|Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 24 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -10I expected more, but Amir also appears to be banged up still. There just wasn’t a big impact from him in this one, though he remains the team’s most capable help defender by a long shot.|
|Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 24 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -12He started out doing a fair job on LeBron James, but Casey quickly lost faith. On the other end, Ross was largely invisible.|
|Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 32 MIN | 7-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -13JV was pretty damn impressive, continuing an on-and-off trend in March. He shot well, he did a good job getting position in the post, and with the exception of one traveling violation, he handled Miami’s soft-doubles well. He also made good use of “verticality” on a LeBron drive late, altering the shot.|
|Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 26 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 11 PTS | -19Kyle Lowry wasn’t playing particularly well before he got hurt (see below), and he was visibly frustrated with the officiating. Still, as he goes, we go, so cross your fingers, and then cross those crossed fingers over other crossed fingers, and weave those into a “Get Well Soon” pillow.|
|DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 8-14 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -8DeRozan had an excellent first half, shooting 5-of-7 with four dimes. He went just 3-of-8 in the second half, though, and the lack of whistles early seemed to get to him, rendering him far less aggressive than he has been and should be.|
|Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 8 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3He was rusty in his first game back and hardly played in the second half, whether due to soreness or ineffectiveness. He brought some nice energy early, at least, but it’ll be a few games before he’s “back.”|
|Chuck Hayes, PF Shot Chart 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3This is just not a team you use Chuck Hayes against. It’s not his fault, really, he just only has utility in very specific situations.|
|John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 19 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +6Go away and never come back.|
|Landry Fields, SF Shot Chart 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5Hey, he IS alive. This grade remains incomplete, but let’s see what he can do down the stretch here.|
|Steve Novak, SF Shot Chart 26 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +3For a while we got Novakaine instead of plain old Steve Novak. Like a few others tonight, he did what he does – hit threes and try not to be a disaster on defense. That’s a lot tougher when an opponent has an athletic four, though.|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | +6While his handle is still a little loose of late, Vasquez tried his best to step into the Kyle Lowry role in the fourth, scoring eight points with a lone turnover. One assist hurts, but take what you can get here – the backup had to step into a major role and he didn’t fall flat on his face.|
|Nando de Colo, PG Shot Chart 11 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2Has anyone else noticed he looks like mini-JV on the floor? He did what he does, but it’d be nice if he started flashing that 3-point stroke.|
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | Not sure why Hansbrough is this deep in the doghouse, especially in a game where his foul-drawing ability would have been useful.|
There’s not a whole lot you can do against the Heat. Casey tried multiple looks on LeBron James, but my feeling is that he went away from Terrence Ross too early and, as has been driving me crazy, rode John Salmons far too much. At least he showed a willingness to try different things, even dusting off Landry Fields.
Five Things We Saw
- Kyle Lowry banged knees with LeBron James chasing an offensive rebound in the first half. While the played through it for a while, he did not play in the fourth quarter, with the team only announcing he had a “sore knee.” Literally nothing from this game matters except for this.
- Cover LeBron James one-on-one, he scores.
- Cover LeBron James one-on-one with two help defenders in the paint, he scores, And-1.
- Double-team LeBron James, he finds a teammate for an open three.
- For what it’s worth, the Heat are now atop the Eastern Conference. For those of you unbelievably looking ahead to the second round of the playoffs (and please stop), that means the Raptors really want 3rd now, as Indy seems a far more favorable match-up.