I personally know like five or six Miami Heat fans. Three of them became fans this summer after "The Decision." I went to school in Miami for four years and I can honestly say that just about nobody down there cares about basketball. Not a knock on them (okay, fine, yes...it is), just a fact of life.
So when LeBron made his decision to go there, it angered me.
It angered me because he didn’t come to New York. It angered me because the best player in the league felt the only way he could win a championship was if the second (or third, or whatever) best player in the league was on his team, too. But mostly it angered me because I thought Miami didn’t deserve him.
After he signed, I swore I would root to the death against them in the playoffs. I frantically tried to come up with reasons they couldn't win it all. Eventually, I settled on "they're not big enough," pinning all my hopes on the Lakers and Celtics to be able to take them out.
“The Celtics have too much size for them. Perkins. The O'Neals. Erden. Et cetera. They’ll dominate Chris Bosh inside,” was how I rationalized that one in my head. “Kobe will never allow his team to lose to the Three Am-egos,” I thought.
At the beginning of the season I couldn’t have been happier with how the Heat were playing. They limped out of the gate to a 9-8 (yay for rhymes!) start, LeBron and Wade seemed totally incompatible, Spoelstra was on his way out the door and Pat Riley was issuing "no comments" like nobody’s business.
But then they ripped off like, a million wins in a row, and I remembered why I was so scared of this team in the first place. They have three guys who can drop 30, 40 or 50 on any given night, and you simply can’t stop all of them.
As I was watching Game 3 of the series against the Bulls and TNT showed a graphic that read, “Chris Bosh: 28 points, LeBron/Wade: 27 points,” I knew it was all over.
If the Bulls, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, couldn’t even beat this team when Chris Bosh was outscoring LeBron and Wade COMBINED, no one was ever gonna beat them. And I still feel that way.
These guys are an unstoppable force right now, one that really might be on its way to not one, not two, not—you get the picture—but X amount championships in the next few years.
They play such suffocating defense that it looks like Derrick Rose has five guys on him at all times, but Boozer, Noah, Korver and Deng are still being covered at the same time.
Every single turnover becomes a basket.
If LeBron is off, Wade and Bosh can pick-and-roll you to death. If Wade is having a bad night, LeBron goes bonkers. And now we know that if both LeBron and Wade aren’t feeling it, Bosh can just destroy Carlos Boozer.
They’ll finish off the Bulls in five or six games. I don’t think either of the Western Conference finalists can really hang with them.
"Durant and Westbrook can hang with LeBron and D-Wade!"
Maybe. But if they can’t? Does the Thunder bench have THAT much firepower to make up for the 3 offensive ____ they start in Sefalosha, Perkins and Ibaka? And if they did, would it matter? The OKC offense has stalled against the Mavericks more times than a 1981 Impala. And Dallas’ D isn’t all that special.
"But who guards Dirk?" you say.
"Same guy that guards LeBron and Wade—nobody," I reply.
And then Dirk has to defend Bosh on the other end. Not exactly a walk in the park.
I’ve adopted my roommate’s attitude towards LeBron, Wade and Co. over the last year or so. Whenever they win their first title they’re not giving up the belt easily. They’ll win a few in a row. Maybe that streak starts this year. Maybe they get six like Michael, Scottie and the Bulls. Maybe they get a few more.
One thing’s for sure, I’ll be rooting against them, even if I don’t really stand a chance.