After the Miami Heat fell to the Boston Celtics on Sunday, the world suddenly turned dark down in south Florida. All of a sudden, this team, which has won 32 of their last 39 games and 10 of their last 11, was no longer a championship-caliber team according to commentators throughout the sports world.
Well, maybe that was an overreaction...
Sure, there are certain critical issues facing the Heat. Miami remains winless against the Boston Celtics in three attempts this season. Much of this could be due to the fact that Dwyane Wade has truly struggled against the Celtics. The Mavericks also thoroughly handled the Heat in both meetings this season.
Yet, perhaps the world isn't crashing down on the Heat.
Two of the meetings between Boston and Miami came before the Heat really began to develop team chemistry.
Currently, Miami sits at 41-15 and should be able to reach 60 wins and at least a No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat have had their fair share of slips, but due to the highly scrutinized nature of this team, every mistake has been magnified.
We forget sometimes that this is a team that has looked unbeatable at times. LeBron James is playing at an MVP caliber level. Dwyane Wade, albeit with some inconsistencies, has been the third most efficient player in the NBA. Chris Bosh has become the most underrated player in the NBA given the fact that he receives so much negative attention for being the third best player on his team.
The most important factor concerning the Miami Heat's drive towards their goal of an NBA championship has to be the fact that this team has not finished developing chemistry.
Mike Miller is clearly not yet at full strength, and Miami might have an ace in the hole if Udonis Haslem can return this season. Haslem could be exactly what this team needs, an enforcer with attitude who can respond to the dirty play of guys like Kevin Garnett.
The reality is that this Heat team is no different than the team of a week ago before the loss to the Boston Celtics.
If Miami can win against the Celtics next time at home, perhaps they will once again be a championship favorite.