Miami Heat: Are James Jones and Rashard Lewis Worthy of Rotation Minutes?

The absences of Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen and Greg Oden over the Miami Heat’s past two games has given the fanbase all it ever wanted: Playing time for James Jones.

Bonus incentive: We get Rashard Lewis, too!

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Miami Heat’s Shooting Struggles Could be Blessing for Playoffs

After shooting less than 32 percent from three in a one-point loss to Indiana, the Miami Heat made it a fifth consecutive game of shooting 35 percent or worse.

Make it seven of their last nine games of sub-35 percent shooting from three, and there’s only so many games remaining in the regular season to find a rhythm.

Criticism has mostly been been focused more on the Miami Heat’s perimeter defense, but their offense, also along the three-point line, has struggled significantly compared to year’s past.

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Miami Heat: Officials Aren’t All To Blame for Loss to Indiana

I am not the type to put all my blames and troubles on the already-burdened shoulders of the officials.

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LeBron James, Miami Heat Playing Without Championship Identity

It’s nights like last night’s loss to New Orleans (the losses to Denver, Brooklyn, or Boston can be used in this scenario, too) that make you wonder just how content LeBron James and the Miami Heat are with losing these types of games.

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Miami Heat Make Late Appearance, End Game on 14-2 Run to Defeat Memphis

Even the wins are becoming agonizing to endure.

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LeBron James, Chris Bosh Lead Wade-less Miami Heat to Win over Cleveland

LeBron James is a bad, bad man.

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Ray Allen Saves Heat with 25 Points in Win over Houston

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Do not take the Lord’s name in vain.

After months of blasphemy as a result of below-average play, Ray Allen has appeared to finally break out of the slump that has led to career-low percentages in his three-point shooting.

Allen boosted his three-point percentage on the season to 38 percent after a 4-of-6 effort from beyond the arc in Miami’s 113-104 win over Houston.

Ray dropped a season-high 25 points, just days after setting his season-high in points with 22 in the loss to Denver.

14 of those 25 came in a fourth quarter where the Heat needed every point. They scored 34 overall in the frame, with 11 points from Ray coming in the final 6:04.

When Houston appeared to be running away with it, following a three-pointer from James Harden that put the Rockets up five with 6:13 left, Allen came back and hit a three of his own to cut the lead back to two.

After Patrick Beverley hit a three to put Houston up four, Ray came back down and hit a technical free throw off a delay-of-game committed by Houston. Dwyane Wade would then hit a jumper to cut Houston’s lead to one.

That Beverley three-pointer, by the way, with 4:26 left was the last field goal of Houston’s night.

Ray would then hit an easy layup off a brilliant LeBron James screen and Dwyane Wade pass to give Miami a one-point lead with 3:31 left. Following a missed three by Jeremy Lin, Allen would, once again, hit a three, after pump-faking Lin out of his shoes, to give Miami a commanding four-point lead with 2:55 remaining.

Ray would go on to score one more point, a free throw off a technical foul on Beverley.

There’s a reason why I’ve refused to slander this season. Because even with the poor showings on both ends of the floor and the below-average numbers, you can still guarantee on Ray coming through when he’s needed most.

He’s now hit 20 of his past 35 three-pointers. He picked quite the time to get going. Now if only Shane Battier will follow suit.

Miami Heat: Is Losing Streak Significant or Result of Apathy?

Miami Heat basketball is supposed to be earth-shattering, gravity-defying fun. The past week has consisted of neither of those traits the Heat have become synonymous with, explaining why the team has lost five of its past six games, four of those losses coming by seven points or less.

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Interview: Mario Chalmers Provides More than Meets the Eye

Went to a pair of Heat games, including LeBron’s 61-point outing (humble brag), and spoke with Mario Chalmers. We talked about his role in the pick-and-roll, being prepared for the NBA by Bill Self, and mentoring Norris Cole in this feature piece I did for Dime Magazine. 

Video: LeBron James Scores 61 points, is Really Good at Basketball

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Just when you think you got LeBron James figured out, he goes and pulls something like this off: a 61-point outing against the league’s sixth best defense.

Scoring 25 of those 61 in the third quarter, LeBron finished the night shooting 22-for-33 from the field, 8-for-10 from three, including making his first eight, and 9-for-12 from the foul line.

It’s the highest scoring game of his career, breaking the 56-point mark he scored in a loss against Toronto back in 2005, and it’s the highest scoring game in Heat franchise history, snapping the 56-point mark set by Glen Rice nearly two decades ago.

It’s the fourth time since the 1986-87 season a player has recorded at least 61 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in a single game. The other three were Tracy McGrady (62-10-5), Michael Jordan (69-18-6) and David Robinson (71-14-5).

LeBron, however, needed only 41 minutes to record his 61-7-5. Those other three all played at least 44 minutes, with Jordan playing 50 minutes in a game that went into overtime.

LeBron also made only nine free throws and attempted only 12. Jordan, Robinson and McGrady by comparison all took at least 23 free throw attempts.

Also, none of them shot better than 64 percent. LeBron was at 67 percent against the Bobcats. He became one of only four players in NBA history to score at least 60 points on at least 30 shots on better than 60 percent shooting.

None of LeBron’s makes came off a dunk.

In other words, he’s really good. In case you didn’t already know.