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Posted by Brian Mulligan on 11/17/2010 12:16:48 PM

All it took is one look at the face of Pat Riley as he watched his Miami Heat get thrashed by the Boston Celtics last Thursday.

The former L.A. Lakers player and coach and architect of not only this current Heat team but also of the 2006 NBA champion team from Florida was clearly peeved while watching the team he is president of have their collective heads handed to them by the Celtics. And on top of that he was taking fastidious notes.

The Celts were a 6 and a half point pups in the first game of the year vs. Heat but they blew open the first half, shot over 56% from the 3-point line, blocked 10 shots and forced 14 turnovers on their way to an 8-point happy ending.

It was déjà vu all over again as the Celts repeated what they did to Miami to open the season but the way they totally thumped the South Beachers exposed some holes in the Heat that will not easily be corrected.

First off, they need a quality point guard. Starter Carlos Arroyo would not start for many other teams in the league and fact he only played 10 minutes suggests the powers that be are well aware of his weaknesses.

Second, the Heat will be at a disadvantage down low all year. Chris Bosh was used to be the centerpiece of the offense at Toronto and got numerous touches on any given night. He was not responsible for guarding the basket or his own man all that much but was basically just a scoring machine.

That has all changed. He is the third option on this team and when players like Bosh, who is not used to hustling to get his own opportunities, has to work hard just to get a shot, they often look lost on the floor.

That is a major concern for a player that is paid just under $15 million a game.

Starting center Joel Anthony was all zeroes in the last game vs. Celts except for one number, his lone personal foul.

The backup center for the Heat is Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who followed LeBron from Cleveland and he has overcome foot problems to have a nice career. The bad news is he is a perimeter player and on the downside of his career.

Lastly, Miami is soft. Eddie House is just a shooter, so is the injured Mike Miller while Mario Chalmers has to beg for playing time and Jerry Stackhouse is only a few years away from Social Security.

Heat fans can hope that the team gels and that they start to trust each other on the court with more games under their collective belts but at the end of the day, these holes mentioned will still be there in June.

Bang For Your Buck

How would you like to be an owner that is paying a guy about $17 and a half million and see him get outplayed by a youngster that makes almost 5 times less a year?

Enter Knicks owner James Dolan, who coughed up that huge paycheck for Amar’e Stoudamire, who was thoroughly undressed by Kevin Love in a loss in Minnesota last week.

Love did something that had not been accomplished since 1982 when Moses Malone did the deed. Love posted a 31-point, 31-rebound outburst willing his team to victory.

Love, whose uncle is Beach Boys singer Mike Love, is no fluke. He is an old-school player that will be a corner stone player on a championship caliber team some day.



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