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Everything is no big deal to the Miami Heat, including blowout to Boston Celtics

Apr 2, 2012, 2:21 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers Getty Images

There is no “maybe this is a good thing” here for the Miami Heat. There should be no “just the wake up call they needed.” This team, with the aspirations it has, should not be looking for wake-up calls. They should be looking for toe tags. Miami’s 91-72 loss to the Celtics on Sunday should not be considered a positive thing in any way. There is no silver lining. There is no reassuring bright side. There is only the boot print left on the Miami’s neck and backside, imprinted with 16-11-14, Rajon Rondo‘s triple-double he not-so-casually spit on the reigning East champs on national television.

And there’s nothing surprising about it.

This is who Miami is, capable of whipping reigning NBA champion Dallas three days earlier, then turning around and falling apart against the Celtics, their biggest rival over the past two years, a team that despite last year’s playoffs, likely feels it’s better. This is the same Miami team that torches the Lakers in their first meeting and gets trounced in the second, the same Heat that toppled the Bulls when they had Derrick Rose and lost to them when they didn’t.

It’s the same Heat that looked invincible in the Eastern playoffs and laughable for the final four games of the Finals. They are a good team, a great team when they choose to be. But they seldom choose to be. And it shows in their reactions to things like Sunday.

Consider this, from the Miami Herald:

James is right. They do have to hit shots. But that’s not what you say. That’s not how you lead. You say you have to put guys in better spots. You take the responsibility of being the best player on the planet. But of course, that’s not what was said. From the Sun-Sentinel:

“This was a good, old-fashioned you-know-what,” LeBron James said after going without an assist for only the second time in his career. “We’ve got to own it, and we’ve got to get better.

“We’ve got to figure it out before the playoffs. . . . We understand we have to fix this right now.”

The Heat are now 6-5 in their last 11 games overall and 3-7 in their last 10 road games.

“You’ve got to figure it out,” said guard Dwyane Wade, who was victimized by a humbling blocked shot by Celtics guard Avery Bradley and shot just 6 of 17. “We’ll figure it out. That’s what good teams do.”

via Miami Heat, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade take on Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce. – South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com.

There isn’t a sense this is unacceptable to Miami. This game can’t have surprised them. They knew Boston, desperate to cling to their fading chances at a championship, would circle this game. They knew this was a crucial opportunity to illustrate to everyone that Miami is read for a playoff run.

And they were blown out in the most Heat-way possible, looking totally underwhelming, as if the energy simply could not be spent.

This is kind of a recurring pattern, when you look at the Heat’s comments last year. A loss resulted in Wade’s “the world’s a better place” comment. The Finals disaster gave us LeBron’s “wake up tomorrow” speech. In general, the Heat’s response to every low point since they joined together in 2010 has been “eh.”

——————————————————–

The concept of effort in the NBA is kind of ridiculous. If you’re a superstar, you’re not lazy. There are lazy guys, guys who have either already succeeded or simply have physical advantages that make them think they don’t have to work (being tall). But anyone who is successful works their faces off. That’s the thing. You could dismiss the Heat if they were a bunch of talented underachievers who never showed any potential for excellence. But they’re not. They’re made up of the elite.

James is talented? That’s nice. He built that freakish body of his into a super-human machine and put the abilities to go with it, which aren’t natural fits for a frame like that. Wade is gifted? Sure. He also put in the time and effort to be able to hit those impossible layups. Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, all have done the work to be some of the best basketball players on Earth. So why do they continually have these games where it looks they’re not giving it everything?

It’s easy to just say every team loses. It does. But it’s different with this team. If it was just a cold shooting night, if it was just the Celtics executing better, if it was just the Warriors, the Thunder, the Lakers playing better, you can understand that, it takes nothing away from them. Every team loses. But this team was formed with the intentions of being one of the greatest of all time. It was that boldness that created such a backlash against them. But if you’re going to set that kind of standard? You had least better submit every ounce of sweat you can into reaching them.

But then, can you say the same for yourself? Have you committed to unparalleled effort in each of the biggest moments of your life? This is a regular season game against a likely 4 or 7 seed. That doesn’t even crack the top 50 of the most important games of these players’ careers. And yet it was an opportunity to say something meaningful. And instead, they largely laid down. Again.

This game means nothing in the grand scheme, except for this: If the Heat want the benefit of the doubt, they have to win a title. To win a title, they have to play consistently. And that’s not something that’s granted. It’s developed. The Celtics and Lakers have slept through regular season stretches in the past and won titles. And still this feels different.

