I scribbled many notes while watching us dismantle Miami, my thoughts are as follows...
Calls - I saw hardly any bad calls, at least nothing as bad as i was expecting, i thought Wade would continue his FT dominance but that was'nt the case. It was god to see the refs call a fair game and the points i made in the offseason about an increased level of respect for our club due to the addition of Wallace and Hinrich getting talked up was clearly evident.
I saw Ben cross up Walker, get hacked and no call and one bad call on Kirk for a 'foul' on Jezus Wade when he had his arms straight up in the air, Tyrus had 2 quick harsh foul calls but thats what you expect as arookie, he'll have to get used to that and Noc's quick T was petty but seems to be the way the NBA is going. They did the same with one on Wade later on..
There was also a few BS flop calls won by Miami....i hate that sh*t though Noc won one of his own later.
1st night nerves? - Could be true of both teams in the 1st qtr with the awful shooting woes. Thereafter we were fine, they went into a funk they could'nt get out of (apart from early in the 3rd qtr). But we wasted our chances early, we led by 6 after 1...it should've been 16.
Aggressiveness, energy, FT's - Man we were going to the basket hard early, Lu and Lil Ben especially, that was good to see, i saw at least 2 slashes and dunks from Deng...He was looking active and aggressive all night.
Stifling D - Well if our D was good last year it looks even better if this game is an indicator. We seemed to play a pretty similar style of D, quick rotations, hand in the guys face all the time, quick to loose balls, hardly allowing any 2nd chance pts, etc...but magnified and without resorting to silly fouls. And we now have 2 top shot blockers to give the paint even more protection. It got to a poitn where the Heat just did'nt know how to score. I'm wagering that happens to many other teams when facing us this year.
Pace & Tempo - I noticed we were pushing the ball early and throughout the game, it's what we expected and definitely the right way to go and we started the 2nd really sharply doing just that.. We sure made the Heat look old and slow at times.
The Rookies - Could'nt fault them. Ty looked athletic, sharp and unfazed by his opps. That tip dunk was beautiful especially as a Heat player pushed him under the basket as he went for the ball. It's nice to have a guy who can do stuff like that again. His athelticism was also on view with his blocks and when skying for boards. He seems to hustle real hard as does Thabo....though he (TS) was playing against scrubs mainly he still looked impressive.
Apart from being picked clean by D-Wade i thought Thabo looked right at home in the NBA, his steal and breakaway jam + the FT was pretty impressive and he looks to have a good form on his jumper.
Ty's broken nose kinda sours things a bit though
Kirk & Ben - After a horrible 1st qtr Kirk carried us offensively the rest of the way, he looked like one of the better PG's in the league (which we know he is), making the right decisions nearly all the time, hitting a mix of jumpers and drives, getting to the line some, and only 3 dimes but then he was carrying the scoring load so thats ok. And he was over-dribbling at times but a la Nash he manages to keep his dribble alive seemingly all the time.
Ben was the only real off guy last night. His shot was'nt falling but he still managed to get to the line, he drove a good number of times but too often lobbed up a floater instead of penetrating deeper into the paint, absorbing contact and drawing a foul and/or making a layup. We know he's a streaky shooter and seems to have no problem with the new ball as proved by his demolition of Toronto last week. He'll be fine.
The rest - Duh had one of his streaky hot noghts, man he was on fire before reinjuring his foot, the bench played well in the 2nd half, Noc, Krappa, Allen, etc all played hard and did'nt let the starters down.
Hopefully we don't let down our guard in Orlando tonight, i'm sure Skiles will keep the guys feet on the ground and reassure them it was just 1 game.