Dwyane Wade Erik Spoelstra: Timeout Argument Proves Miami Heat Are in Turmoil
Ever since Chris Bosh got injured, the Miami Heat have been in trouble, and never was that more obvious than when Dwyane Wade and head coach Erik Spoelstra got into it during a timeout in Thursday's 94-75 loss to the Pacers.
Two games ago, Miami looked like a team poised to win a championship. Now, it looks like it's ready to do anything but. The Heat can't seem to find a way to beat Indiana without Bosh—they're getting dominated on the boards and Wade couldn't find a way to score on Thursday night, leaving the Heat with a Big One instead of a Big Three. He submitted one of his most woeful performances of the season, putting up five points on 2-of-13 shooting with five rebounds and one assist.
His public spat with his coach in the third quarter—following a missed three-point attempt and a failure to get back on defense—only further illustrates the fact that the Heat are reeling.
Perhaps after Game 1, the Heat didn't expect the Pacers to be easy. They won 95-86 and were coming off a series win against the Knicks in which they were rarely challenged. Maybe now that they're facing a little adversity, they don't know how to react, or maybe the fact they don't have Bosh is getting to them mentally.
In any case, their reaction to being challenged seems to be to play scared, to play frustrated.
The frustration definitely boiled over in the third quarter, when Wade and Spoelstra had a bit of a tiff that ended when other members of the team got in the middle of them.
One thing is for sure: Teams that are in the hunt for NBA championships don't fight with their coaches during timeouts in critical Game 3's.
Afterward, Spoelstra told USA Today's Scott Gleeson:
That happens. Anybody that has been part of a team or has been a coach or been a player, you have no idea how often things like that happen. That was during a very emotional part of the game. We were getting our butt kicked. Those exchanges happen all the time during the course of an NBA season.
It may happen more than the fans know, but it shouldn't be happening on the bench in the middle of a game that could ultimately make or break the Heat's title dreams.
As it stands, everything is unraveling for the Heat. They don't know when they're getting Bosh back, they don't know how to defend Roy Hibbert—who is single-handedly dominating them on the boards—and they lost their home-court advantage. There's even speculation that, after his awful Game 3 performance, Wade is trying to play through in injury .
Whatever's going on, Miami doesn't look at all like a team that will be confident or capable facing the immense pressure Game 4—again, at Indiana—will bring.
Spoelstra and Wade may have brushed off their dust-up, but its implications will loom large unless the Heat manage to salvage this series, a concept that is looking more and more unlikely with every minute of every game.
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