What’s up, folks?
Another big one coming this evening with the two teams with the best record in the East taking the floor. Some gleanings to share
1. This is just Miami’s third road game of the season, having played nine of their first 11 in Miami. The Heat has won both games on the road, at Indiana and Washington.
2. I’m always leery of “Player X does Y when Team Z wins” and not just because I don’t like algebra. It stands to reason when the team wins, a player’s numbers will be better. I guess causation is the issue. At any rate, one player to watch is Heat forward Michael Beasley. He’s actually scored more when they’ve lost, but been otherwise more productive when they’ve won.
In seven Heat wins: 6.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1.3 assists 1.0 blocks.
In three Heat losses: 3.3 rebounds, 0 steals, 0.7 assists, .7 blocks.
3. Joe Johnson has had a nice two-game run distributing. It looked to me like he was trying to get other guys going early against Portland. He had seven assists against the Hornets and nine against Portland.
Said Johnson, “I’m just trying to make plays. Whenever I’m drawing two, three guys, I’m just making the easy pass, whether it’s a dunk or somebody shooting a wide-open jump shot. That’s just easy basketball.”
He sounded eager to face up against Dwyane Wade two days after getting the better of Brandon Roy. Johnson’s strategy for defending him – “Just try and make his catches tough and any shot he takes, make sure you have a hand in his face.”
4. Zaza Pachulia has had a pretty good run, and should see considerable time with 6-foot-8 Udonis Haslem and 6-foot-9 Joel Anthony getting significant minutes off the bench for Miami.
“I don’t even know anything about those polls. The only thing I look at is our division. I look at the divisions around us. I could care less about who’s ranking what. It doesn’t mean a [darn] thing to me, it really doesn’t. What’s important to me is where we stand in our division and how we’re playing as a basketball team.”
This may be old hat to you, but he said something this morning that I found interesting about how he views offensive production.
“I don’t get on a lot of guys about offense that much, unless they’re being selfish. My job is to make sure that they defend and rebound.”
5. How Jamal Crawford does after his first single-digit scoring game (2-10, six points) bears watching. I suspect he’ll be fine, but will he be more eager to assert himself?
6. A couple links. Shaun Powell’s nba.com column on Crawford.
espn.com story on Al Horford.
7. Woodson would like to see you. Monday, Philips was pretty sparse for the Blazers game. Attendance was around 12,000, I think, but looked far smaller.
“All I can say to our fans is we need the support. These guys are playing for something this year. It’s fun watching us play and I know the fans are out there and we just ask you to come out and support us. They need it. I think amazing things can happen when the house is filled.”
What do ya think about tonight?