Just a few weeks ago, the highly-touted Miami Heat and its super star-laden lineup sat at an average record of 9-8. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade couldn't coexist. Chris Bosh was soft, many fans wanted him out. The bench was horrible.
Those were just a few of the many knee jerk reactions by Heat fans.
My oh my, how times change. Today, the Heat sit at 18-8, riding a nine-game win streak. A nine-game win streak which has included all double digit wins, by the way.
What are the reasons for Miami's newfound success? A key addition, players have accepted their roles, and Miami's big three has finally begun to play like we all thought they would.
Let's take a look at whose stock has risen or fallen the most so far for the Heat.
Eddie House hasn't seen many minutes during Miami's nine game win streak
Eddie House was brought on board in South Beach for his long-range jumper.
However, House has found his jumper difficult to find on many nights. Plagued with inconsistency, House has seen his minutes drastically decrease.
And with James Jones' hot hand and Mike Miller's return nearing, it's just going to be more and more difficult for House to find his way back onto the floor.
Unfortunately, I have to say this one was pretty inevitable. Sure, Joel Anthony may be a hard worker, but that only gets you so far in this league.
Asking a team to compete with a 6'9" center is nearly impossible and showed early in the season for Miami. Team after team dominated the Heat down low in every way.
Opposing centers enjoyed career nights. Emeka Okafor, for example, looked like Shaq in his prime in the Hornet's 96-93 win over Miami in their first matchup.
With the struggles glaringly obvious, head coach Erik Spoelstra had no choice but to make changes. Vetern center Erick Dampier was signed and Zydrunas Ilgauskas was awarded a starting job.
Since being demoted, Anthony has seen steady minutes off the bench.
LeBron James is back to his old self and dominating opponents
Ever since scorching the Cavaliers in his much anticipated return to Cleveland, LeBron James hasn't looked back. Not even for a second.
He's back to his old self, making circus shots like they're nothing and getting to the basket at will. James has grown particularly fond of the third quarter, taking over and giving the Heat a boost towards easy, blowout wins.
Why the turn around?
It's simple, really. James hasn't held back from playing the game like he best knows how, being aggressive.
Dwyane Wade, perhaps, had the bumpiest start of all.
Struggling mightily with his shot, forcing passes and passing up on opportunities to attack the rim, Wade simply didn't look like himself. Heat fans were wondering where the aggresive, flashy super star was as Wade put on poor performance after poor performance.
Then, it was like someone hit a switch, and Wade got back to his normal self. Driving through traffic and hitting clutch shots, Miami fans couldn't be happier to see Wade looking like a top three player in the NBA again.
Like James, Wade is finally playing his game and not worrying about forcing it. And it's paying off.
He can't deal with not being the alpha dog.
The insults towards Chris Bosh were endless, and Chris Bosh responded. Bosh has been a monster on the boards and a key ingredient to the Heat's recent success.
With a double-double on Monday night against New Orleans, Bosh became the official team leader in double-doubles with eight on the year. Finally starting to find his groove, Chris Bosh is starting to live up to his lofty expectations with the Miami Heat.
When the Heat lost three-point specialist Mike Miller to a thumb injury prior to the season's tip off, many thought the Heat would suffer badly without a three-point threat to stretch the floor.
Sure, there was James Jones, but he was just an average shooter, just another subpar part of this weak Miami bench.
Now, Jones is among the league leaders in three pointers. Wait, what? No one saw this coming, not even Heat fans. If they tell you they did, they're lying to your face.
Jones has really stepped it up in Miller's absence, already long surpassing his last year's total for three point shots made. They aren't all in garbage time, either. Jones has had many big shots already this season, and without a doubt, the Miami native has been the biggest and most pleasant surprise for Heat fans so far.