Heat-Cavs postscripts, reaction; Dan Campbell's thoughts, injury updates a day about Thursday's debacle; Dan Jennings reacts to dismissal
Lots of stuff on a Friday night:
Thoughts on Cleveland’s 102-92 victory against the Heat, which was a five-point game in the third quarter before the Heat unraveled and fell behind by 19:
### Mario Chalmers and Amar’e Stoudemire said this month that the Heat’s second unit could start for a lot of teams. Well, that’s a stretch to begin with, and certainly not remotely the case if the second unit defends as casually as it did Friday, and on nights Gerald Green is badly off with his shot.
Stoudemire, in his season debut, offered little resistance defensively, and ESPN's Hubie Brown said he must defend and rebound or Erik Spoelstra might instead opt for Chris Andersen, whose defense isn’t as strong as it once was, either. Andersen was inactive tonight.
Green, the Heat’s leading scorer in preseason and on opening night, struggled mightily (1-for-9, five points).
And so the Heat’s second unit, which extended Miami’s lead in the opener, instead lost ground, with Stoudemire finishing with a minus 16 plus/minus in 12 minutes, Justise Winslow a minus 16 in 19 minutes, Green a minus 18 in 16, and Josh McRoberts a minus 17 in 13 minutes.
Conversely, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varajao, Richard Jefferson and Matthew Dellavedova (10 assists, no turnovers) all had outstanding plus/minuses because they did much of their good work against Heat reserves.
"That's going to happen," Spoelstra said of the second unit's falloff. "Ultimately, someone will have to defend."
The Cavaliers were plus three when LeBron was on the bench, and that cannot happen if the Heat harbors any thoughts of challenging the Cavaliers this season.
LeBron scored 29 (13 for 19 from the field). And remember, Cleveland did this without injured Kyrie Irving.
### Hassan Whiteside had 11 points, 9 boards, 6 blocks and a career-high 2 assists in 36 minutes. "I thought he was great," Spoelstra said.
### With Green off the mark, the Heat predictably was woeful from beyond the arc (6-21) and shot 43 percent from the field overall. Cleveland shot 6 for 25 on threes but still won comfortably.
### There wasn’t enough from Goran Dragic (11 points, 6 assists, 3 for 9 shooting), who had his second consecutive quiet game offensively as he tries to get everyone involved.
"That's something I'll work on, make sure he's aggressive, get to spots where he feels confident and can make plays," Spoelstra said.
### Dwyane Wade had 25 points (on efficient 8 for 15 shooting) but also committed seven of the Heat’s 13 turnovers.
### As Hubie noted, Winslow “played LeBron perfectly twice; he wasn’t going for any of the pump fakes.” But LeBron still scored against him.
### The Heat, last in the league in rebounding a year ago, delivered a disappointing effort on the boards. Cleveland finished with a 49-38 advantage and Chris Bosh (16 points) had only five rebounds. Kevin Love (24 points, 14 rebounds) got the better of the power forward matchup.
"Love was always around the ball," Spoelstra said.
And Stoudemire had three boards, Thompson nine.
"They have three of the best rebounders in the league; they're just relentless," Bosh said.
### More from Spoelstra afterward: "If you're going to come into a building like this, you have to be able to defend. We couldn't put together enough tough possessions defensively. We didn't defend well enough to win on the road. Offensively, when the ball's not dropping, you have to find different ways to win and we weren't able to do that tonight. There were times we were organized and the ball was moving. That will improve. We have offensive talent."
### Bosh: "There's still a lot we have to learn as a unit and it's going to take time. We' ve got a long way to go."
### Wade: "This was a learning game. We'll build from it. They ran their offense great; give them credit. They did some things we hadn't seen. We'll be more prepared next time."
DAN CAMPBELL’S DAY-AFTER NEWS CONFERENCE
Here’s what Campbell had to say in his late-afternoon media session today:
### On losing Cam Wake for the season: "It’s a big loss. He’s going to be missed. It’s real big. Cam is a very, very productive player for us, one of our captains, one of our team leaders. Guys look up to him. It’s going to hurt. I talked to Cam last night. He’s a true pro. He’s disappointed but he’s holding his head high. He’s not going to let it drag him down."
### On replacing him: “We are fortunate to have a guy like Derrick Shelby who can step into that role and help us, among others. All those guys will pick up the slack for Cam or help us. We still got guys who can rush the passer --- [Ndamukong] Suh and [Olivier Vernon] and Shelby. Chris McCain can possible fill some of that role. And Earl Mitchell. We’ve got enough guys."
### He said there’s no timetable for Ja’Wuan James’ return from a toe injury but said he might miss four to six weeks and didn’t rule out surgery.
“This week doesn’t look good, don’t know how long he will be out. We’re looking at all the options. We know it’s not good, but don’t quite know how bad it is yet. That would be a big loss for us. Ja’Wuan has been playing good football for us, coming around like a second-year player should. Jason Fox will step in and will do a nice job for us.”
### On DeVante Parker, who left with a foot injury: “DeVante is fine. It doesn’t look like there’s anything that’s wrong there.”
### On his team’s mood, the day after a 36-7 loss at New England: “The mood of these players, and I could tell last night, you could tell the attitude was right. You could tell it burned at them. They knew they didn’t play well. They’re far better than what was put on tape.
"They’re going to be ready to come back Monday and work. You’ve got to come back and do what we’ve done the last three weeks, when we’ve been able to go full speed at practice. Get back to a competitive level and we’ll get our swagger back.”
### On reasons for Thursday’s loss: “More than anything, it was lack of production. I don’t see it as lack of emotion or lack of intensity. It was a production deal. We have one guy that would miss a block, or one guy here who didn’t make a good cut on a run or a dropped ball or a penalty.
“When you’re playing big games, your impact players really have to show up for you. We didn’t get enough plays out of those guys.
“You have to play sound smart football in all three phases. We did not do that. We didn’t help ourselves one bit. You can’t have mistakes we had. You can’t have two turnovers. You can’t have a holding call, you can’t miss a block here. I thought our defense did some good things, particularly early. We’ve got to find a way to move the ball, get it in the end zone."
### On the Dolphins’ third downs problems (2 for 11 last night): “The majority of those are third and long. I don’t care who you are. You get in 3rd and 10 plus, that’s a problem. That’s hard. That’s what we were living in the first four games of the season. We have to get more production on first and second down. We can’t have tackles for losses or no gains or incomplete passes.”
### On having a nine-day break before playing at Buffalo: “I’m glad we do have some time here; these guys need a break, need to heal up. This will serve us well. I’ll give myself maybe a day, spend it with the family, try to get to know them again. Plan on coming in [Saturday], gather my thoughts, look at Buffalo, look at what we want to do to prepare for Buffalo. That’s what I’m going to do [Saturday].”
Former Marlins manager and general manager Dan Jennings, dismissed by the team on Thursday, released a statement this afternoon:
“After 13-plus years with the Marlins organization, I received a phone call yesterday from David Samson and Mike Hill informing me that I was being relieved from my position as general manager. While this was certainly sad and regrettable news, I respect their prerogative to make changes and listen to new voices.
“It has been a fun ride during my time with the Marlins. Having the opportunity to serve as vice president of player personnel, general manager and field manager, and being part of the 2003 World Series championship.
“However, nothing is more special than the people. I would like to thank Mr. Loria and David Samson for employing me, and the wonderful Marlins office staff I was afforded the opportunity to work with. And most importantly, the Marlins players for their energy and effort and the opportunity to win their trust and respect this season. I wish the Marlins' players and the organization the best as we all move forward with our careers.”
### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz