Why the Heat must win this year
The Miami Heat, who famously came together two summers ago, indoor fireworks and all, are in a predicament. One could argue that Miami has the two best players in the world on one team, with a highly respectable Chris Bosh as its third option. When Miami lost to Dirk and the Mavs last year, it was arguable that the Heat just needed a year to bond and get things together. But, if they can’t win this year, it’s simply inexcusable.
And it will be hard to win, Chicago has been surging (even without Derrick Rose), Boston is healthy and rolling and Philly, the Pacers, and New York are all capable of doing some serious damage. Miami is 1-7 in their last eight road games against teams contending for a playoff spot. That stat lingers, hardcore. (see lingering here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7zaeyWCp0o)
When the Heat struggle to beat good teams, there’s no excuse, no satisfactory explanation. LeBron, Wade and Bosh knew the type of pressure that would come along with assembling their super team. And it doesn’t matter if it’s “just the regular season,” because you don’t see the other top contenders lackadaisically wandering through their schedule. If Miami can’t do it now, what’s there to make me believe the Heat will be able to do it in a high pressure situation like the playoffs?
We all know how LeBron does in clutch situations, this past All Star game included (yes, I’m going there). Even though it was an exhibition game, LeBron still didn’t want to take that last shot, even in a game that didn’t matter at all. Kobe and Melo even noticed that Lebron didn’t want the shot, and they were visibly dumbfounded by it. LeBron was depressed and disappointed in an “oh no, not again” type of way in a post game interview with Craig Sager and it showed me that his constant inability to be clutch, and the criticism that comes along with it, is really getting to him. (See the video of Kobe and Melo’s reactions here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61VUdYBvgz8)
The Heat have gotten throttled by the Rose-less Bulls, KD’s Thunder and most recently by their wily old foes, the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately for Miami, those three teams are who they will most likely have to beat in order for LeBron to finally get that ring. Those three teams also all possess a chunk of Miami’s kryptonite, a dominant point guard. Miami’s Norris Cole has fallen off as of late, he has not been playing well like he was before the All Star break. Mario Chalmers is spotty, and incapable of guarding Rondo, Westbrook and especially D Rose.
Yet, even though Miami lacks a respectable point guard, should it really even matter? They have LeBron, Wade and Bosh for Pete’s sake. Before they all actually got together, anyone with any basketball knowledge would have assumed those three on one roster meant a championship.
Wade seems to be more concerned with the latest fashion and Hublot watches than he is with winning a championship. While LeBron is the best (regular season) player in the league, and the leading candidate for this year’s MVP, he lacks what Kobe and KD have. Durant and Kobe seem to have a pure love for the game and they embrace the pressure, they shine in the spotlight. LeBron doesn’t embrace the pressure, he’s scared of it. He strays away from the spot light like one of those old pasty vampires in a black and white movie. Maybe Spoelstra should start wearing a garlic clove necklace.
Now, this post will be completely irrelevant if Miami wins in a few months, but I sincerely believe they won’t do it. I can’t see them beating Boston and/or Chicago in an intense series, and then also eventually beating the Spurs/Thunder/Lakers in The Finals (a place where LeBron becomes his alter-ego, LeBrick). But, there is an angle that I haven’t addressed yet, the coach.
Maybe it isn’t LeBron’s fault that he can’t finish a game. Maybe he isn’t being inspired. As soon as the “Big 3” were assembled, people questioned whether Erik Spoelstra was capable of handling that much star power. I honestly think he isn’t. Every NBA dynasty has had a legendary, demanding coach. Whether it was Phil Jackson, Popovich, Auerbach or Riley, all those coaches knew how to handle super stars and get it done. Can anyone ever see Spoelstra’s name up in those extremely bright lights? I know I can’t, it’s hard to imagine that ever happening. And if the Heat ever want to win their “not six, not seven,” but eight or more championships, like LBJ so famously stated, the Heat need a coach that demands some serious respect. The Heat need someone who isn’t afraid to tell D-Wade to stop doing photo shoots and attending fashion shows, someone like their GM, Pat Riley (hint, hint).
But, whatever the excuse, I’m tired of hearing it from Miami and its supporters. The Heat have three of the world’s very best players on one team, it’s time to either put up or shut up. If Miami can’t win this year, they will be on the verge of becoming the NBA’s version of Rex Ryan, promising a ring and failing to deliver. Two years is honestly enough time to judge LeBron and Miami, no team has ever had that much talent without winning, they’ve had a year to bond and mesh. No more excuses. Also, the “it took MJ seven years to get a ring” argument is starting to become a little stale, LeBron is in his eighth year right now, pretty soon that reasoning will be irrelevant.
I honestly hope that Miami wins a championship this year because I’m tired of people, like myself, complaining/talking/blogging about how puzzling and frustrating King James and the Heat are. So, LeBron, do us all a favor and get that ring so we can all go back to our old, problem filled lives. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKj3Zwcy7ME)