It began, inauspiciously but appropriately, with a Chris Bosh turnover.
That would be a harbinger of a night of incompetence.
The Heat’s defensive deficiencies in Game 4? Hardly surprising, considering the lapses and miscues we witnessed the first three games of these Finals.
But this dreadful display on offense — 12 for 34 first-half shooting (35.3 percent) , 45 percent for the game — was unexpected and uncharacteristic, considering the Heat shot 50.5 percent in the first three games of this series and this season became the first team since the 2007-08 Phoenix Suns to make at least half its shots.
In Game 4, Heat players couldn’t stick open threes. They couldn’t finish in the paint (4 for 15 in the first half). They looked rushed, sloppy and disjointed offensively. They closed with as many turnovers as assists (13).
“We got great, great shots and just missed,” Bosh said. “Dwyane [Wade] and LeBron [James] missed a couple of layups. Ray Allen missed a couple open threes. That’s what’s tough about this. … It’s jarring. I didn’t expect this at all. It’s discouraging. They are taking us out of everything we’re doing.”
Carmelo Anthony, please pick up the white courtesy telephone. But you will need to leave $40 million-plus on the table over the next four years if you want to hook up with your buddy James in Miami. And if Anthony — who would help only offensively — proves an unrealistic target, a young, athletic, affordable wing player is sorely needed.
Wade, whose mid-range game was immaculate all season, missed a bunch of makeable shots (1 for 7 in the paint in the first half), lacked lift and opened 1 for 10 before closing 3 for 13, with three turnovers, on a 10-point night.
Consider that Chalmers entered Game 4 as the first starter in 30 years to play at least 50 minutes, score 10 points or fewer and shoot 25 percent over the first three games of an NBA Finals.
Rashard Lewis? A forgettable night: 1-for-4 shooting in 16 minutes. Spoelstra replaced him with Ray Allen to start the second half.
Bosh? He opened 3 for 4 in the first quarter, then shot 2 for 7 the rest of the night, finishing with an underwhelming 12 points and four boards.
Other observations from Game 4:
Beasley averaged 25.2 points per 48 minutes this season, which was 54th in the league, but wasn’t even in uniform Thursday.