Maybe it's because this game went how I thought it would (in some ways more than others) that I'm laughing off this loss. The Heat are a much more talented team from top to bottom and much better coached. If there were any doubts about Miami running away with a win tonight, I don't even know what to say to that.
What wasn't predictable was Dexter Pittman, but we'll get to him later.
The game began as many Bobcats games do: Charlotte hung in there for about six minutes and then collapsed beneath the Heat's immense advantage in all aspects of the game. The focal points were LeBron James and Chris Bosh, but especially Bosh. James and the Heat backcourt were penetrating and drawing the defense, putting a spotlight on Charlotte's weak defensive rotations. LeBron's scariest when he rolls on all cylinders and not just in one aspect of his game, and though he wasn't at full steam tonight, he didn't have to be. He made great passes and scored decently. And he tied the Heat's defense together as a unit with his awareness, athletic gifts and quickness.
And then there was Chris Bosh, who used Byron Mullens like toilet paper. Now let it not be mistaken -- Bosh is an often-underrated power forward because people love to make fun of him. But he has great quickness, footwork, touch around the hoop and shooting skills. Put up against Mullens, it wasn't even close. Mullens feet are too slow, defensive instincts too erroneous one on one. Bosh finished 8-for-11 with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block, with only one turnover. Then there was the matter of Byron Mullens' offense. I'd love go through MySynergySports.com's archives to see what he shoots when he holds the ball for more than two or three seconds. I'm betting it's somewhere around 15 percent. The point is this: Mullens is a decent shooter, especially in rhythm, but he has major weaknesses even just thinking about creating his own shot. It was another bad performance from him after last night against Detroit, where he had just six points and let Jason Maxiell more or less use him as a doormat. After the game, Mullens said much of Maxiell's performance was because "it was just his night." Funny how often for Bobcats opponents it's just their night against him and the Bobcats frontcourt, huh?
And then it became the Dexter Pittman show.
Let me preface this by saying that Miami finished the night with 70 -- SEVENTY -- points in the paint (to the Bobcats' 26). Much of this was because Dexter Pittman was an unstoppable force. I couldn't help but laugh and be in awe. If you've never heard of or seen him, he's a hefty dude. He certainly used that to his advantage against the Bobcats, throwing his weight around to muscle his way into the paint. Pittman had some nice dunks and showed good ability to finish at the rim, surprisingly. he did much of his damage against Biyombo, and -- you guessed it -- Mullens. Pittman got much of his looks from being in the right place when the Bobcats defense rotated poorly while others were just from him pushing his man at will. Think about that. That's a scary thought.
Looking on the positive side, Derrick Brown had a great game. He finished with 21 points on 15 shots and got to the line well, though he missed half of his free throws. I was talking about him today with a friend and we agreed that though he makes more than a handful of mistakes, he's the type of player you're more than OK with making those errors in a season like this. Just has to learn from them.
Gerald Henderson also had a decent night, with 14 points on 11 shot attempts, but I still want to see him attacking the rim more. And though Biyombo struggled defensively at times, he had an above-average offensive game (for him, I mean), which was nice to see since it's been so long since I've seen one from him.
Other than that? Ehhh. I mean the defense was so porous. Miami shot something like 77 percent in the first quarter. It regressed towards the mean as the game went on, but seventy out of 105 points came in the paint. Ew.
And then the game came to a close with the most fitting ending ever as Eddy Curry dunked.
The Curse Of Cardboard Gerald: 25 consecutive losses, -17.56 point differential