NBA critics, fans, and everyone else hating on the Miami Heat right now should be ashamed of themselves, seriously. How many teams are there that are 23 games over .500, with a patchwork of players who haven`t played together, an inexperienced head coach, and one of the top defences in the league are we hating on? In the history of the NBA, there’s just one, the Miami Heat.
I get it, the whole decision thing, the punk moves coming out on stage stunting through mist, the arrogant talk about winning multiple championships… it all probably rubbed too many people the wrong way like only young 26 year old millionaires can. But lately, the Heat hate is going a little too far.
Respected journalists, namely Buzz Bissinger of the Daily Beast are writing how LeBron James can`t handle the pressure. Bussinger writes in his article “King James Can’t Handle The Pressure To Perform,” how James can`t make game-winning shots, and how he and the Miami Heat are a major bust.
Bussinger writes about James, “For the first time in his life he is under true pressure to perform. But James doesn’t know pressure. And there is no reason he would, given the way he has been treated, a lifetime of idolization now routinely resulting in last-second self-immolation.”
I understand where Bussinger is coming from, but it’s way to early for me to agree. I just don`t see it. First of all, there’s always pressure to perform, it’s magnified in Miami, but ESPN coming to your high-school games to see if you’re the real deal is pressure too.
I`m well aware of the Miami Heat`s abysmal record against teams with winning records and their inability to make last second shots (1-18). But to say that LeBron James is a bust, or that he doesn`t have what it takes to be a champion, that`s a leap of hate that I can`t take, not at his age, not with D. Wade by his side.
Let me be clear about something. I tend to feel that athletes of D Wade and LeBron James stature can and have the ability to learn and make adjustments to their competition. Call me stupid.
I`m a little shocked at how quickly people have jumped off the Heat bandwagon. All hype aside, the Miami Heat have three players that can consistently hurt teams on any given night, they only have three players that teams have to actually game plan for, and they probably have the worst bench in the entire league, including Cleveland.
They`re supposed to be losing to good well balanced teams! This team hasn`t played a full season together and already they are a lock for the playoffs. And although I know there`s few teams that are afraid of them, I doubt anyone wants the Heat in the first round.
Only now are the Heat starting to figure out how and what it takes to win close games and what it takes to compete against the best teams in the league. It’s a process, role players need to know exactly what role they need to play for the team to be successful. Shooters need to be ready hit shots even if they haven’t touched the ball all game. Winning isn’t an easy thing to do in the NBA, and it takes time for everyone on a team to realize what they need to do to make it happen. James and Wade are learning that it doesn’t matter if they combine for 70 every night.
But they are learning.
The Heat played the Lakers last night, the best team in the league and the Heat finished the game strong, something they haven`t done in their past 6 games. But you could see the adjustments they made, they gave the ball to Wade down the stretch instead of James and it lead to a 94-88 victory. To me, that`s not a slight on James, that`s a young coach finally having the huevos to put Wade in his rightful position as closer.
If we let the truth be told, LeBron James`s game isn`t one on one basketball, or making shots in the clutch, he has all that, but that`s not his game yet.
If you ever watch LeBron play on team USA when he`s with other star players, he takes on the role of the guy that does a lot of everything. He`ll rebound, score in bunches, block shots, get steals, score on the break, play excellent team defence and drop dimes, but don`t ask him to go one on one or be the focal point of the offense to win the game against a set defence. He`s not there, and I’m not sure that his game, and that`s why Miami is a good fit for him, because that`s what D Wade does best.
James is not MJ, he’s not Magic, he’s not Kobe, and it’s never looked like he’s tried to be. He’s LeBron James, he speaks in third person, he can grab triple double whenever he wants we’ve never seen a player like him, let him play his game.
They don’t demand Rondo make 30 footers and we don’t ask JR Smith to take good shots do we?
It might not happen this year, but do not count the Heat or LeBron James out no matter what you see.
Sportsbooks still haven`t changed the Heat as favourites to win the championship.
Damn, there sure is a lot more leg room on this bandwagon.