The Heat are still a mystery, the most frustrating one you’ll find.

  1. lucidsportsfan - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Lebron is a joke. It’s embarrassing that he’s considered by some to be the best player on the planet. He has all of the talent in the world, but the head of a small child. Look at his stats from last year’s finals: http://www.lucidsportsfan.com/2011_06_01_archive.html#2049941527228952857

  2. mikejd12 - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Always some haters like you guys

    • slowclyde86 - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:24 AM

      Are trying to be funny? “Oh no, somebody criticized my team. They have no right. They are just being mean haters.”. Hillareous.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        Haters:

        The term you use when you have absolutely no tangible or relevant point with which to debate criticism.

  3. fanz928 - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:12 AM

    The heats don’t have to worry they’ll still go to the playoffs the finals and shitt on every team and win it

  4. allball23 - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:12 AM

    Its not hate its the truth the heat think that they can turn the switch on just like that. But when the play offs come it will be a different story. They dont rebound well and if you clog the paint wade and james aren’t good shooters

  5. redbaronx - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    @mikejd12 What? Just because someone speaks the truth they are ‘haters’?

    Lets be clear. The reason people don’t like the Heat is because they’re primadonnas. You’d never see this kind of reaction from past champions like Boston or Kobe and the Lakers. The Heat act like they deserve a championship just for being their wonderful selves. Like LBJ’s comments after the NBA Finals last year about us fans going back to our horrible lives, and we should be thankful for being allowed in his presence.

    What a crock! They have the talent to be champions, but they don’t deserve to be champions. They don’t have the heart of a champion. If anyone deserves to be champions this year, it’s the Thunder or the Bulls who’ve sweated every game and played like champs. Maybe even Boston who’ve certainly showed yet again that they have the heart for being an old team that should have been put out to pasture multiple times over.

    Until the Heat show that they have a heart and losing hurts them, they don’t deserve to be champs. How’s that for ‘hating’?

  6. md23rewlz - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    And with all of that being said, Miami is still one of the three best teams in basketball. Knocking the Heat is an incredibly easy thing to do, but let’s be real: What they do on April 1st has no bearing whatsoever on the playoffs. It literally is no big deal.

    • drunkenjunk - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:35 AM

      Yes, but they looked like garbage. They got abused and it was so sweet to watch. Wade is such a cry baby. People wouldn’t be so critical of them if they didn’t act so entitled.

    • smoothaswilkes - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      “It literally is no big deal.”

      Spoken just like Wade or James.

    • md23rewlz - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      It’s probably a weird thing for me to note, but how can 46 people dislike this? Did I make some egregious statement? Did I go out onto a limb and say something that wasn’t rooted in logic? Barring an epic collapse, Miami is locked into getting either the first or second seed. I don’t like Miami. I am not a Miami homer. At the same time, you’re fooling yourself if you think that this is some catastrophic team flaw that is magically occurring. They’ve been one of the best teams in basketball all year long. They’ve hit a bump in the road and aren’t playing well, but to judge them for a few games in a compacted, weird season makes no sense to me. The funny thing is that the Celtics did the coast-into-the-playoffs-then-turn-it-on thing all the time back when they were a dominant team. Of course James and Wade will shrug the thing off. You can’t be a professional athlete if you’re going to dwell on your bad games. I don’t really see where my logic is flawed. They are still one of the three best teams in basketball, and I would be shocked if they didn’t at least make the ECF. Anyway, I look forward to receiving another 46 dislikes on this post. :)

  7. seattlesuperchronic - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    md23rewlz

    You’re right, no one had the heat beating Chicago in the playoffs last year and the heat dominated them, let’s wait till playoff time to start these conversations (yeah right). I’m super pumped for the playoffs already.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      , no one had the heat beating Chicago in the playoffs last year

      Just how recently did you move out from under your rock?

    • passerby23 - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Actually, A LOT of people had the Heat beating Chicago in last year’s playoffs, including me. At best, it was a pick ‘em series, if not the Heat being a slight favorite. I do agree no matter how the Heat are playing, it’s going to be tough to beat them. A healthy Bulls team will beat them this year and possibly the Celtics if they can get enough healthy bodies. Tough to flip the switch and when a team is playing together with good chemistry like Dallas last year. The Heat could be in trouble because it’s not a team built on great team chemistry, but instead on individual talent.

  8. losangelasbasketball - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:15 AM

    the switch is broken…

  9. losangelasbasketball - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    miami vs lakers in the finals
    chicago will get out-athletic’d
    Okc will get out-veteran’d

    • blueintown - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      Lakers will get out-basketball’d in round 2.

