Heat Fight Back But Not Enough as they Fall 104-97 in Utah
By: Steve Rawnsley
The Achilles Heel of the Heat has been rebounding all season as they are trying to repeat as NBA champions. The game against the Jazz was no different.
The Jazz out rebounded the Heat by seventeen tonight. The differential got really lopsided in the second quarter. While the Heat have been playing better defense in the calendar year, by holding their last five opponents under 100 points, tonight was a different story. The Jazz scored on their first eleven shots in the second quarter. Obviously, it is hard to rebound when you are taking it out of the basket on every possession. Mario Chalmers had their first rebound of the quarter with 2:38 left.
Meanwhile during this stretch, the Jazz extended their five point lead they had after the first quarter, to a fifteen point lead at halftime.
The key for the Heat is all about defense, then rebounding, and finally getting that outlet pass to start breaks. The Heat’s fast break game was relatively quiet against the Jazz, only scoring ten points.
The biggest problem was low energy though. LeBron talked about it in his postgame interviews, stating you can’t play with low energy, especially against the Jazz. The Jazz also took good care of the ball only getting fourteen turnovers, and turnovers has been a problem for the Jazz.
The Heat didn’t play with much energy until they started their comeback in the fourth quarter, where they were down by nineteen heading into it. They kept LeBron in with most of the second unit, and they came back, to eventually cut it to a two point game with 3:31 left. However, they never got closer. Bosh was on the bench until forty seconds left, and Wade did not see the court in the fourth quarter. However, they were down by twenty-one at three points in the second half, and that proved to be too big of a deficit to overcome.
MVP: LeBron James
Outside of LeBron nobody on the Heat stood out, until the fourth quarter where Ray Allen got all of his ten points. LeBron finished with 32 points 6 assists and 4 boards. He had twice as many points than anybody else did for the Heat.
Stat of the night: Zero second chance points
When I said the Heat got dominated on the boards, I meant it was really bad. So bad in fact the Heat had ZERO second chance points in the game. It also seemed like Utah got every offensive board in crunch time they needed to get to preserve the lead.