heat | bench struggles

Miami Heat’s bench not yielding much so far in NBA Finals

 
Loading...
 
Miami Heat guard Norris Cole in the first quarter. The Miami Heat hosts the San Antonio Spurs at the AmericanAirlines Arena for Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Miami on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
Miami Heat guard Norris Cole in the first quarter. The Miami Heat hosts the San Antonio Spurs at the AmericanAirlines Arena for Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Miami on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
Al Diaz / Staff Photo

grichards@MiamiHerald.com

The Heat takes a lot of pride in its bench, with reserves Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and Norris Cole playing big roles not only this postseason but in last year’s run to the championship, as well.

Tuesday, the Heat didn’t get a whole lot from its reserves.

Miami’s bench combined for 23 points as San Antonio took Game 3 of the Finals with a 111-92 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“We played OK,’’ said Norris Cole, who scored eight of those points, “but we lost so you’re not happy with that. We competed, but we didn’t make enough plays. They did.’’

For Cole, getting ready for Game 3 had to be tough. Earlier in the day, he got word that his personal chef, Antaun Teasley, 42, was shot and killed at club Mansion.

“It wasn’t tough to get up for the game, but [it] was a tough loss,’’ Cole said.

“[Teasley] has been very influential in my career. He fed me every day, made sure my body was right. My condolences go out to his family. But this is the NBA Finals, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was ready for the game.’’

On Tuesday, coach Erik Spoelstra went down the bench a little when he gave James Jones some early playing time, putting him in with 5:22 left in the first.

Prior to Tuesday, Jones had only played 6:49 in Sunday’s Game 2 win after not getting into the opener.

With three quick fouls, Jones lasted just 2:02.

Although Spoelstra had four of five reserves on the court early in the first quarter, even after the game had been decided late in the fourth, that was reversed.

Four of five starters remained on the floor with Miami down 17 — Allen was out there instead of Mario Chalmers.

With 1:36 left, Spoelstra finally emptied the bench, giving Greg Oden and Toney Douglas on the floor for the first time this series.

“It was a bad loss for us, it’s not about me getting into the game,’’ Oden said. “I would like to get in there when we’re up 17. But we’ll regroup, we’ll be better. This was a team loss. Every game is a new game, every day a new day. We always have a chance to win.’’

Spoelstra said before the game he had plenty of confidence in his reserves, noting that “at any time” a player could be thrown into the game. They are expected to be ready at all times.

Rashard Lewis, for instance, wasn’t playing very much for the Heat early in the playoffs but has since become a starter playing significant minutes.

“A lot of our reserves are able to make [a positive] impact,’’ Spoelstra said.

Read more Miami Heat stories from the Miami Herald

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category