Riley Costs Miami A Win
Pat Riley wasted Jwil's 20+ point effort, and cost Miami a victory today in Detroit where they lost 94-88. There aren't many games you can blame a coach on during the season (unless we are talking Yankee baseball), but this one is squarely on Slick's head.
The Heat led most of the way in this one. In the first half, Miami was killing the Pistons on boards and in the paint. Their defense was stout, too. They held the Pistons to 13 points in the first quarter. The starters for Miami opened up a ten point lead in the second quarter, but the reserves came in and Pistons went on a 16 to 2 run to close the gap. You can thank Gary Payton and Antoine Walker for that. By halftime, Miami had a 46-41 advantage.
Jason Williams and Shaq both had 13 points for the Heat at the half. Jwil was having his way for the second straight game against Chauncey Billups. He was blowing by the Detroit guard at will, and finishing at the rim. Jwil was dominating Billups so badly that they switched him off Williams and had Rip Hamilton guard him. At the other end of the court, Williams was playing solid D on Billups. Mr. Big Shot finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three turnovers. Jwil finished with 21 points on 7 for 9 shooting and three assists.
As the game went on, the game got closer. Late in fourth quarter, the Pistons tied the game and then took the lead thanks to some Miami turnovers because Payton, Walker, Posey and Jones can't handle a full-court press.
Why wasn't Jwil bringing the ball up the court, you ask. Ask Riley.
For some reason, Jwil was sitting on the bench. After the second turnover, Slick put Jwil back in the game, where he was quickly pressured and turned the ball over on a questionable offensive foul call.
The three TO's weren't pretty, and cost the Heat the lead and probably the win, but the game wasn't over yet. The Heat kept it close, but wasted too many possessions dumping the ball down to Shaq. Meanwhile, Jwil didn't attempt a shot.
Questionable play calling? Wait to you hear this.
With the Heat down four with 30+ seconds left, the Heat call a timeout so that Riley can draw up a play. The Heat didn't need a three, a quick two would have been fine. The Heat come out of the timeout and the play that Pat Riley calls is for WALKER!! Are you kidding me? Walker gets the ball, fakes a three, than jacks one up. It's a horrible shot that's not even close. The long rebound finds Walker again. He tries to jack up another tippy-toe-three, but steps out of bounds, resulting in a turnover. With the Heat down six, and about six seconds left in the game Walker was able to turn the ball over one more time.