  10. watermelon1 - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    Yawn. The heat can beat teams of lebron and wade are grtting 20 free throws a piece like the officials used to give them a few years ago. They could also win if the rest of the team is hitting their wide open kick-out shots. Usually for 3.

    Yes, they got rocked.by Dallas last year and then returned the favor this year. Why? Because Dallas completely changed it’s roster after last season! No more Tyson chandler. Odom is nothing like he was on the lakers or heat. And they also didn’t re-sign the lebron stopper in deshawn Stevenson.

    The bulls actually play better basketball without Rose, so those matchups really aren’t absolute shockers if you happen to watch the games.

    Heat aren’t in panic mode because there’s no point to be. Even a shortened nba season is too darn long. Heat are just waiting for playoffs. We all know they’re in. And that’s really all that matters. Especially in the east.

    Most likely heat and thunder, and most likely goes to game 7 because the nba says it must.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      The bulls actually play better basketball without Rose

      I wish you would have led with this, so we’d know up front you’re not very bright.

  11. metalhead65 - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    has anyone checked on kurt lately? how did a article like this get by the president of the lebron and heat fan club? I mean who would have ever thought a unbiased article about kurt’s team would be seen on this site? how long before we get 65 of the offical kurt/heat it does not matter response articles? you know the celtics just got lucky or lebron had a serious hagnail problem but does not want to use as an excuse story?

    • drunkenjunk - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      lol. Lebron was out saving children from burning buildings last night until 4 A.M, so he didn’t get the proper rest.

  12. crafttractor1234 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    This team is just so hateable. Think about what it says about this league, and its poster team, that LeQuit had “Chosen One” and “King James” tattooed, in huge lettering, on his body when he was still a young player in the league. He was an overgrown, overstuffed, overprimped man-child from the time he was 15 years old. This kind of me-first individuality and stardom-before-team-success is absolutely what is wrong with this dysfunctional league. Thanks David Stern for not only allowing it to happen, but encouraging shameless narcissists like LeDouche to essentially run the show in the NBA. The assocation is ruined.

  13. dirtybird2020 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Hahahhaa no allen either, what a joke! They must be gay just bending over and taking it like that, pulp fiction style! Hahahahahaha hater for life, better than a bandwagoner all day!

  14. dirtybird2020 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Lakers in finals hahaha thats a funny joke, whos guarding westbrook and durrant, enough said not a lakers hater here but thats a ridiculous statement, spurs will beat okc if any older teams gonna win due to veteranship, but thats still not gonna happen, how are lakers gonna win when bynum is shooting 3′s and not joining huddles, and kibe slowing down and relies on help defense lakers are not gonna get out of the 2nd rd, i doubt the first round dont know the west standings as of right now

  15. mysterywriter1951 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    To begin with, the Heat have a couple of tragic flaws – poor play at the point guard position and no intimidating presence inside. Add to the mix a coach who lacks the gravitas to convince the team’s superstarts to quit throwing up stupid shots, and you’ve got the recipe for disaster. What I don’t understand, however, is the lack of effort.

  16. 618t - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I guess its fashionable from writers to fans to bash the players on the Heat. Last time I checked the coach is part of the team. Spoelstra is lacking in the strategy department. Doesn’t run plays and defense is predictable. Last year against Dallas no one would have mistaken Rick Carlisle as a coaching genius considering some of the flame outs Dallas had in past playoffs yet he thoroughly out coached Spoelstra.

    Heat lack a true 5 although they have 7’0- Eddy Curry on the bench and Spoelstra wont play him. Curry cant be any worse than what they currently have at the 5. Spoelstra also wont play James Jones last years three point champion in all star game even with Mike Miller hurt as usual. Im not going to even discuss their shortcomings at the 1

    But keep believing its all LBJ and Wade.

  17. lakerluver - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    A funny thing happened on the way to “not 1, not 2, not 3………. I guess someone forgot to tell the rest of the league they’re SUPPOSED to run and hide from the “mighty” Heatles. Miami better hope they don’t have to face Boston in the playoffs. The “REAL” next dynasty potentially is OKC. If they meet the Heatles in the Finals my money’s going on OKC.

  18. asublimeday - Apr 3, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    You’re right, no one had the heat beating Chicago in the playoffs last year and the heat dominated them, let’s wait till playoff time to start these conversations (yeah right). I’m super pumped for the playoffs already.

    ———–

    Uh, what? The heat we’re favored all series.

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