Miami Heat: Dispelling the Fans' and Media's Biggest Misconceptions
We no longer have to hear about how LeBron James is incapable of winning a championship; however, there are still several other incorrect notions being discussed too often as well.
So let's put an end to the madness by dispelling the biggest misconceptions about the 2012-13 Heat.
Having Won a Title Last Year, They Won't Be as Motivated This Year
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Although becoming complacent the year following a title is common in professional sports, the idea that this Miami Heat team will follow suit in 2012-13 is somewhat amusing.
I mean, it's well documented that the Big Three was created in July of 2010 with the sole purpose of winning multiple championships.
Also, consider the Heat's biggest star: LeBron James.
LeBron has made it clear (per Sports Illustrated) this offseason that he's, in his own words, "not satisfied with one." And it's pretty clear why he's not, as LeBron is on a mission to be considered equals with MJ, Magic, Bird and company, all of whom have multiple rings.
Plus, the new blood on the Heat should be raring to go, especially Ray Allen.
Considering the war of words that has taken place since his departure from the Boston Celtics, don't you think he'd love to show Kevin Garnett and his former team that he could win a title without them?
The Heat simply have too much at stake in their personal legacies and in the legacy of the Big Three era for them not to be chomping at the bit to compete for another title.
Dwyane Wade Isn't Elite Anymore
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The talk of Dwyane Wade's declining ability, thanks to last year's postseason, has been way overblown.
When you consider that Wade was injured throughout the playoffs, it's actually quite impressive that he played in all 23 postseason games and averaged 22.8 PPG in 39.4 MPG.
On top of that, he still did put together some excellent performances, such as posting 41 points and 10 rebounds in the close-out game of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers.
And in the regular season, when he was healthy, Wade was fantastic, averaging 22.1 points on 49.7 percent shooting (best FG% for a SG), 4.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.7 steals. He also finished with a player efficiency rating of 26.37, which ranked third in the NBA.
Sure seems like he's one of the very best in the NBA to me.
Not Having a True Center Is a Huge Problem
The Heat have long heard from fans and media alike about their troubles at the 5. But after what transpired in the 2012 postseason, it's definitely time to put those complaints to rest.
During the title run, the team utilized a small-ball approach featuring LeBron James at the 4 and Chris Bosh at the 5 that proved to be nearly unstoppable. The Heat gave themselves open shots for days and spread the floor better than ever.
Because of that success, the Heat will use the small-ball lineup on a consistent basis during this 2012-13 season, and opponents should be plenty worried.
Yes, the Heat will have trouble out-rebounding opponents (just as they did last year) due to not having a true center. But due to the matchup problems the small-ball approach creates for its opponents, they will still thrive.
They Don't Have Enough Talent at Point Guard
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
While nobody is saying the Heat's top two point guards are among the league's best, the unit does seem to be a bit underrated.
Mario Chalmers had perhaps the best season of his career in 2011-12, posting career-bests in field goal percentage (44.8 percent) and three-point shooting percentage (38.8 percent).
He also performed well on the defensive end and finished with 1.5 steals. Plus, his late-game heroics in Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals served as a reminder of how fearless he is.
Norris Cole, Chalmers' backup, showed promise during his rookie season as well, finishing with 6.8 PPG in 19.6 MPG. And word from Heat training camp is that Cole should take the next step in 2012-13.
"He's been one of the highlights of the camp so far just in terms of how much he's improved," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He's arguably the most improved player right now. It shouldn't be a surprise to any one of us. He had a terrific summer in terms of commitment."
When you consider the Heat have already won a title with this duo as their top point guards and have other excellent distributors, namely LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the point guard situation should be far from a concern.