There are nights when the Miami Heat drop games against the crappiest of teams, causing you to want to punch random people in the pants at a bus stop. There are nights when it seems as if Dwyane Wade is playing alongside Michael Beasley, the churros guy from across the street, and a burning tire from the side of the road. There are nights when Heat fans shake their fist to the heavens and declare, "Mario Chalmers attempting the final shot??? Serenity now!"
Last night was not one of those nights.
Because last night, the Heat managed to overcome all matters of sucktitude by sacking up, playing some ball, and bringing down a vaunted giant like the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers. We're talking threes dropping from every direction, dudes taking charges, the unlikeliest players stepping up, Rocky knocking out Apollo, Luke blowing up the Death Star, and Danny Noonan's ball dropping in the hole.
And this 114-111
overtime win was more than just D-Wade's standalone heroics. Carlos
Arroyo played nearly flawless basketball with tough defense and timely
jump shots. Quentin Richardson found a crapload of threes in his
pocket. And Udonis Haslem knocked down big shots and crashed the boards
like they were made of delicious candy. Jermaine O'Neal made the play
of the night (how many times do we get to say that?), drawing a charge
on Kobe Bryant with 18 seconds left in overtime. Then there was D-Wade
himself, getting his Captain Kirk on and leading this frazzled
Enterprise with a 27-point, 14-assist night.
The Heat took
everything the Lakers could throw at them. Kobe's 39-points, Ron Artest
playing physical defense on Wade, and a large contingent of Lakers
fans, whom you can pretty much bet the mortgage have never stepped foot
anywhere near the city of Los Angeles, cheering against the home team.
his part, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson was his usual pretentious
giant hipster self during pre-game press time. The Zen Master tried to
minimize Q-Rich as a player by saying he'd rather not waste a talented
defensive player like Artest on him because "he'd put [Artest] to sleep
because Richardson just stands out there on a 3-point line." (Oooh look
at me! I've got freakishly large shoulders and read books... you are no
match for my subtle mind games!) Q-Rich's 7-threes, 25-point
performance made damn sure everybody was wide-awake by the end of the
night. Jackson's post-game comments were less of the Zen kind and more
on the whiny side of things, complaining about some phantom non-call on his star player.
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it was a big win. The kind of win Heat fans have been hoping to see for
some time. The kind of win that could easily be the catalyst for a
late-season charge into the playoffs. Sure, that'll follow with the
inevitable first round exit, but still. Big win.