I must admit, while the over dissecting of this team has long gone by the wayside since this team won the franchises 2nd title (first in the “Big 3″ era) in 2012, the Miami Heat still will not get a pass. And with their recent struggles in March, especially losing 7 of their last 11 games, many people are scratching their heads and wondering whether the panic meter should be turned on the Miami Heat?
We can all use the excuse of this team “coasting till the postseason” and yes in my opinion if this team played like this in December, I might actually give that argument validity. But the NBA playoffs is under a month away and if there is a time where great teams normally start to come out of the proverbial shell, mid/late March historically is that time.
Unfortunately Miami has chosen the wrong time to regress.
Now for context and perspective, their one worthy challenger in the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers have also struggled as of late but Miami has not taken full advantage of that as Indy still maintains a slim yet seemingly comfortable lead for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference with less than a month to go.
Is it tired legs or continued regular season disinterest? I mean let’s face it, this team’s #1 goal heading into this season was to indeed 3-peat as NBA champions and the way to go about that is first ad foremost to stay healthy and coach Erik Spoelstra to use extreme common sense on altering minutes and tweaking rotations during the 82 game grind. In other words, being proactive rather than reactive.
And that is understandable. To a degree anyway.
If there isn’t a cause for concern within the Miami Heat locker room, LeBron James sure as hell didn’t get that memo. James didn’t sound too chipper about the team’s recent play and he made that abundantly clear last night following their 105-95 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans:
From Michael Wallace of ESPN.com
He was then asked about the Heat’s constantly changing lineups; Saturday’s was Miami’s 18th different starting group this season as Dwyane Wade and Greg Oden sat out to rest their knees.
“We’ve always had lineup changes,” James said of the Heat, which went through 15 different sets of starters during last season’s 66-win campaign. “Guys who are on the floor need to produce. It’s that simple. It’s very frustrating. We’re all frustrated. We just got to all get on the same page. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ve got to figure it out.”
Maybe with their star player speaking out and his growing discontent of Miami’s poor play as of late, it may be just the kick in the ass needed for this team to reach the regular season finish line in a positive fashion and propel them into the postseason where many challengers await to take their throne and thwart a 3-peat opportunity.
In closing Chris Bosh summed it up best last night.
“We’re going to have to draw the line in the sand somewhere,” he said. “We don’t talk about it. We’re not expressing ourselves in the locker room or on the court. So I figure I’ll be the first one to say it. We suck. And if we don’t play better, we’ll be watching the championship at home.”