Dwyane Wade appeared to have a particularly frustrating night on Monday as the Miami Heat lost to the Utah Jazz. In the third quarter, a Jazz fan apparently got under Wade’s skin so much that he asked arena staff to have him removed from the game. Miami was trailing by 20 at the time, and Wade watched the entire fourth quarter of the 104-97 loss from the bench.
He was not the only star who was not given a chance to contribute down the stretch. Erik Spoelstra also decided to bench Chris Bosh for the final quarter, only bringing him back in for a meaningless 40 seconds to close out the game. Spoelstra went with a lineup of LeBron James, Joel Anthony, Rashard Lewis, Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers for more than 11 minutes in the fourth. Why?
“(They) seemed to have enough pep in their step,” Spoelstra told reporters after the game, via the Palm Beach Post. “They turned that deficit around so quickly, that it was really an easy decision to keep them in there during the middle of the fourth quarter. Then you’ve got to make some tough decisions down the stretch.”
Was it a disciplinary move? Did Spoelstra feel as though Wade and Bosh had checked out and were not putting forth the necessary effort to warrant minutes? Wade had very little to say when asked if he was surprised he did not touch the court in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I just always try to stay ready. Coach makes the calls. I’m just a player.”
Bosh essentially said the same, adding that he doesn’t dwell on decisions like that but was ready for a call that never came.
The Heat have lost three of their first four games on their current six-game road trip, failing to score more than 97 points in each of the losses. They are an impressive 16-3 at home this season but only 8-9 on the road. Miami has appeared to lack energy any time it plays away from the AmericanAirlines Arena, and it appears that Spoelstra feels Bosh and Wade have been part of the problem rather than the solution.Google+