Miami Heat: Cold as Ice - Why Panic Remains Sky High
By: Kyle of Predictem.com
The Miami Heat beat the hottest team in the NBA on Thursday. They knocked off the defending World Champion Los Angeles Lakers in a close battle on National television. This comes after a succession of close losses and emotional defeats.
On the surface, it appears as though the victory may be enough to get the Heat back on track. A closer look suggests otherwise.
The Heat were the clear winners of the offseason. They not only landed Chris Bosh, they also won the Lebron James sweepstakes. Some called it unfair. People questioned whether or not the competitive balance of the NBA had been thrown off. With three superstars on one team, how was any team to compete with the Heat?
Analysts began making bold predictions. Talks of the single season win record being broken became commonplace in mainstream media outlets.
Here we are in March, and the perception of the Heat has done a complete 180. Even after their victory over the Lakers, the Heat have still lost six of their last ten games, and the “Big 3” still struggle find their roles within the team.
It has become painfully clear that the Heat cannot find an identity. Whose team is it? What role does everyone play?
The lack of cohesion has led to the downfall of the Miami Heat. The Heat have arguably one of the worst benches in the entire league. Aside from Bosh, Wade, and James, the Heat don’t have anyone on roster who averages over ten points per game.
With the weight of the world on their shoulders, it appears some members of the Heat cracked. Head coach Erik Spoelstra revealed that there were members of the Heat locker room who were crying after losing a regular season game.
Not only has the world begun to question the Heat, the Heat have begun to question themselves. Prior to the season, the topic of discussion was, “Who will take the last shot?” With so many capable players on the floor, it seemed as though the Heat could look to anyone to close out the game.
In a wild turn of events, the Heat remain the worst team in the NBA while shooting a game tying or go ahead shot. A dismal 7% shooting percentage in such scenarios is laughable. The Heat are 1-14 when shooting game win shots. Lebron James can say he isn’t going to continue to fail his teammates in the closing seconds of the game, but talk is cheap.
The NBA is drawing closer and closer to the playoffs. The Heat may have knocked off the Lakers, but they continue to struggle against playoff caliber teams. Their coach under scrutiny, their desire in question, the Heat will likely stumble into the playoffs as the fourth best team in the East, or worse.
The Heat are at their best when Wade is at his best. James might be the best player in the league, but this is Wade’s team. Nobody cares if James is averaging 26.3 points a game if the end result remains a loss.
That doesn’t mean James needs to fade off into the shadows. Both he and Bosh need to have strong showings to close out the season. Both of them came into Miami to win, not to be heralded as individuals. The best way to go about doing so is to function with Wade closing out games, and Bosh and James serving as the best role players in the NBA.
While the Celtics were able to succeed with a roster that was overloaded with talent, they also received an unprecedented amount of support from Rajon Rondo. The Heat don’t have a role player of that caliber to assist them to victory.
For the time being, the Heat remain painful to watch. The Heat play well individually, but remain uncomfortable as a unit. Until they learn how to make each other better, anticipate a series of skids to close out the season.
Consider the victory over the Lakers an aberration. The Heat have to start stringing together wins consistently to make anyone believe they are a legitimate contender.