Together, not long ago, they traveled to the shores of South Beach and chose to take a pay cut to join forces as members of the Miami Heat. However, it seems the most hyped team is believed to be the most heartless, gutless and softest team in the league.
In truth, the Heat are the equivalent of a soft jellyfish near the shores of the beach, and we were merely worshipping a franchise as if the Superman/Batman/Robin trio was the most fascinating triple-threat in the NBA. Turns out, you were wrong. Turns out, I was wrong.
The basketball world has cast its focus upon LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, three superstars who aren’t even playing like superstars. Instead, they're playing like dumbfounded ballplayers with a feeble mentality in engaging us as a primary powerhouse.
With two questionable losses within three days in the realm of a tropical setting, the Heat are barely above the .500 mark. In theory this was a perfect marriage, but it isn’t as ideal as it seems and still remains as perplexing a calamity as when much of the publicly rained down during a bizarre summer.
“We're not there,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said following the 112-107 loss to the Boston Celtics. “We did not play well tonight. But again, we have a different timeline and this is going to be a process and it won’t always be an easy one.”
If you believe in mermaids and sea monsters, then you probably felt almost simultaneously that way about the Heat. In other words, entering this season the Heat were portrayed as a probable fairy tale, which is suddenly an improbable fairy tale. Maybe the Heat are an overrated team in the NBA, lacking the essentials to out shine the invigorated Los Angeles Lakers or even the ageless Celtics, a conference nemesis who has beaten Miami twice this season.
So far we are gazing at the unsuccessful experiment from the most insane transition in the history of sports to form a blockbuster trifecta. The unprecedented project of stringing together an array of talent is generating nothing more than overexposed hype. But most of all, it has been an unproductive season for a dauntless Hall of Famer, Pat Riley, who gambled by persuading James and Bosh to join forces with Wade.
It was, at one point, the perfect marriage. But now it has turned into a confusing riddle and the Heat are ridiculed for signing LeBron, retaining Spoelstra, and lastly, becoming accustomed to a malcontent in Bosh. Most of all, they are easy to smash, just as it is simple to smash marshmallows. It’s a no-brainer.
And if the three persist in under-performing and don’t adjust instantly, the heavy talk of piling multiple rings falls out of the picture. This was supposed to be the team to beat ever since James surrendered his claim to all-time greatness and ever since Bosh departed our neighbor north of the border for a shot at celebrating in the midsummer.
The Heat were supposed to rise as prime contenders and defeat every opponent. But as it turns out, they are more hopeless and fearful than any other team in the league. By virtue, there’s no mental toughness or aplomb spreading quickly among a unit with high expectations. Not as advertised, the Heat are vulnerable to collapse in the playoffs if they fail to play defense anytime soon.
As much talent as the Heat have, the team's core hasn’t adjusted or committed to playing defense. The otherworldly talent of three megastars is a waste so far and many setbacks have affected an underachieving trio. Each megastar ceded their roles and compromised their egos, unlike the typical athlete who’d rather demand more money and selfishly protect his ego.
Armed with ultimate star power, in many ways, the Heat are lethargic even though the superteam comes to fruition and assembled arguably the best trio of all-time. These guys signed for one objective: win an NBA title. But now it’s telling that they aren’t close to earning the NBA crown, not until the Heat muster a perspective of how to defend beyond the arch and inside the paint.
For all the hype pulling off the greatest free agent shopping spree ever was worth during the summer, the Heat are now criticized for their early season letdowns that could lead to a terminal beat down. As for the scrutiny, the judgment of the Heat after nine games is causing panic attacks because they're struggling to begin the season with signs of disgruntlement and tension. Meanwhile, the future remains to be seen and the Heat are an unsolved mystery, rattling the brains of its fans and the NBA in general.
In fairness, Spoelstra has done a decent job as head coach, but he’s not a sentimental or eloquent voice and hasn’t demanded much from his players. LeBron, for the most part, is the vocal leader and Wade is the floor general; but nonetheless, they have not gelled together as a cohesive unit. Besides, they are still in the midst of learning each others styles and personalities. Mired in turbulence, the Heat are anything but flawless and need lots of work as a way to measure up to standards.
But as of now, the Heat are uttering their smack-talk without producing enough wins and lacking toughness. They are a mentally and physically soft team. Twice this season the Celtics exposed their weaknesses. That is where the Heat stands nowadays. Until the over-hyped franchise emphasizes leadership, fortitude, character and a sense of urgency in substantial meetings, particularly the showdown match-ups in the East.
An indication that the Heat are gutless right now is that following a second disappointing loss in three days, Spoelstra issued a speech on the significance of staying together. As it is, the Heat are beating themselves. The hysteria of public humiliation was absorbed during the outrageous, strange stunt that took place over the summer, when the three promised to win five or six championships.
It’s amazing how LeBron has paralyzed the team’s self-confidence, considering that he created a ruckus off the court when he foolishly unleashed a blatant Nike ad, filled with arrogance and nonsense. Relatively speaking, he is perceived as a villain for the way he left Cleveland and publicly launched a narcissistic reality show, just so he could announce that he was taking his talent to South Beach.
There he is, the so-called King, who really should be referred to as the Prince, in South Beach struggling and becoming a burden on a franchise where he was expected to dazzle as a megastar and install some hope in a town that doesn’t really have any basketball history. In some ways, he was brought in to transform the landscape, but hasn’t.
If he’s more focused on becoming a global celebrity rather than a global icon in basketball, his television ads serving as a symbol for this, then he’s dragging down the persona of an underachieving team.
The adversity of this sluggish pattern is perturbing for the Heat, and James is lacking self-awareness and self-confidence. Not able to translate his power or energy with the Heat and off to a shaky start, Bosh is unhappy and hasn’t been employing his size. Instead he is bullied by larger opponents nightly. So now he’s disgusted and hasn’t played up to his potential.
“Of course you don’t think you’d be 5-4 at this time, no question about it,” Wade said. “But we are 5-4. You can’t run from your record. We’re the best 5-4 team in the league, how about that. But we have a lot of work to do.”
Yeah, the worst-best 5-4 team in the league, how about that. And he’s indeed right, the Heat need lots of work.
At this rate, though, the Heat will not win a championship or dance in South Beach.