The Heat desperately needed a win last night after losing three consecutive games. The Heat defeated their division rival Washington Wizards 99-90. The Heat normally don’t lose consecutive games, but when LeBron James is struggling to score, that’s what happens.
Before last night’s game, James was coming in only scoring 58 points combined in his last three games after scoring 61 against the Charlotte Bobcats.
I’ve never seen James look as bad on the court as he did during the last three games. James couldn’t make a shot outside the paint and his shots were even uncontested because teams were letting him shoot.
The game I was most disappointed in James came against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon. When the game was close and the Heat needed a basket, James would settle for a jumpshot. I kept yelling at the television, telling James to drive to the basket.
Last night’s game against the Wizards was not only important for the Heat, but for James as well.
James looked a lot better last night. During a stretch late in the first half, James scored ten straight Heat points. James seemed to have his shot back as well because I FINALLY saw him make a shot from outside the paint. However, Dwyane Wade came through in the fourth quarter when the game was tight. Wade scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Heat to victory. James led all scorers with 23 points and Chris Bosh chipped in 22 points as well. Also, this was only the third time Wade appeared in back-to-back games this season.
During their three game losing streak, the Heat missed a perfect opportunity to take over the number one spot in the Eastern Conference. The Indiana Pacers are currently on a four game losing streak and are starting to look disheveled on the court. Even though the Heat say the number one seed is not important to them, I don’t think they really mean that. After winning last night, the Heat are within one game of the Pacers. The Pacers and Heat have two remaining regular season games against each other and whoever wins those two games will most likely get the number one seed.
The recent struggles of the Heat have worried me a little. The Heat looked tired during their three game losing streak. The Heat had no source of offense with James struggling to score and their defense wasn’t up to par. When the playoffs start, the Heat can’t have an on and off switch, they need to be playing hard all the time. However, I can see the Heat not playing at their peak performance during the first two rounds of the playoffs because they will be looking ahead to the Conference Finals. I hope that doesn’t happen, but if James continues to struggle from outside the paint, it will be an even tougher road back to the NBA Finals.