Not only have the Heat lost two games already, but they’ve been blown out in those losses. They also had two wins against the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets that could have easily been losses. And during this stretch, Miami is allowing just over 100 points per game, seventh most in the league.
So, naturally, after a shaky display through the early going of the season, it’s time to hit the panic button, right?
I understand that the team is struggling. Dwyane Wade hasn’t been at his best, Udonis Haslem continues to be a non-factor and the defense is of obvious concern.
But this is the reigning NBA champions we’re talking about. This is an entity that can rely on James, who can single-handedly will his squad to victory if needed. This is a team that shut down the Brooklyn Nets offense, despite them boasting an array of talented offensive options. And this is also a team that is still averaging a league best 105.5 points per contest.
So, why should they panic?
Has their interior defense been porous? Sure, but that’s always been the case. Also, bear in mind that Miami is still attempting to not only adjust to its small-ball scheme but adjusting to their newly retooled rotation.
Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis have emerged as prominent pieces to the Heat’s puzzle, so obviously the team is sacrificing something defensively when they’re on the floor.
And for now, that’s OK. Because 1) they’re still winning games and 2) we’ve seen what Miami looks like when its firing on all cylinders, when its playing up to its potential.
Therefore, what’s the use mincing words on what is merely a team going through the motions, not a unit that is just waiting to implode?
There is none.
Truth be told, the Heat may not win a title this year. They fell just short when they made multiple acquisitions in the summer of 2010 just as they did this summer, so the possibility remains that we may be asking too much, too soon of such a formidable collective.
That said, they may also fall short because teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers or San Antonio Spurs refuse to yield.
But remember, despite the slow start, despite playing some subpar basketball on occasion, they remain one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Even on an off night, this isn’t a team the Thunder themselves would want to square off against.
Knowing that, we must also remember that the Heat are the favorites for a reason. They’ve already proven they had what it takes to win and their new acquisitions have only built upon that philosophy.
So no, it’s not time for Miami to push the panic button. This team has experienced turbulent times before and it will experience them long after it exits this current battery of troubles.
And that changes nothing. The Heat are still a prolific convocation of superstars. They’re still amongst the NBA’s elite. They’re still a strong defensive team at heart.
And yeah, they’re still the team that’s most likely to win a title upon season’s end.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.