Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Miami Heat?
Before the NBA season started, it was a foregone conclusion that the Miami Heat, with it’s nucleus of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, would trot to the NBA Finals and give the Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money. Some even said they could make a legitimate run at a 70-win season, last done by the Chicago Bulls back in the 95-96 NBA season. Today, the Miami Heat stand with a record of 8-5 and sit a game-and-a-half behind first-place Orlando. While it can be argued the team is still getting to know each other on the court, it must certainly be alarming to those that assumed the NBA was in for a massacre.
Let’s get this out of the way now: The Miami Heat will be fine come playoff time. However, they won’t be the juggernaut many anticipated. Already, the Heat have shown there are chinks in the armor that Wade, Bosh and James cannot protect. Their depth is about as shallow as a baby pool right now. Bosh hasn’t exactly played like he’s worth $80 million. They’re getting killed on the boards (ranked 19th in the league) while losing top rebounder Udonis Haslem to injury until at least the All-Star break. They have lost to three teams with stellar point guards (Boston twice, Utah and New Orleans) and showed that one injury can make them look very normal (hence their loss to a relatively mediocre Memphis team). Needless to say, there are some major problems needing to be fixed before there’s talk about them competing with the Lakers.
I often argue “What if Miami doesn’t have a better record than Cleveland did at the end of the season?” People who said LeBron needed to leave tend to forget the Cavs had the best record in the NBA last year at 61-21. They simply didn’t have the right coach to push them along in the playoffs. Remember the Lakers before Phil Jackson? Exactly. LeBron’s bolting for South Beach along with Chris Bosh sounded like championship time, but they never really put the right pieces around the big three for them to be considered a real threat. Do they have the potential to win? Absolutely. But they are going to have to possibly replace coach Erik Spoelstra if he can’t get his band of merrymen to play better basketball sooner than later. They are most certainly going to have to add another piece in the middle to help with their size disparity.
Everyone was initially scared of the big bad Heat, but now it appears that the supermen are nothing more than mere mortals.
We’ll see what happens after 41 games.