Underachieving Miami Heat Haven't Gotten Their Wake-Up Call Yet
They were burned once again from behind the arc: this time on 40 percent shooting.
Their defense certainly didn't look like it was being inspired by anything above its torso.
The team looked as visibly let down as the rest of the spectators in American Airlines Arena that Carmelo Anthony would miss the game, taking much of the thunder away from what was initially regarded as a statement game.
All in all, last night felt like an anticlimactic disappointment.
And the most irritating part of all is that it's hard to muster an opinion about it, because it's still early in the season and the Heat are clearly going through the motions.
But, if there is one thing to take away, it's this: The Heat haven't gotten their wake up call yet.
It's easy to understand why as well.
Put yourselves in their shoes for a moment.
They won the championship last year after plowing through the Eastern conference for the second year in a row.
They beat the second best team with the second best player in the league last year in five games, and the fifth game felt more like a Harlem Globetrotter event than a Finals matchup.
Derrick Rose, Andrew Bynum, and Amar'e Stoudemire are all out.
Dwight Howard took his indecisiveness to LaLa land.
The Heat added another blue-chipper this summer in Ray Allen, the perfect complement to a team featuring LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. To that end, the Heat also already beat his new look former team in the first game of the season.
The Brooklyn Nets were touted as the new show in town coming into the season, but any buzz they held in the east has likely died in the face of their two losses to Miami.
Finally, as far as the Eastern conference in concerned, all that was really left for them to accomplish was to handily defeat a Carmelo-led Knicks team.
Yet, that goal lost much of its value once Anthony was held out.
Furthermore, the Heat are about to embark on a seven-game stretch in which five of its opponents are at or below .500, leading up to another statement game-this one against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas Day.
Now, of course, the talking heads of ESPN will try in vein to convince you that Heat-Thunder will provide a better gauge of the NBA landscape than any other match-up of the season.
But if you're a Heat fan, you can bank on extracting more from the seven games leading up to Christmas Day than the holiday rematch itself.
Because, with all due respect to the Oklahoma City Thunder, there is just no force that poses as much of a threat to Miami's hopes of repeating as its own indifference.
What will be the turning point that serves as a wake up call to the Heat?
And that is something we continue to gain evidence of by the day.
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