Here I am again having just watched the San Antonio Spurs dismantle the Miami Heat for the second straight game of the NBA Finals. From the very beginning, the Spurs seemed to have an edge. They came out and played much more aggressively than the Heat did and took an early lead the Heat could never overcome. LeBron James showed flashes, specifically in the third quarter, of why he is the best in the world, but looked fairly human tonight as Kahwi Leonard held him in check. However, Leonard went off and landed himself a double-double. He threw down some massive dunks and looks like everything has fallen into place. He is quietly leading the Spurs attack right now. Tony Parker also played light out on offense scoring 20 points and shooting 53 percent from the field. Dwayne Wade had an awful shooting night, but played well defensively despite that.
Here are some of the other things I noticed though during the game. First LeBron looks sluggish on defense. He makes his fair share of great plays, but has several others where he just doesn’t make any play at all. For what it is worth, he had the worst plus/minus ratio of anybody on his team at -21. The Heat’s defense has dropped since LeBron and Chris Bosh came to town. Maybe it’s about time LeBron got mad about it and made some more plays on defense.
Secondly, there was something up with the scoreboard operator tonight. I think he or she was a little trigger-happy or just started assuming the Spurs would make shots. At least three separate times tonight, the scoreboard on ESPN would add an extra point after a missed free throw by the Spurs, and then three seconds later correct it. Nothing really relevant, I just thought it was both funny and interesting.
Lastly, and this is the major point I want to get to, Miami in recent days has been linked to potential free agent Carmelo Anthony, who is currently a member of the New York Knicks. The thought is Miami wants to take a stab at getting Melo to come to South Beach to play for a contender and win a couple of championships. Here is the thing, that doesn’t solve anything.
Melo is capable of playing both the three and the four (small forward and power forward) and is mainly known for being an offensive scoring threat. He has often been criticized for his lack of hustle and effort on defense. Now, LeBron James is capable of playing both the three and the four and I think has been struggling a bit defensively of late. Where does getting a player who has the same player type as a guy you already have help you? I just don’t see the logic. The Heat need some help defensively. Melo does not bring that to the table.
What the Heat have a pressing need for is a point guard. They need a floor general who can play stingy defense and make a couple of shots when needed down the stretch. I listened to the announcers talk about the Heat playing without a point guard at times and I really didn’t think the Heat played very well. Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole simply are not cutting it. The Heat always seem to find good players to rotate in as big men but they are in desperate need of a true point guard. Clearly, they would never be available, but players like Paul George or Rajon Rondo come to mind here. They are great on ball defenders that would give a point guard like Tony Parker hell and they distribute the ball nicely, Rondo more so than George. They could look to address this need in the draft (Elfird Payton or Shabazz Napier perhaps) or, more likely for the Heat, in free agency.
I just hope this is something the Heat realize during the off-season. I watched them play tonight thinking, “How good could they be if they had someone feeding LeBron and Wade and Bosh who wasn’t missing jump shot after jump shot (Chalmers)?” This team needs to add a point guard to fix their inefficiencies. So this is a message to you Miami, don’t sign Melo. Just get a true point guard and then we will see how good the Heat could really be. Especially LeBron. He hasn’t had a decent point guard since Mo Williams back in Cleveland. It’s about time to give the man some help. I hope that Pat Riley thinks so too.