Yes, they're also known as the Miami Heat, but since this is Celtics Life, I'd prefer the title of this post to be placed that way.
And since this is one of those much-awaited games that I know even a lot of Celtic fans witnessed, I can't help but make some interesting observations on the Heat's first pre-season game against the Pistons.
- It was a jam-packed American Airlines Arena when the game started. It's obvious a lot of people are hyped up to see the South Beach Version of the Big Three take off and be an instant hit. After 3 minutes in the first period however, Wade suffered a hamstring and had to did not play the rest of the game.
- In the second half with the Heat leading by more than 20 points, commentators Marv Albert, Chris Webber and our very own Kevin McHale noticed that a lot of people have already gone out of the arena, leaving a lot of empty seats and along with that, thoughts as to how committed the Heat's fan base are going to be this season.
- Miami was given the go-signal by coach Erik Spoelstra to consciously and consistently use their athleticism and post play to punish opposing teams. It was much evident in this game.
- The largest lead of the game was 22 by the Heat in the third quarter. The Pistons were able to narrow it down to 14 late in the period. But after Spoelstra called a time-out, Miami restored order with an 8-0 run led by Arroyo, James and Bosh. The latter two sat out in the final quarter.
- Detroit had one last run in the fourth, inching close by 13, but eventually ran out of gas.
- Though he only had 4 assists, LeBron appears as if he'll be playing the role of point guard in late game situations throughout this season (mental note to Rondo). James' tallied 18 points in 27 minutes of play.
- Chris at one stretch got hot and shot jumper after jumper via his pick-and-pop game. He mentioned after the game that he's more comfortable now with his game thanks to guys like Mike Miller and others who allow him to pick his spots. He ended up with 20 points and 6 rebounds in 26 minutes.
- At their best offense, the Heat are able to give good open looks to their 3-point shooters, Miller and Chalmers. If these guys are able to connect (add to that Eddie House), that's going to be a problem.
- Looks like they got the memo to play defense after all, as I've seen some good defensive and hustle plays in the game. Still, they got a huge mountain to climb. But impressive effort.
- The Heat won, 105-89. They're supposed to. Even after Wade struck out in the first period. But as Couper Moorhead said in this game's preview, "the preseason is all about getting things right internally, not matching up with specific opponents. This is especially true for the first game, when a team simply needs to lay a foundation for the steps they need to take over the next three weeks."
Congratulations to the Heat. We really want this team to be at its best come opening night at TD Garden for their first "measuring game". And of course, the Celtic's have to do their own part.
Looking forward to Boston's first preseason game against Philadelphia in less than two days.