Dispelling Biggest Current Misconceptions About Miami Heat

Eric EdelmanCorrespondent IOctober 4, 2013

Assuming Dwyane Wade is finished is just one of several misconceptions many have concerning the Miami Heat.
Assuming Dwyane Wade is finished is just one of several misconceptions many have concerning the Miami Heat.Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

In a 24-hour media cycle, there is no escape from constant criticism and speculation.

Perhaps no team in the NBA knows this better than the Miami Heat.

Whether good or bad, there are numerous misconceptions that present a skewed view of how the Heat should be viewed individually and collectively.

It's time we extinguish those myths once and for all. 


Dwyane Wade Is Finished

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 30:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat poses for a photo during media day on September 30, 2013 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using t
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

If people haven't learned by now, hopefully, they'll figure it out this season.

Please, please, please...please stop doubting Dwyane Wade if you know what's best for you.

After last season, it was glaringly obvious that Wade was hobbled by his knee injury and chronic ailments any player contends with over a long, grueling season.

Aside from the eye test (you know, actually watching the games) raising some red flags, his numbers were a bit troubling, too.

Wade posted his second-lowest points per game average of his entire career last season, but, of course, a lot of naysayers also glossed over his career-high field-goal percentage of 52.1 percent. 

There were games where Wade was not initiating the action like we're used to seeing. He just didn't have the same explosiveness that made him a household name years earlier.

Coming into the 2013-14 campaign, there's no question a lot of doubts have arisen concerning his ability to keep it together physically going into a new year.

The idea that Dwyane Wade is quickly falling off into mediocrity is one of the biggest individual misconceptions the Heat face, and it's one that's going to blow up in the face of critics. 

This isn't the first time Wade has faced a lot of doubt going into a season, and it probably won't be the last. 

Following Miami's abysmal 2007-08 season, Wade looked finished in the eyes of many.

Terrible injuries, a horrible season for the team as a whole, but Wade in particular looked like Penny Hardaway 2.0. 

Then, the unexpected happened.

After an offseason that saw him working with legendary trainer Tim Grover, Wade came back in 2008-09 to post career highs in numerous categories.

Aside from the statistics, however, he was making incredible plays and building himself into a legitimate MVP candidate. 

Now going into this season, Wade has made it clear in a recent discussion with the Miami-Herald that he's worked with Grover yet again, and he's gone as far as firing some direct shots at archrivals in an attempt to cement his legacy and current standing as an elite player. 

Wade has mentioned he aims to become lighter and faster, and hopefully, it will mean less strain on his knees and a better ability to elevate without the extra bulk. 

A lot of athletes love to talk, but very few back it up with direct action and a proven track record for resilience.

Wade is just as lethal as ever, and—based on his recent jabs at Kevin Durant—it's a sure sign he's ready to prove the critics wrong, whether they're in the media or his fellow players in the league.


Miami Is A Lock To Win It All

Jun 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA;  Miami Heat small forward LeBron James and Juwon Howard ride through downtown Miami during the  Heat Championship celebration parade. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

There are no such things as locks.

Yes, the Miami Heat are leaps and bounds the best team in the NBA, but in sports you're only as good as your last outing. 

The Heat have looked fantastic the past two seasons, but keeping the aforementioned maxim in mind, they're only as good as last season.

The Indiana Pacers have proven to be a thorn in their side, and it's wise to not forget about the Chicago Bulls and the return of their superstar combo guard, Derrick Rose.

Even the Brooklyn Nets and their recent acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are firm reminders that Miami isn't going to steamroll past everyone without a fight.

The misconception that the reigning champs are invincible is one of the greatest misconceptions fans tend to have about sports in general—let alone the NBA.

The Heat have to keep focused on the task at hand and keep in mind that they're in control of their destiny.

Whether good or bad, they can't allow feedback of any kind manipulate how they perceive their own vulnerability.

Remember, NBA champions are made in June not October. 


Signing Michael Beasley And Greg Oden Is Risky

Sep 30, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley (8) during media day at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, even if you bet a nickel to win a hundred bucks, people are going to criticize your decision making.

Case in point: Miami's recent free-agent signings that had some people scratching their heads.

The Miami Heat's front office decided to extend a training camp invite to Michael Beasley, and they also signed Greg Oden to a one-year deal.

While some see incredible value with these moves, most read the recent headlines along the lines of "Miami Heat Sign Headcase and Defective Center."

They're a championship-caliber squad that added two talented—yet flawed—individuals. What's the worst that could happen? 

Okay, fair enough. Call Beasley a "headcase," call Oden "defective"—but don't call the moves risky.

It's true: Miami is technically risking time, money and its team's chemistry by adding these guys, but ultimately, there really isn't much risk. And if there is, it's at such a minute level that you could hardly call these moves "risky." 

Sep 30, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Greg Oden (20) during media day at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Beasley is incredibly talented, and Greg Oden, when healthy, has proven to be a dominant force in the league.

As a legit 7-footer, Oden put up 11 points, two blocks and nearly nine rebounds in the 2009-10 season before going down with an injury. 

Beasley is ridiculously inconsistent, but with LeBron James and a reunion with Dwyane Wade it's likely they'll finally rein him in and give him some guidance.

Any production, whatsoever, at the center spot from Oden is a win for Miami, and if it can get Beasley to buy in, there you go—that's yet another victory.

If these moves pan out, great—the Heat's management look like geniuses. If they fail? Oh, well—you're out of a little bit of money, which is table scraps to a franchise like Miami.

Either way, it's worth taking a gamble on these guys. And while some have called these moves "risky," these are honestly anything but risks when you look at the bigger picture.

If this was a younger team lacking a distinct alpha male, then it's possible someone like Beasley would corrode chemistry. But with two multiple champions and strong leaders at the helm in Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, there's no way they allow anything to disrupt the team's chemistry long term. 


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