I‘ve stated from day one that the overwhelming negative reaction aimed at LeBron James and his Miami Heat cohorts has been over the top. I’m the furthest thing from a Heat fan, but James and Bosh agreeing to join Wade in South Beach didn’t really bother me. Nor did I lose any sleep over “The Decision”. Nobody committed a crime and it doesn’t impact my life in anyway. I didn’t have a problem with their “pep rally” either because that was intended solely for the local audience. That wasn’t aired on national TV. Just the Miami market, so what’s the problem?
The 2010 – 2011 Miami Heat were by far the most talked about, scrutinized and debated team, quite possibly ever in the history of sports. It was impossible to encounter someone who didn’t have a strong opinion on the Heat. They either hated them or loved them. There was no middle ground. The same is still true, despite some of the spotlight dimming.
Even though they lost in the Finals 4-2, I still feel as if they should’ve swept the Mavs. I know that doesn’t really make sense but hear me out. The person most responsible for the Mavs being crowned champs isn’t Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, J.J. Barea, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd or anybody on Dallas’ roster for that matter. It had more to do with LeBron not playing up to half of his potential, for whatever reason. That is why I wasn’t that impressed with Dallas’ win, because if both teams played as well as they could’ve, the Heat would’ve won. Easily. I don’t think that’s debatable, nor do I think Dallas did anything to take LeBron out of his game.
But this is now a different year and a different ballgame for the Heat. In my opinion, the Heat absolutely MUST win the championship this year. Now, I’m not necessarily rooting for that to happen, but it needs to happen for their sake this year and here’s why:
1. Dwyane Wade isn’t getting any younger
Quietly, Wade turned 30 in January and has had to deal with a myriad of injuries throughout his career. This year was no different. Now, 30 isn’t that old, but the injuries will now become more frequent since his body is older. He’s still a top 5 player in the League, but I’m not sure how many more years he’ll be playing at this level.
2. The pressure will continue to mount
The Heat listen to the media lot. Probably too much. So, if the Heat come up short again this year, can you imagine what will be written and said about them? And yes, they will be cognizant of that and it will affect them moving forward.
3. The bench will always be a question mark
Their bench is decent but they don’t get enough production out of them. I find it amazing that Juwan Howard is still in the NBA, given the Fab 5 was formed more than 20 years ago (and because he has a son in college). The bulk of their scoring will always come from the “Big 3”.
4. Miami brass may begin to think about dismantling the team
Last year when people were advocating trading Wade for Dwight Howard after the season, I thought that was asinine. But I wonder if Miami’s front office felt the same way. If they don’t get it done this year, I think they may consider (although, I doubt they’ll do it) making a major roster move that will shake up the team big time and cause them to start over in terms of rebuilding chemistry.
5. If they can’t get it done this year, I’m not sure they ever will
If you’re looking for your everyday, predictable basketball talk, then go somewhere else, because Kevin Burke of The Kevin Burke Project brings provocative, thought provoking content about basketball as only he can. Kevin also hosts The Hoop Doctors weekly podcast show, which you can subscribe to for free on iTunes. Follow Kevin on Twitter and Facebook