The Heat's season ended yesterday pretty much the same way it played out all year long -- as a one-man D-Wade show.
Unfortunately for the Heat, Sunday's game was one of those "Wade can't possibly carry these clowns all by himself" duds, instead of those "Holy crap, Wade is carrying these clowns all by himself!" masterpieces like #3 somehow crafted all year while leading the NBA in scoring.
In hindsight, this was a nice bounce-back year for a team that sucked harder in '07 than whatever Michael Bay is going to force us to watch this summer. But now that we've got a whole season and a playoff series to consider as evidence, the truth seems evident: The Heat blew its number two draft pick this year.
The team took Beasley, a great scorer who's so apathetic that most games you can almost see a thought bubble over his head wondering who he's going to hook up with later at Mansion. At one point in Game 7, Erik Spoelstra came close to ripping his own shirt off Hulk Hogan-style and was screaming so loudly at Beasley for watching another thunderous Josh Smith dunk fly uncontested past his head.
They could have had O.J. Mayo. Mayo is not Derek Rose -- but he's a damn good scoring guard who can run the point. And if you've watched the NBA at all in the past decade, you know that scoring point guards (Nash, Parker, Rondo) are pretty much the name of the game.
Just look at what happened Sunday. As usual when the Heat loses, Wade got absolutely nothing
from his teammates. Beasley put up 17 points, but all but seven
of them came during garbage time in the fourth quarter. Daequan Cook?
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Zero for one with a couple free throws. Mario Chalmers and James Jones
combined for ten.
But as Israel Gutierrez points out in the Miami Herald this morning, it was Chalmers who looked the most overwhelmed. The Grizzlies start Kyle Lowry at point over Mayo, but on a team like the Heat -- where D-Wade is all the scoring guard needed -- Mayo could have easily run the point and still put up close to the 20 ppg he earned in Memphis.
Instead, Heat fans can look forward to another season of Beasley getting posterized and Wade breaking his back to keep the team afloat. And with Flash set to be a free agent in 2010, don't expect him to want to stick around the AA Arena if next season plays out like this one.