In the matter of less than a week, LeBron James and the Heat have turned themselves from championship contenders to chumps and there are plenty of reasons why.
In the NBA, the fortune of a team can change in the blink of an eye, and that's what we're seeing with Miami. After whipping the New York Knicks in the first round, it looked like nothing could stop this team from reaching a second consecutive NBA Finals.
Less than a week later, Miami now looks like a team that could possibly not win another game this postseason.
Let's examine exactly what's wrong with the Heat.
Chris Bosh's Injury
Let's start with the obvious and that's the fact that Miami misses seven-time All-Star Chris Bosh more than anyone would have liked to admit when he first got hurt.
On the season, the Heat are now only 4-7 without Bosh in the lineup.
With Bosh in the lineup, Miami scores an average of 99.9 points per game. Without him they score only 84.9 a game, including only 75 points in each playoff game without him.
The Heat need a low-post scorer, and without Bosh in the lineup they don't have a legitimate one.
Defensively, he's missed just as much. The Heat don't have the length to matchup effectively against Indiana.
On the season, Miami allowed an average of 83.3 points per game, but without Bosh in the lineup they've allowed 87.9.
Bosh impacts the game at both ends, and he gives LeBron and Dwyane Wade more space to operate.
Do you still think Bosh isn't a superstar? His value is being proven by the day.
Could Wade be slowing down at the age of 30 in only his ninth NBA season?
His body has taken a beating throughout the years, especially this season where he's suffered through multiple injuries that have slowed him down. But the real problem with Wade has been his inconsistencies shooting the ball.
Sure, he's averaged 20.4 points per game this postseason, but Wade has been killing the Heat from the floor as of late.
In his past four games, Wade has made only 32 percent of his shots (25-of-77) from the floor and has been awful from the perimeter all postseason, making only 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) attempts from behind the arc.
Wade's five-point effort in Game 3 aside, he's still only made 10-of-35 shot attempts without Bosh in the lineup.
Can anyone on this team make an open jumper?
The Heat have knocked down only 29 percent of their three-point attempts all postseason, and they're taking an average of 18.9 per game.
Looking at series in particular, Miami has made only 5-0f-42 shots from behind the arc. If your're scoring at home, that's a miserable 12 percent.
Someone has to step up and make shots not only in Game 4 but on a consistent basis.
Miami doesn't have any and that's the problem.
In the frontcourt, the likes of Ronny Turiaf, Dexter Pittman, Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem just can't play with the likes of Roy Hibbert and David West.
With the likes of Shane Battier, Mike Miller, James Jones and the rest of the cast not contributing, the Heat don't have enough capable bodies to win a championship.
That makes you wonder if the Big Three strategy will ever work, not only for the Heat, but for teams like the Lakers and Knicks as well.
The problem with all of these teams who have three players take up the majority of the salary cap is that it becomes next to impossible to surround the stars with enough talent to win in the postseason.
If the Heat are only having two guys score 20-30 points per game and the rest of the cast doesn't do much, then they can't win.
In the Game 2 loss, no Miami player other than Wade and James scored more than five points. Other than LeBron and Wade, the other eight players who played combined for 23 points.
It didn't get much better in Game 3 as if you take LeBron and Mario Chalmers out of the equation, the other 11 Miami players who appeared in the game combined to score only 28 points.
That type of production simply won't get the job done.
Point Guard Play
No disrespect to Chalmers, but in the postseason, the Heat need a facilitator to create for others, and they need to rely less on isolation plays for LeBron and Wade.
Sure, LeBron is a point guard in a forward's body, but point guard play wins in the postseason, and Miami doesn't get it consistently.
The Heat had only 11 assists in Game 2, followed by only nine in Game 3. Chalmers has only five of those the past two games, all coming in Game 3. That means the ball isn't moving enough to win.
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