The Heat: Not So Hot!
It is fair to say that the Miami Heat were the unanimous favorite to be the 2011-12 NBA Champions after having a near championship run just a year ago with their newly put together team of superstar talent. I am sure I am not alone when I say that I would have loved to punch Lebron James in the face as he made me sit in front of my TV for an announcement special called “The Decision” just so I can here his pompous ass say those painfully infuriating words; “I will be taking my talents to South Beach.” Soon after his announcement to join forces with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the new “Big 3”, (formally the NBA Champion Celtics Allen, Garnett, and Pierce) made an outlandish spectacle where they painted the biggest bulls-eye on their backs by declaring their future predictions of not 4, not 5, not 6, but more championships for their new team. After a slow start to the 2010-11 season, the Heat pulled it together and pushed their way to the NBA Finals where the Dallas Mavericks made everyone outside of Southern Florida very happy by upsetting the NBA’s new “Evil Empire.”
Entering this strike-shortened season, Miami had the same high expectations as the previous season. The only difference this time was the fact that most of the NBA world agreed with their predictions of winning it all. Recently, as the season has been winding down, people have been changing their minds. After a scorching start to the season with a 27-7 record going into the All-Star game, the Heat have gone 13-10 since and dropped 4 games behind the 1st place Chicago Bulls. If you know anything about Basketball, then you should know the importance of going into the playoffs hot. Well the Heat have cooled off and now they see themselves facing similar scrutiny to last season.
In the Heat’s most recent game, they played the 1st place Bulls and everything went wrong from there. Derrick Rose, last seasons MVP and the NBA’s best PG, came off of his most recent injury to play in this Nationally televised battle-of-the-best match-up. Unfortunately for Rose, he did not seem healthy enough to play and scored a career low 2 points on a dismal 1-13 shooting from the field. With Rose posting those numbers one can only expect the Bulls opponent to pull out a victory. I am always one to preach that one regular season came can not define your season, but in this case I think I am wrong. The Heat had a 2 point lead with 11 seconds left when Lebron James, who is continuously scrutinized for his late game inabilities, missed 1 of 2 free throws giving the Bulls a chance to tie. Rose’s backup PG, C.J Watson came through huge with a game tying 3-pointer to end regulation and put the game into overtime. That’s when the “cry-baby Heat” from last year showed their tears once again. With slumped shoulders and pouting faces, Miami got smacked by the Bulls in OT and lost by 10.
In an NBA season you will always have your ups and downs throughout the year, but it is your job to make sure the downs do not occur around the playoffs. The Heat have shown where all of their weaknesses are with absolutely no respectable big man and probably to the shortest bench out of all the playoff bound teams. Lebron James might win his 3rd MVP award by the end of this season, but my new prediction is that his hand will still be without a ring. Dwayne Wade still looks great but with all of his injuries and lack of a 3 point shot he has shown how he can be stopped. As for “Chris Posh Spice,” I really don’t think there is anything he will do positive for this team. Bosh is a player that thrives in the post and has a smooth 15 foot jumper, but when you have Lebron and Dwayne running the offense there really isn’t much they need him for. Mike Miller has one of the best 3 point shots in the NBA but he suffers from the same problem as the Knicks Steve Novak, bad defense and doesn’t move without the ball well. Mario Chalmers and Norrice Cole will not be able to match-up with most PG’s in the East or the West. Lebron and Dwayne just don’t seem like enough right now.
I would love to see the Miami Heat lose in the first round of the playoffs, but with the likely match-up against the slumping 76ers it doesn’t seem too feasible. I predict that Miami with run into Chicago in the Eastern Conference Finals and show the same problems they did last night against the Bulls and fall short of the NBA Finals this season. Let us know where you think these Miami Heat will end their season.