The Miami Heat started Sunday night's game against the Houston Rockets looking like a bucket of urine cakes. It was listless and lethargic, and its offense was stuck in the mud. While Houston came out guns blazing, hitting threes and attacking the Heat with a frenetic defense, Miami went 0-for-9 on all of its three-point-shot attempts in the first half. Goran Dragic looked perplexed, as if he had just learned what a basketball was, and Luol Deng was missing gimme layups. By the time the first half was over, the Heat were down 21-points and the Rockets were masters of their domain.
And then Udonis Haslem got angry.
Several Heat players told the media that Haslem ripped into his teammates in a halftime tirade that was more like a rebuke than an actual speech. Haslem hurled expletives, then threw a bunch of water bottles for good measure. Haslem, who is known as the tough-as-nails heart and soul of the Miami Heat, didn't play a single minute in Sunday night's game. But he didn't need to. His veteran presence, experience, and the fact that he's been known to make grown men shit their pants by just sneering at them was all the Heat needed to wake up from its lethargic play.
“Guys know how I am and who I am," Haslem told the media following the game. "At times, I can be harsh, but it’s a harsh reality. We come in here and work hard every day and put so much time and effort into certain things, so to watch us go out there and not let that manifest itself on the court — I just thought we were selling ourselves short. I made a point to the vets that there are so many guys on this team who know how to win and have won on this level, and we’ve gotta set a better example for these young guys and show them how hard it is to win in this league.”
Harder still is to not come out and want to ram a fist into an opposing player's chest cavity and pull out his still-beating heart like Mola Ramm after getting a talking-to from Udonis Haslem.
And that's just what the Heat did (figuratively, of course).
Miami came out for the second half and set Houston's 21-point lead ablaze, collected the ashes, stuffed them inside a paper bag, lit the paper bag on fire, and then shot it out of a canon into the sun.
According to Haslem, the tirade was 75 percent filled with expletives, which is a shitload of F-bombs and just enough to spur the team into wanting to not suck.
And the results were pretty amazing.
Coming out in the second half, their ears still stinging and their asses still sore from the Haslem admonition, the Heat exploded all over the Rockets.
Hassan Whiteside and Dwyane Wade connected for all of the alley-oops.
Chris Bosh blocked shots and roared like a dinosaur.
CB knows how to make this building erupt. (Fox Sports Sun) pic.twitter.com/1hjBytZ0k1— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) November 2, 2015
Chris Bosh dunked the ball and roared like a dinosaur.
Hassan Whiteside ended what is known around these parts as the HOBOFLOP.
And Tyler Johnson once again proved that just because someone looks like a 12-year-old boy doesn't mean that he can't destroy souls on the basketball court.
Yep, @RealTJohnson getting it done on both ends of the floor tonight.
The Heat was able to erase a 20-point deficit, lead by a 29-9 run that set Houston reeling.
After such a listless first half in which it couldn't hit a three and allowed Marcus Thorton to morph into Michael Jordan, the Heat would end up outscoring the Rockets 65-23 in the second half.
Whiteside led all scorers with 25 points and 15 rebounds, while Wade added 20 points and Bosh 10. Justise Winslow continued to shine, shutting down the Rockets defensively and hitting a three-pointer late in the game.
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The Heat would end up sending the Rockets home with a 109-89 beatdown.
The moral of the story: Make Udonis Haslem angry before every game.
Heat should remove all photos of LeBron and plaster whatever it is Haslem said all over Championship Alley instead.— #Danny (@DanGnajerle) November 2, 2015