Listen, ya'll need a reminder that things aint so bad... This was the Miami Heat. Clear Favorites. Recent Champions - who GOT BETTER! And, lets be honest, that whole team showed up last night and was on fire. They were vibing from the love-fest ring ceremony. It was a special night for them.
And a WEIRD night for us:
- KG was dealing with troubling emotions about the whole Game7 Loss, Ring Ceremony, and Treasonous Ray situation. He looked boderline Heinson out there. He was raging, not focused and not on his game. He said that everything was a blur - I think that he had to wall up in his own head and that hurt his ability to gel with our team
- It was a weird night for Jeff - who having to sit by and watch our team lose in game 7 on the sideline - having to come back and live up to all the hype - and having to re-start his NBA career in that setting against the best team in the league - couldn't handle it.
- It was a weird night for Sullinger - who could have been a better assett for us in that game and will be in the spring - with limited minutes as a rookie.
- We didn't have Wilcox or Darko to single-handedly hold down the paint when we go small and KG needs rest
- We didn't have Avery who ABSOLUTELY would not have allowed Wade to be the top scorer of the night
But we did see glimpses of a healthy and dominant Pierce, a burst from JET, double-doubles from Rondo & Bass. And you HAVE to be happy that Barbosa can still soar up and down the court, come off 3-quarters of bench warming and bring instant offense, and he is our 5th string guard! Lets rejoice - with all the factors working against us we kept it close and brought it to a 4pt game. What happened last night is that the entire league witnessed the top two teams in the East displaying just how good and dominant they are, while the "favorites" in the West lost to a mixed bag of free-agents with expiring contracts without their best two players, with hopes of just being able to sqeeze into the playoffs.
I am proud of out teams effort, and their post-game attitude of self-reflection and the need to continue to get better as a team and work on Defense, as five of our players are still new to the team and schemes.
THE ROAD TO 18 STARTED WITH A TOUGH LOSS - SO WHAT, WHO CARES? - BE HAPPY!