Category: Main News Published on Monday, 22 April 2013 04:45 Written by CNN
Page 7 of 8
What Does the Heat's Extra Playoff Gear Look Like?
Here's what we know: The Miami Heat are good.
Here's what we don't know: How much better can they be?
Miami treated its playoff-opening tilt against the Milwaukee Bucks very much like most of its typical regular-season games. There were scoring lulls, some occasionally sloppy play and a pretty reserved (yet still brilliant) effort from LeBron James.
Save for a 7-0 burst in the third quarter that was punctuated by a ridiculous wrong-footed dunk by James and a follow-up slam by Chris Andersen, Miami was on cruise control.
In other words, the Heat played as well as they needed to, but there's no way they played as well as they could have. Considering that the final result was a 110-87 Miami win, that's saying something.
It's easy to forgive the Heat for coasting against the Bucks. Milwaukee's inefficient offense and reliance on difficult shots hardly makes them a threat to do more than narrowly avoid a four-game sweep. If the Heat have an extra gear, they aren't going to need it in this series.
Plus, the Heat spent their highly successful regular season coasting. There's an awful lot of recent evidence that shows they don't need to exert maximum effort to win games.
That's fine for now. But at some point—probably against an opponent that actually belongs in the playoffs—the Heat will have to find that extra gear.
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