The Miami Heat have proved little in the postseason series against Atlanta except that they have what might be the worst supporting cast in the playoffs and that Dwyane Wade is not, in fact, make of nothing but titanium, wiring, and virility.
The Heat have failed to find a spark against the Hawks, save for an away victory early on, and they've been pretty putrid in back-to-back humiliating losses (which is to be expected on some level, because, well...they just aren't that good).
But there's a few glimmers of hope as they enter tonight's must-win situation.
Keys to the game:
- James Jones: and you thought we were going to say Dwyane Wade. Wade's back is reportedly feeling much better, and he'll play balls out as usual. But Jones has been this series' most consistent Wade-helper, and his scrappy play and above average offensive contributions mean he's stepping up where others aren't. So necessary.
- Intensity: yeah, it's coach-speak. But Wade is onto something when he notes that the young guys on the team need to start reaching their potential, and now. "I want to see our young guys play like its Game 6 of the playoffs. If ‘Rio [Chalmers] says he's won a national championship, well, I want to see him play like it. I want to see Michael [Beasley] play. It's not about making shots; it's about your intensity, it's about your focus. And I want to see our young guys tomorrow focused and playing with energy."
While they've been lackluster enough to be called out, this might happen just in time: Beasley actually came to life a bit in Game 5. Getting his bearings in the NBA afterlife? Now would be the time.
- Injuries: but not the Heat's -- Atlanta's starting forward Al Horford is out tonight with a sprained ankle. Carpe diem!
If the Heat play to their potential and take one back, they'll relieve not just a fan base but all who cover them. We feel a bit like our grandmother repeating the whole "Dwyane Wade is the Heat" thing over and over and over and over and...
Somebody in a Miami uniform that isn't No. 3 do something.
Any of you.