Heat 115, Wolves 113: Bad Start to Crazy Wild Finish, As it Happened

A crazy game, a crazy finish. A sluggish Wolves start gave them a lot of ground to make up, but as the second half came around, so did the Wolves’ sense of urgency.

For fun, instead of trying to encapsulate an entire game after the fact, I decide to do all my note-taking on the blog tonight. This is not short of thoughts or details.

1st Quarter

8:55 (Heat lead 7-2) The Heat have gotten off to a hot start, and it kind of looks like the Wolves forgot how to play offense. No continuity on offense, lots of watching on defense.

8:14 (Heat lead 9-4) Is Luke Babbit playing good post defense on KAT? Is this a thing I don’t know about?

7:10 (Heat lead 14-10) This combo has “potential chemistry” written all over it.
https://gyazo.com/d987f364bea54105f62adbb386e42b9d

5:49 (Heat lead 19-14) Good god Hassan Whiteside has massive calves.

5:29 (Heat lead 22-14) The Heat are already 4/6 from three, and the Wolves don’t seem like they’re interested in slowing this down. Closeouts have been terrible.

0:39 (Heat lead 40-29) Mostly just added this to show how bad the Wolves’ D has been in this first quarter. Heat are shooting 6/8 from deep, 70 percent overall. Playing with all the heart early.

2nd quarter

12:00 (Heat lead 40-33) John Meyer of Canis Hoopus tells me Thibs says something along the lines of “40 f—in points?!?!” in the quarter break huddle.

8:54 (Heat lead 47-37) Ellington makes it Wayne again at the Target Center!!!!…I can’t help myself, I’m sorry.

7:10 (Heat lead 49-45) Tyus and Shabazz are leading a nice comeback. It’s lovely to see a productive bench from time to time. Now if only the starters could do their part….

(Also, it looks like Brandon Rush is taking LaVine’s rotation spot almost completely. Meaning, he’s the first guy to the bench in the 1st, and plays more with the reserves than any other starter)

5:24 (Heat lead 54-47) Wolves continuing to play A Tribe Called Quest, specifically this song. Their music choice is mostly…ahem….suspect, but this is dynamite (and also our recap music of the night).

2:57 (Heat lead 58-50) The Wolves’ fight seems to be back, but the Heat have been fighting all game, and aren’t relinquishing the lead.

0:00 (Heat lead 71-57) THE HEAT HAVE 71 POINTS AT HALFTIME. GUYS,

3rd Quarter 

(Missed the time/score) I gotta get the gif on that Whiteside shot attempt. As one person near me said. “You know what that tells you? No moves.” That said, 13 points on 5/9 shooting to this point. Moveless or not, Wolves not stopping him.

7:08 (Heat lead 78-70) 1. Wolves playing lazy defense. 2. Goran Dragic is 6-6 from deep, 11/13 overall and is playing out of his mind.

4:33 (Heat lead 84-77) Man, that KAT 3-pointer was badly needed. Wolves trying desperately to hold on.

0:00 (Heat lead 93-88) Wiggins was 2/8 in the first half for 6 points, was 6/8 in the 3rd quarter for 13 points. Looking much better.

4th Quarter

11:36 (Heat lead 93-88) Shot clock violation to start off the quarter, after a promising finish to the 3rd. Can’t get started like that.

11:06 (Heat lead 93-90) Rubio hits layup. This isn’t big news. The big news is that he went from the stationary bike, to the locker room, then back to the bike before checking back in. The injury bug is going around. Some people got nervous. Seems to be okay now.

10:13 (Heat lead 93-92) BELLY…………

9:15 (Heat lead 96-92) Dragic missed a 3!!!! (He was 7-7 before that)

5:29 (Heat lead 103-99) THINGS ARE HAPPENING!! Wolves defense, effort on the boards has improved. Need to keep taking good shots to complete the comeback.

4:52 (Heat lead 103-101) KAT gets board with chance to tie it up…but pushed Whiteside in the back. KAT’s face says he knew it too. This is intense.

1:41 (Heat lead 114-107) This was a 2 point game a mere couple minutes ago. Hero ball has ruined the Wolves’ chances. The Target Center is silent.

