It's bad enough to lose a game at home to a team riding a six-game losing streak. It's quite another to get your ass pounded into a fine powder by a team with a 4-22 road record. But that's exactly what a Dwyane Wade-less Miami Heat did last night, falling to the hapless Minnesota Timberwolves 91-88 at the Triple-A.
Blame the Jackson 5.
As a response to TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley's now infamous dig referring to D-Wade as Michael Jackson and his Heat teammates as "a bunch of Tito Jacksons," head coach Erik Spoelstra spliced some Jackson 5 footage into a scouting video in order to inspire his players. "Ultimately an 82-game season is long," Spoelstra told the Sun-Sentinel. "So sometimes there are different ways to inspire players."
Spoelstra showed the video prior to last night's suckfest against the
T-Wolves. The result: a self-fulfilling prophecy to the tune of "ABC."
Heat sure picked a fine time to lose to the second-worst team in the
league, dropping to 29-29 and kicking their playoff hopes squarely in
the junk with this excruciating home loss. Minnesota came out on fire
from the get-go, outscoring Miami 25-15 in the first quarter. The Tito
Jacksons went 6-for-18 shooting to start off the game, resulting in the
season-low 15 points in the first quarter. And while Dorrel Wright
became Jermaine Jackson for 30 minutes, dropping a career-high 26
points, with 6 three-pointers, leading the team back from 14 down, it
just wasn't enough. Minnesota's Kevin Love scored a double-double with
his 17 points and 12 rebounds, while rookie point guard (and spy novel
action hero) Jonny Flynn added 16, with a key finger roll layup with 40
seconds remaining in regulation.
The Heat now sit at the seventh
spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. This was the third
straight game Miami's been without Wade, who continues to nurse a
strained calf. He has another three days to rest up before Miami hosts
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Milwaukee. Only question now is, will D-Wade sing "I'll Be There"? Or
will we once again be at the mercy of the "disrespected" Titos. If this
is how they respond to comments like Barkley's, we're in for a world of