The new slogan for the Miami Heat should be “Pick Your Poison”. Although some may say that this slogan has probably been with the team since 2010 when Lebron James and Chris Bosh decided to bring their talents to South Beach and join up with Dwyane Wade.
But on Saturday night at the American Airlines Arena, that mantra never proved more fitting for this team in this young season. Here’s what happened.
It’s night two of a back to back. Just the night before, the Heat were in New York to play the Knicks, a game where the opposing team shot 18 threes to beat the defending champions in Madison Square Garden. It was a game that some Heat players felt shouldn’t have been played because of all the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Nevertheless, they lost and came back to Miami to play the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Fast forward to late in the fourth quarter. 14 seconds left to be exact. The Heat are down by one point to the new look Nuggets who have had their way for most of the night. Coach Eric Spoelstra draws something up and sends his guys back in to execute it.
Nobody but the team and coaches know what he’s drawn up. Since 2010 we’ve seen potential game winning scenarios for Mario Chalmers, Eddie House, Udonis Haslem, Lebron and D-Wade. But tonight, Coach has another weapon in his arsenal to play with. His name is Jesus Shuttlesworth. More commonly known as Ray Allen.
14 seconds left. Ray inbounds the ball to Lebron who takes the ball to the top of the key.
12.6 seconds. Lebron dribbles to his left which he often likes to do. Dwyane Wade runs from left to right of Lebron. Ray Allen fades almost quietly to the corner with defender Corey Brewer on him.
10.9 seconds. Lebron is in the basketball key looking as if he is going to go up for the layup. Wade is flanked to his right to catch the rebound in case he misses.
9.1 seconds. As Lebron drives to the basket, Brewer, who is defending Ray Allen, gets sucked in to defend Lebron, leaving Ray Allen open in the corner.
8.5 seconds. Lebron leaves his feet, and passes to Allen. 8.2 seconds. Allen shoots and Brewer, realizing his mistake comes back to defend Allen, only to foul him as he attempts a 3 point shot.
The referee whistle blows signifying the foul. The shot is good. The Heat are up by 3 with 6.7 seconds left. Ray Allen is going to the free throw line. Game, Miami Heat 119-115.
Here. Break it down for yourself.
Pick your poison. The Heat have had that luxury for 2 years now. However with the addition of Ray Allen, this team just became all the more dangerous.
Defenders beware. Choose wisely.