You don’t have to go back very far to remember a time when the Miami Heat weren’t exactly the full-throttle juggernaut that they are today. Take March 19th, 2008, for example:
54 points. Against the Toronto Raptors, of all teams. This was the third-lowest score since the implementation of the shot-clock. What does that look like on a shot-chart? It looks like this:
More “X’s” than the niche emporiums that you might see driving through Fort Lauderdale or something. If you think that graphic is depressing, go back and narrow it down, quarter-by-quarter. The image of the final period’s makes and misses is the type of thing that gives basketball stat-nerds nightmares. So horrifying, in fact, that I don’t even have the heart to post it.
The AP summed it up nicely. Somehow, in the city that has played home to the Raptors for years, I found a headline that coupled the AWAY TEAM with unparalleled garbage:
This really wasn’t much of a shock at the time (if I recall correctly). This was not a lineup that featured Lebron, D-Wade, Zo, Shaq, Seikaly, Rice, Coles, etc. No, no… this was during the short-lived Barron-Blount Era:
Clearly, if anyone deserves some credit nowadays, it’s Joel Anthony and/or Udonis Haslem, for standing strong and suffering through the tough times. Also, Chris Quinn went the full 48. Not everyday that you hear that one.
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t the best night for a future Heat-big-name:
… and, amazingly, he was probably happier back then.
– Wes Lilliman