0:22.4 (Heat lead 114-113) WIGGINS WIGGINS WIGGINS

0:08.5 (Heat lead 114-113) Wiggins had the ball with 10 second, and decided a pull-up jumper was the best option. Questionable choice, but he’s had the hot hand. Whiteside at the line.

0:08.5 (Heat lead 115-113) Whiteside splits the FTs. Wolves with the ball. I’m guessing it’s going to Wig.

0:00 (Heat win 115-113) Not shockingly went to Wig. Right call, but I would have gone for the 3. He had the look. Oh well, good comeback.

 

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3 Responsesso far.

  1. Tom says:

    Another winnable game flushed down the tubes and it was the first half defense that made it difficult for them to mount a comeback. Seventy points in a half is certainly unacceptable. Even if Mike D’Antoni is your coach and you are scoring right along with them. With a Thibs as your coach, it is nearly sacrilege.

    The comeback was more sloppiness on Miami than Wolves playing lights out, and in the end, it was Wolves luck that bit them. Truly if not for bad luck, they would have no luck at all. Two wolves tip a rebound to the heat for a lay up. Belly makes a steal and throws it out of bounds. Tyus makes a nice play to get to the foul line and misses the first. Why does this continue to happen? Because they haven’t been here enough to know what to do.

    Wiggins should have shot the three at the end, but you could tell he was thinking that he won another game with a last second two. Instead of reading the play and seeing the best shot, he tried to get to his comfort spot and ended up taking a low percentage shot instead. This is where Zack would have been an assassin, but they should have won long before it came to this. They had the momentum with 8 minutes left, but they are so naive to this game, they couldn’t take over and the Heat are veteran enough not to give it to them.

  2. gjk says:

    This isn’t a playoff team. Even with the extremely lowered standard for getting in the West this season. The last 3 games have shown they’re not ready physically or mentally to play consistently.

    That first half offense and defense were both pathetic. In the second half, they showed that any team halfway taking the Heat seriously should beat them by double digits. Miami relies almost entirely on executing the scheme and hustle, so if the scheme is blown up, they’re relying on offensive rebounds. Even with that, they needed to shoot over 50% from 3 to win by 2.

    It seemed like the bench played well enough to warrant more minutes outside of Tyus. They gained ground in the 2nd and 4th quarters, and it was the only time all game that their offense looked functional. When Wiggins and Towns were in, it was a lot of “my turn” offense that mainly kept them in the game because the shots were falling.

  3. pyrrol says:

    Uggh, not much to say. This team is getting tiresome. Gjk put it well—this is simply not a playoff team, whether they miraculously slide in the 8th spot or not. They are not even close to a playoff team. You can see why Thibs is so committed to development mode over being highly competitive. At the same time, I feel basically that this team doesn’t really know how to win in the professional sense, and thus a key to developing them is to win—to find ways to win is how to teach them winning ways as much as theoretical ‘doing it the right way’ things that force us away from our strengths or distract us from more important things needed to win a game in front of our noses.

    Hard to know what is a player’s decisions and what a coach’s is… But at the end of this game, I liked that Rubio has the ball. Anyone could guess that Wiggins was going to get it (snore) but with Rubio starting with it that makes the D slightly unsure because he’s a great passer. I think that gave Wiggins a slight opening with the ball he would not have gotten with point Wiggins. Only problem was, he didn’t take the OK 3 look to win and instead took a terrible, super-contested 2 to tie. Was he instructed to dribble in and had to take a contested 2 because there was no opening? Or was he given a choice between a 2 or 3 or even told to take the 3 and ignored it? Either our end of game, marker bard coaching is that bad, or Wiggins’ decision making is that bad. Needless to say it was not encouraging.

    I’m just not a fan of the excessive minutes with Rubio and Jones together. I don’t know what is so hard about playing Jones the backup minutes and having a normal 5 position lineup while Rubio is out there in the second half. I’m not seeing the advantage. My only guess is that Thibs is preparing for when Dunn is back. Then he’ll likely (though he shouldn’t) take Jones’ backup PG minutes, but Jones can play some with another PG as part of replacing LaVine’s minutes.

    Wow, you can’t allow that kind of three point shooting and win. Our three point shooting was really bad, to make matters worse. LaVine being out is hurting us in this regard more than I expected already.

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