Miami Heat;Forget 73 Wins, Forget The NBA Title, But Will They Make The Playoffs
After the famous press conference by LeBron James that he was "Taking his talents to South Beach," many of the so-called experts were predicting record-setting numbers for the talented trio along with, of course, an NBA title.
It wasn't just one title they were forecasting either. We're talking multiple championships, and "How many did the Bulls win with Michael Jordan again?
Along with possibly surpassing those numbers, 73 wins was in the bag, at least according to former New York Knicks coach and current broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy.
After fourteen games so far this season, the outlook isn't looking quite as rosy. While an 8-6 record isn't bad, it's far from the expectations when the world learned that the three superstars decided to pool their talents with the Heat.
Until they start playing better together, there is no need to talk about winning the title this year. In fact, the playoffs could be a question, except that they are playing in the Eastern Conference. If they were in the West, they would currently be in a three-way tie for 7th with Portland and Denver.
There have been super teams before including the Los Angeles Lakers with Wilt Chamberlin, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor. Baylor was a little long in the tooth when Chamberlin joined the team, but the three stars on L.A. far outshine the Heat trio, with only LeBron possibly being better than them in the long-run.
Everyone has heard that there is no "I" in team. They have to learn how to blend together as a team to have a chance to reach the heights predicted for them.
But you also have to have a team, and looking at the Heat's roster, it looks like a bunch of body parts that Dr. Frankenstein picked up digging graves in the cemetary. In fact, some of the players look like they could be dead, or at least they're playing that way.
Even Dwayne Wade, one of the five best players in the league for the last several years looks like he's dragging with just three points on 1-13 shooting against the Indiana Pacers the other day. The Indiana Pacers!
Wade's had a few dogs so far this year as he tries to get used to sharing the ball and the spotlight with James. LeBron has also looked less like the dominant force that he often was with Cleveland. It's hard for two players of that ilk sharing the ball, and I haven't even mentioned Chris Bosh yet.
Bosh looked lost early. Only recently has he started to look like the player the Heat thought they were spending all of that money on. No one can deny that he was the weak link in the group to begin with, but he was looking like the RuPaul nickname Shaq coined for him in the early games.
He's still not stepping up and rebounding like you would expect a player of his size to do. He's not a strong inside player, preferring to wait outside for open jumpers. That's not what Miami needed.
They needed an inside force that would allow Wade and LeBron to dominate the game from the outside and to dish off underneath when they created an opening with one of their drives. Who provides that for them?
Their big men are Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jamaal Magloire, and Joel Anthony. Anthony is undersized, Magloire, is well, Magloire, and Ilgauskas looks like one of those corpses Dr. Frankenstein dug up and pieced together, and he's the best of the bunch.
Juwan Howard and Jerry Stackhouse are nice names, but how long has it been since they have been relevant in the NBA?
The point guard play has been horrendous. They have been burned badly by teams with good point guards like the Celtics with Rajon Rondo.
Injuries have also beset them, with Mike Miller going down and out until January, and Udonis Haslem, their best inside presence and strongest rebounder out indefinitely.
The Heat are playing the Southeast division leading Orlando Magic tonight, who owe them for an earlier season drubbing. A loss would put them at 8-7, and nothing says mediocre like a near .500 record.
Suddenly things aren't as bright as they were the night James made his announcement.
It's early and there is still plenty of time to turn things around. It better, or we'll soon see the slicked-back-hair, Armani suit wearing Pat Riley on the bench instead of Eric Spoelstra.
Because on this Thanksgiving eve, playing like turkeys will not be acceptable for too much longer.
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