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What’s Wrong With LeBron James & The Miami Heat Right Now?

Submitted by on November 12, 2013 – 1:08 pm2 Comments

If the Miami Heat have any chance of winning their third straight NBA title, they’re going to have to start playing better. Through the first seven games of the 2013-14 NBA season, the Heat are just 4-3 and have lost to a few teams who aren’t expected to make much noise this season, including the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. Furthermore, they haven’t looked all that dominant in any of their games. And why are they struggling? It seems they aren’t playing with the intensity that they need to play with on defense. LeBron James recognizes this and wants it to change ASAP.

“It’s simple,” he said recently, “these first seven games, we’re playing like s— defensively. It’s that simple. We’re not a sugarcoat team. We came in and got right down to it. We’re terrible on defense, and we’ve got to change that.”

LeBron is right, too. The Heat have played like, well, “s—” on the defensive side of the ball so far this season. They’re 25th in the NBA in points allowed per possession and 26th in field goal defense. So while they lead the league in offensive efficiency and have scored a ton of points this season, they’re not getting the job done on defense. It’s something that has to change if the Heat want to three-peat this season and add another championship banner to AmericanAirlines Arena.

“I don’t know it it’s going through the motions, guys are injured, a long season, short summer,” James added, “I don’t know what it is.”

We do. Defense takes a lot of will and desire and, right now, the Heat aren’t playing with it. They’re making it look like they’re playing D. But they are, as James said, “going through the motions” of playing D without playing hard on the defensive side of the ball. Fortunately, they have 75 games to fine-tune their defense and start playing D as well as they want to play it. But they need to stop sleepwalking through games and start establishing better defensive habits. Otherwise, the Heat might be in some serious trouble come playoff time, especially now that the Indiana Pacers are playing like legit title contenders.

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