Merely days after the Heat fell to the tanking Boston Celtics, LeBron compared his team's defensive efforts to a brownish substance that sometimes clogs your plumbing, according to ESPN's Mike Wallace:
LeBron on defensive miscues: "We've been playing defensively like sh--, no doubt about it. I'm am frustrated right now. We're 4-3."— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) November 11, 2013
Point taken, LeBron. And you're right.
Miami ranks 28th in points allowed per 100 possessions, currently down 19 spots from last year's performance on that end of floor.
The Heat hit rock bottom against the Celtics, when Jeff Green nailed an off-balance, game-winning three to hand Miami its third loss of the season. But it was a shot LeBron said the Heat needed Green to make, per Bleacher Report's Ethan J. Skolnick:
LeBron says the Heat "needed" Jeff Green to make that shot. Said Heat would have felt too good about themselves if they won.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) November 11, 2013
Point taken once again, King James.
Winning often overshadows detrimental flaws in a team's game. After all, a win's a win. Doesn't matter how you get, so long as you get it.
Continuing down this current defensive path isn't an option for the Heatles, though. Win or lose that game against the Celtics, they needed to improve.
Each of the past 12 NBA champions, the Heat included, have ranked in the top 10 of defensive efficiency. The last team to win a title without finishing in the top 10 was the 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers. Forcing themselves to buck that trend isn't a position the Heat want to put themselves in, especially after playing top-notch defense only last season.
Their quest for a three-peat is off to a rocky start. They've already dropped two games to obvious tankers and find themselves fighting to stay above .500. Failure to improve defensively will result in inexplicable losses, like the one against the Celtics, piling up all season long.
Let's hope that changes soon, before LeBron is forced to speak exclusively in expletives.
*All stats in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference unless otherwise attributed and are accurate as of Nov. 11, 2013.