When the Heat started the season a disappointing 9-8, there was no shortage of critics and assorted experts who were declaring the LeBron-Wade-Bosh union a failure.
"Can you say: Biggest Bust in NBA History?"
"Wade and LeBron can't play together!"
"Bosh is terrible and he's not rebounding."
"This team is losing because they lack a competent big man and a legit point guard."
To say that NBA fans outside of Miami have gloated with glee over Miami's slow start would be a major understatement, but suddenly the Heat appear to be rolling after winning their sixth straight game 111-98 against the Utah Jazz.
This recent success and the possibility of the Miami Heat finally "figuring things out," has placed the team's detractors in an uncomfortable position of finding newer, ridiculous reason why the Heat will not win a title this year.
Unfortunately for them, their "thories" are dropping like dominoes after each game.
"They won't win because they can't beat teams over .500!" This was a claim made by one critic following the impressive win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, afterward the Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks at home.
The critics valiantly fired back: "Oh yeah, well, the Heat can't beat a team with a great center. Expect them to go down to the Bucks with Andrew Bogut dominating their poor front court scrubs. Plus, Brandon Jennings will be a monster against their weak point guards!" Bogut held to 4-13 shooting and 11 points, while Carlos Arroyo outscores Jennings 18-13.
Undaunted, the critics returned with another caveat: "Well, they will not win against a solid team on the road. They can beat all the weak teams they want, but when they play against a team like the Jazz, expect them to be exposed." Following this bold claim, the Heat beat the Jazz 111-98 courtesy of a 34-20 fourth quarter which erased a one-point Jazz lead in the third.
After two straight scoreless games, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Miami's center, notched a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds and LeBron and Wade combined for 61 points.
Now, it appears that the Heat haters have held an emergency meeting on how to handle this crisis of "The Heat winning." There must be something they can use against the team to prove why this current stretch of solid play is just a mirage.
The most popular suggestions to emerge from the Heat haters conference?
"They can't beat Boston, the Lakers or the Spurs, so technically, we're right about them not being title contenders this year."
I don't presume to know what will happen with the Heat in the next few games, and right now, the Celtics are clearly looking like the team to beat in the East. But does that mean that Heat fans must following their team with the same level of scrutiny as the team's detractors do?
I always find it funny how, no matter how well or poorly the Heat play, the teams brigade of critics are always there to inform Heat fans of the "real meaning of the game."
If they lose to a winning team, that means that they fundamentally "can't beat good teams," but if they beat a solid team it is either a fluke or fool's gold until the team's inevitable collapse. If Bosh plays well, it's because the opposing forward is weak. If LeBron goes for 33 points and nine assists, the critic will focus on his four turnovers are evidence of a "crumbling team." It just goes on and on.
If the Heat won 25 games in a row, a detractor will come out and argue that the team still stinks because "they will never catch the Lakers 33-game record, so their run at it will fail, plus, they won't win a title anyway! Can you say 2008 Houston Rockets?"
My question for the critics who have taken the stance of "bash the Heat at all cost" is: Why are you wasting your time bashing a team that you know won't win anyway?
How about bashing a team like the Clippers or Kings whom we all know are not title contenders and would be a much safer bet for long-term futility over a team with the biggest long-term upside in the league?
There are only two reason's why the detractors would feel the need to constantly remind us that "The Heat aren't winning a title!"
Either they are trying to convert Heat fans into fans of their team, be it the Lakers or Celtics or Magic, which is an exercise in futility, or they are trying to convince themselves that the Heat are on a collision course with disappointment because they are concerned with the prospect of this teams finally beginning to gel.
In any event, expect the "reason's this team can't win" to get more creative the better Miami plays, but as long as they are forced to change their position about Miami after every game like junior Bill Simmons', things are beginning to look up for the Heat.
Perhaps, "the Heat can't beat a good team-in weekend games-under-a full moon- with bells ringing-in-games-called-by-Marv Albert" will do the trick.