MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you happened to miss the Miami Heat’s performance against the Orlando Magic Wednesday night, consider yourself lucky.
The Heat, outside of Dwyane Wade, was absolutely abysmal throughout the game. It was supposed to be an easy game against a struggling offensive team, but the Heat simply didn’t show up on the defensive end and allowed Dwight Howard to dominate the lane.READ MORE: CVS, NAACP Team Up To Get COVID Vaccines To People Of Color In South Florida
“They set the tone this game, right from the get-go,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We were able to get into a little bit more of an aggressiveness and attack. A little bit more of a disposition in the second quarter, but they were able to sustain it longer and more consistently than we were able to.”
There were two elements that completely doomed the Heat Wednesday night.
First, the Magic began shooting three’s almost from the opening tip. The Magic shot a total of 42 3-point shots, which was a franchise record for a single game.
What’s worse was they hit 17 of those 42 3-point shots during the game, for 51 points from behind the arc.
The other element the Heat was missing for most of the game was forward LeBron James. Much like he did in the NBA Finals last season, LeBron simply didn’t show up for much of the second half.
In the second half of the game, LeBron scored for the first time in the second half with just two minutes left in the game.
It was the culmination of a day when LeBron was ripped by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kendrick Perkins for tweeting about Perkins getting posterized.
Also during the day, ESPN ran a story that Larry Bird said Kobe Bryant was more of a winner, but Bird would have had fun playing with LeBron.
With LeBron finishing the game shooting 5-15 with 17 points, it seemed to give credence to the constant criticism LeBron has taken since he came to Miami.READ MORE: Eye On Earth: 'One Of The Most Peaceful Places In South Florida': Wakodahatchee Wetlands
But, it was just one bad game for LeBron and not representative of the MVP-type season he’s had thus far in 2012.
For the season, LeBron is averaging 28.5 points, 6.9 assists, and 8.2 rebounds per game. He’s struggled in a win over Philadelphia and in the Orlando loss.
During the same time span, he went for 40 against Milwaukee and 30 against Toronto.
Despite the criticism LeBron takes from all angles, all he’s done this season is respond by shooting 55 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line, while helping the Heat to second place in the Eastern Conference.
Yet, all it takes is one bad game from LeBron and all of the sudden, he is the reason the Heat didn’t win. While he struggled against the Magic, it was truly a team effort in the loss.
The Magic’s Dwight Howard completely dominated the Heat en route to 25 points and 24 rebounds. It was the latest exposure of the Heat’s lack of center since the Big Three were put together.
Plus, as bad as LeBron played, Chris Bosh played worse.
Bosh played 37 minutes and scored a total of 12 points on 5-13 shooting, but he did pull down nine rebounds in the game. Bosh’s scoring has declined in recent games, even though he is averaging 19.2 points per game.
In the last five games, Bosh hasn’t scored more than 15 points in any single game and he only managed a total of nine points against the Milwaukee Bucks in a loss. During that time span, he’s shooting barely 40 percent from the field.MORE NEWS: Hundreds Benefit From Much-Needed Provisions At Miami Springs Food Distribution
The Heat have the night off Thursday and then return to the court Friday against the Washington Wizards in Washington.