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Though they once seemed invincible, this trio is starting to show some chinks in the armor.
And the biggest problem the Heat face is that the Big Three isn't what it once was. All those other problems can be rendered irrelevant if Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are playing at their peaks.
Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case for this upcoming season.
Dwyane Wade was simply not himself during the 2013 playoffs. He was dealing with two balky knees, and that significantly contributed to him averaging only 15.9 points per game in the postseason. And on 45.7 percent shooting, down almost five percent from the regular season.
But it was more than just his points per game. Wade was a shell of himself, and couldn't be counted on. His jumper was off, and with two bad knees, driving to the basket was a chore. At times he was almost a liability.
And Wade isn't exactly an ironman. He's had knee trouble before, as well as other injuries. So based on these playoffs, it looks like the mileage is starting to catch up to him.
Bottom line, if playing in three consecutive finals wore Wade down last year, he's really in for it in 2014 when they go for four straight.
Additionally Wade's scoring has been slipping for the past three years. From 25.2 points per game in 2011, to 22.1 in 2012 and 21.2 last year.
Speaking of scoring declines, enter Chris Bosh. His average has dipped from 18.7 per game in 2011 to only 16.6 this past season.
Bosh sacrificed the most basketball wise to come to the Heat. He took less shots, changed his style of play, took a less prominent role and took less credit for wins—while also taking more flak for losses.
So there is something to be said for that kind of sacrifice. He's done things most stars wouldn't do.
That being said, he could be much better. And he can start with improving on his paltry 12.1 points per game in the postseason. Oh, and his 6.8 rebounds per game in the regular season.
Those rebounds are a huge deal, too. According to 82games.com, Bosh is the only true big man in either of their two most common five man units. And to that same point, the Heat are the worst rebounding team in the league.
I'm sensing a correlation.
As for LeBron, he's going to be just fine. He might be a robot, I'm not sure. But the guy doesn't seem to get tired or hurt no matter how hard or how long he plays. And every season he seems to get better. So we'll just leave it at that.
The real question marks are his two running mates. With less and less cap room due to the trio's escalating salaries, they have to make due with less and less.
If Wade and Bosh continue declining, you don't blame LeBron for saying he "went back to his Cleveland days" during the Eastern Conference Finals.
It's certainly starting to feel more like those Cleveland days when his two best teammates are shrinking from the spotlight.
Now that's not to say that either one can't turn it around. Maybe fewer regular season minutes for Wade will help, and maybe Bosh can leave that stinker of a season behind him. But if you ask me, those are pretty big ifs.
Way too big for the Heat to talk title contention in 2014.