2010 NBA Season Preview: Why Miami 3:16 Won't Save The Heat This Year
So yes, everyone and their mom (including my mom, who's as exasperated as you are) has heard about Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBronadict Arnold signing together in South Beach.
Amidst Dan Gilbert's drive-by shooting of LeBron, the obsessive "LeBron spent three more minutes in the toilet than he was supposed to" media coverage, and Laker fans desperately in need of NBA attention (collectively moaning, "But we're still the chaaaaamps!" Which is true. Unfortunately), it's time to re-evaluate what's happened so far in free agency, and how it affects next season.
First of all, the move: does it kill me?
As an NBA fan, kind of.
Seeing as my prediction that LeBronian Tomlinson would stay in Cleveland turned out to be a bit off (I misjudged his petulance... by like one alleged affair, two ring-less MVP campaigns, three shameless corporate sponsorship plugs, four courting teams left in the dark, and potentially five bastardized rings), I wouldn't trust my judgment right now. But if you're in it for the kicks...
Assuming the Heat compile the roster they are supposed to, we are looking at a starting five that includes Dwyane Wade (Future Hall of Famer), LeBron James (Future Hall of Famer), Chris Bosh (Perennial All-Star), Mike Miller (career 40% 3PFG, 2001 RotY, 2006 6MotY), and Dexter Pittman or Shaq's corpse at center.
Chemistry is not the issue here. Instead, it's another dynamic altogether:
Dwyane Wade: 1 Finals appearance (2006, won*)
LeBron James: 1 Finals appearance (2007, lost, swept)
Chris Bosh: 0 Second Round Playoff Appearances.
Dwyane Wade is the only player with championship experience. Hell, Dwyane Wade is the only person of the three listed up there who isn't a complete sissy. I don't buy that any one of the three can take over at any minute.
LeBran Marino is not completely incapable of dominating games late, but the clear-cut leader of the team is Dwyane Wade. He HAS to be the spiritual leader, the locker room leader, and the on-court leader if the Heat want any chance of winning a ring this year.
On to my argument: Miami, tell me a couple things.
Tell me where LeBron's lauded toughness was three years ago when he got demolished by a more experienced San Antonio team? How about two years ago when he got banged up by a sounder Orlando squad and threw a hissy fit?
Last postseason in three straight losses to Boston? Lit up by Carmelo Anthony in that epic regular-season battle when he cried as he walked off the court? That "25 year old man" LeBron claims to be has yet to show up to an NBA game as far as I'm concerned.
Tell me, what was Chris Bosh's response to being called the "RuPaul of big men" after being spanked by Shaq for 45 points?
I'll tell you: he sulked on his twitter and complained to the media. Then he made no noticeable changes in his defense. In a related story, the Raptors finished in the bottom five in opponent FG% in the paint and points allowed in the paint.
If you saw the press conference yesterday, you saw LeBron go all "pre-Lennox" Tyson with his swagger, droning on and on about how great his life was, going so far as to say "there is no lose-lose for LeBron James."
Oh, but LeBron, there is. Until LeBron and Bosh understand the meaning of the word "battle-tested," until they willingly sacrifice their bodies to try to win games (a la Dwyane Wade in 2006), Dwyane Wade's two new free agent teammates are little more than a gift-wrapped regular season.
At the end of the day, the coveted ring requires sacrifice : a concept that LeBron and Bosh can only appreciate with lip service at this point.
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