The first of two matchups between the Heat and Clippers from China is in the books, Miami led from start to finish. Despite having another game this weekend, we already have learned quite a bit about both teams early on.
We all know that Heat starting center Chris Bosh is an All-Star but, if he’s going to play full-time minutes at the pivot for an entire 82+ games, then he’s going to have to work on his rebounding discipline. He has all the physical gifts to get the job done on the glass (anticipation, long arms, quickness, lift) but he still has to make the mental adjustment of boxing out a man on every single play. Blake Griffin went around him a few times for easy put backs, something that can’t be allowed. Just ask Pat Riley…rebounds equal rings.
Speaking of Blake, he picked up Lebron James in the 2nd half after Caron Butler checked him in the 1st half. The team has to be excited that Griffin is showing that Super Star quality of wanting to guard the other team’s best player. That’s big step for ‘BG’ and it also shows that he’s confident in that knee he had surgery on this summer. He also brought a laser focus all night…I don’t remember seeing him smile once.
Dwyane Wade, in playing his first game this preseason, was as understandably (and visibly) rusty on the offensive end. Every time the ball was swung away from Dwyane you could see him walking slowly like he was on a date at the park. Then, on a wide open fastbreak, he missed a left handed dunk where he took off much too far from the rim. Defensively, though, he made an impact…with four steals and a couple of impressive shot blocks at the rim (the one on Jordan was incorrectly called a foul). No one is worried about Wade’s ‘O’, he’ll find his rhythm with more time out on the court.
Unfortunately for Clippers fans, ‘big’ man Lamar Odom didn’t lose any of his extra lbs in customs. In fact, I even mistook him for Glen Rice during one of the timeouts. Rashard Lewis matched up with Lo-Lo early in the 2nd qtr, and repeatedly beat him to every spot on the court…I bet we would’ve even taken his seat on the bus if he could have. Everytime I looked over at him in the 2nd half there was a trainer working on one of his knees….not a good look.
Jamal Crawford moved the ball well on offense….lets hope that continues back in the U.S.