To say that criticism is a bad thing for a team is actually quite wrong. While some take it to heart and fold, others use it as a way to improve themselves on and off the court.
Think of criticism as a motivational tactic. Sometimes it takes someone else calling you out for you to realize what is going wrong. With that comes the idea of using the negative attention to improve on weak spots.
The Miami Heat of the 2010-11 season are a perfect example of this.
After being heavily favored in the NBA Finals, they were ousted in six games by the champion Dallas Mavericks. This started the heavy flow of negative criticism for Miami, even talks of breaking up the Big Three because of a failed project.
With social media, and media in general, growing, the opportunity to voice an opinion has never been easier. That doesn't always mean it's accurate.
Take LeBron James for instance. Yes, he is one of the most talented players to ever play the game, but he did seem to lack something. Of course, that something was a tough mentality, which hampered his play two years ago.
I'm not saying that James was hurt by all of the criticism, but there has to be a reason he bounced back with one of the most memorable seasons in NBA history. He practiced his post game, stayed focused on basketball and eventually lead the Miami Heat to a championship.
So in the end, maybe all of the negative criticism wasn't a bad thing after all. Now the question remains: Can the Heat repeat and bring another trophy to South Beach?
Talent-wise, they can. They return the same core players that won last season and even added a future Hall of Famer. If healthy, this is one of the most well-meshed and motivated teams in the league.
Of course, they aren't guaranteed anything next season, especially with competition getting stronger. However, a swing and a miss at a championship wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
Expect heavy criticism if they do lose, but that only seemed to make them better in their following effort. We will likely hear talks of this team being done or a one-hit wonder, but Miami must rise up and thrive on this once again.
While some believe to buy into the theory that Miami started the era of the "super team", that proves to be quite false. Think of the many great teams that have built from free agency and trades.
You could go back to some of the old and newer Los Angeles Lakers teams, one of the greatest franchises in sports history, or the Boston Celtics, a recent example when they acquired both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in a successful stint.
These strategies seemed to work with them, right? And isn't the point of basketball winning?
Miami did nothing wrong in the 2010 offseason. They stayed within the salary cap and put together a group that will be dangerous for the foreseeable future. When events like these happen, it's expected for a team to be put under a microscope and dissected.
That being said, criticism against Miami in any way should not be viewed as a bad thing. While it may have truth or logic behind it, criticism should be used as a tool for becoming a better team as a whole.
The Heat are the defending NBA champions, but criticism was a big factor in driving them, both mentally and physically, to the end. If another disappointment happens again this season, expect the negative talks, but prepare for another silencer in the following season.