Miami recovered from an abysmal performance two nights ago against Chicago to prove that it really WAS just one night. The Heat looked very much improved, like a team that actually found their focus, and beat back the Nets, 91-85.
Shaq was the Big Diesel once more. Shaq went for 21 points and 9 boards. Wade chipped in 17 points and James Posey and Gary Payton hit a few critical 3s in the last minutes of the game.
As he always does, Vince Carter did well against the Heat. Carter had 27 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal.
I saw this coming from the opening tip. Not necessarily that Miami would WIN, but that we'd see a much better effort. See, it really was just the emotion of ring night. Other than Shaq, how many of those guys were getting rings for the first time? "It's hard to go from happy-jolly to kill em' all," Shaq said of the sudden change in emotions on Ring Night.
This team will be fine, even without Jalen Rose (perhaps the first athlete to announce his choice in new team on A BLOG!). We may see a trade made (personally, I doubt Doleac is here much past the point he proves he's healthy), but it will just be slight tweaking.
Another positive sign was that young guys got significant minutes. And this was in a game that was close down to the final seconds, so it wasn't garbage time. Dorell Wright saw 16 minutes, and Jason Kapono saw 15 minutes. Barron, Simien, and Quinn DNP, and Robert Hite was not listed in the box score (it's possible he was moved to a non-roster list to make room for Jalen Rose, should he have signed here).
Now, let's keep the good things going. Let's hang a loss on the 2-0 Sixers.