an offensive philosophy that at some time or another will fail, and last night was one of those times.
Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James combined for 71 of the 97 points the Heat scored, while the rest of the team contributed the remaining 26. While Miami has been dominant, and nearly unstoppable, their Big Three has produced most of the points, as they should. But the rest of the team, except for a few games this season, don’t have a major impact in games. In the game against the Boston Celtics, Mario Chalmers was the x-factor, scoring 21 points, and hitting clutch shots down the stretch of that game. However, the bench managed to only score 14 points. Because this team has three superstars they can get away with the lack of production off the bench, but if their opponent shuts down just one or two of their key players, the chance of a loss increases.
Last night in Chicago, only three players finished in double-figures in points scored. That’s not going to get it done, especially against a defensively sound team like the Bulls. On the opposite bench, Chicago had four players with 14 or more points, with Nate Robinson supplying 14 points of his own off the bench. The Heat have never been known as a superb defensive team, and if other teams spread the floor and have good point distribution, Miami becomes a very beatable team.
If there is one thing to take away from last night’s game, it would be that the Heat aren’t invincible. They allowed 12 offensive rebounds and overall were out-rebounded 43-31. Teams that have size have a good chance at stealing a game away from the Heat because they can’t field any size of their own. Miami’s lack of size has been a problem over the last few seasons, but since no one can matchup against the Big Three, the lack of depth in the front court gets overlooked.
Clearly, it was a letdown game for Miami, which has been anticipated by fans outside of Florida since this win streak began. The Bulls were without Derrick Rose, Richard Hamilton, and Joakim Noah, and to see the Heat lose to a team that on paper is inferior, was a shock. Teams all around the league need to be taking notes after last night. Height, defense, point distribution, and rebounding is the formula to beating Miami, and if they matchup with a team that has those qualities, it might not be an easy series for the reigning NBA champions.