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Should homecourt be a priority for the Heat next season?

Aug 19, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Miami Heat Victory Parade And Rally Getty Images

Typically, after you win the NBA title, you reach a new level of confidence. You know you can get there, you know you can win it. You have an extra gear and an awareness of that gear most teams don’t have. So homecourt advantage may not mean as much. The Heat won the title last year without homecourt advantage in the Finals, but will that be enough this year?

Ira Winderman, writing for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, fielded a question on that:

Q: Watching the Heat try to win their way to another championship will be fun. Once again, home court could prove vital: What if Game 7 against the Celtics was in Boston? — Roland, Portland.

A: Uh, then the Heat would have won in Boston? But I appreciate your overall point. Homecourt throughout the playoffs could be a particularly intriguing issue this coming season, based on the potential threat of the Lakers. But I wonder if it truly can be a pre-determined organizational decision, to play for the league’s top overall regular-season record? I think it’s something that just happens. That said, I can’t see the Heat wearing out players just for that goal, considering they didn’t have home court against the Thunder in the NBA Finals. Finishing at the top of the league could come down to the Heat’s supposed improved depth. Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and, to a degree, even a healthier Mike Miller could go a long way toward determining the Heat’s role in the overall race for No. 1.

via Miami Heat, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh commentary from Ira Winderman – South Florida

I’m not sure you can so easily say they would have won in Boston in Game 6. Part of the reason the Celtics seemed to buckle emotionally was the fact that with a chance to close out Miami at home in Game 6, LeBron James instead stole the lease and then burned the floorboards down. If the Celtics had had another crack at it, at home, in a Game 7? Might have been a different story. Maybe not. But it’s worth considering.

But his bigger point stands. The Heat need to focus on being healthy and making the right decisions for the club to where they can play as they need to in May and June. They can beat any team in the league, even the Lakers, if they bring the whole house. But they have to be healthy enough to.

With Dwyane Wade‘s injury history, LeBron coming off the wear and tear of the Olympics, and the age of the supporting cast, it’s hard to see them taking the overall top seed. But even if they have to go on the road to get a few, there’s no reason to change the opinion that they are the favorites.

At least in the East.

  1. cakemixa - Aug 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Not gonna happen, because my Wizards will be the #1 seed in the East. BOOK IT!

    • guyaneserj - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      LOL! That’s funny dude!

  2. readysethike - Aug 19, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    ^^^^^stay out the sun…the heat is getting to your head

  3. fanz928 - Aug 19, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    The wizard.. Funny joke?

  4. windycity52 - Aug 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    LeBron vs Kobe finals. Gonna be an exciting season.

    • eventhorizon04 - Aug 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      The Celtics match up pretty well against the Heat since both are defensive teams that want to play small ball. I favor the Heat since most matchups favor them (KG and Pierce are past their primes), but the Celtics always give the Heat problems.

      Also, OKC matches up pretty well against the Lakers since the Lakers’ weaknesses I suspect will be in transition (they’re an old team) and in wing defense, meaning OKC could beat them by pressing in transition and through solid perimeter shooting (both take Dwight out of the equation).

      I still think Lakers v Heat is the most likely matchup, but there are a couple of teams that can derail that.

      • skinsfanwill - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:21 AM

        It was Ray Allen giving Wade problems. He hated chasing that guy around. He’s now on the Heat. Boston won’t be a problem any more.

  5. therealhtj - Aug 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    The better question would be would Miami have taken a game 7 in Chicago? Had Bosh been healthy throughout that series, it never even gets to a game 7 vs. the Celts, and had Rose been healthy, the Celts would’ve had that much longer a summer to rest their old bones.

    • eventhorizon04 - Aug 19, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      …Well, the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals in 5 games despite Chicago having homecourt advantage.

      So that means the Chicago Bulls aren’t a good team to bring up when trying to argue the Heat should pursue homecourt advantage.

  6. eventhorizon04 - Aug 19, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    It’s really early to be thinking about this type of thing…

    The general rule (whether you’re the Miami Heat, the LA Lakers, Boston Celtics, or OKC Thunder) is to prioritize health over homecourt advantage

    So obviously (to use Miami as an example), if LeBron and Wade have hamstring injuries, it’s better to shut them down than hurt their health chasing after homecourt advantage. If their stars are at 100%, and nobody wants to get any rest after 75 or so games (which is doubtful), they’ll go for it.

  7. eugenesaxe - Aug 19, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    They shouldn’t have to worry about it, there isn’t any serious competition for it.

  8. dysraw1 - Aug 19, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    for any team its imperative to the get best field position you can get however some team come in the backdoor then ride the momentum right threw. just thinking i kinda like the latter way, because it shouldn’t matter who’s floor your on you still gotta win.

  9. dysraw1 - Aug 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    cake WASH could be one of those teams but take the div. come on they will be battling TOR. ATL CHI for those last spots barring injury of course

    • eugenesaxe - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      So many people don’t recognize a joke any more 😦

  10. money2long - Aug 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    people are saying the lakers still have to get through the thunder in the playoffs before we can talk dream matchup between the mamba and the lebron. i imagine the thunder running into a tough matchup in the semifinals though between a team like the clippers or the grizzlies and losing. do people consider that part? i don’t know if the thunder are automatic locks to make it to the conference finals. i don’t know about yall, but i thought they were going to lose to the spurs and i also thought the round prior the lakers had as good a chance as anyone to take them out and that was before they added nash and dwight. people, fans , analysts all want to point out how westbrook and durant are tough for kobe and nash to stop on defense at their age. but how come people don’t want to look down this two way street at the other end of this?

    if i didn’t know any better, nash is pretty hard to stop himself. check his numbers. kobe nearly led the league in scoring. he too is pretty hard to stop for a defender. perk and ibaka are pretty good defenders in their own right. but i’ll take my chances on offense with a dwight/pau combo. yes, you can say they may lock them up, but is their a better combo than pau/d12 on any team in an offensive manner that you would pit against the thunder frontcourt? nope! so you can argue the lakers have the best tandem in the frontcourt to go to battle against what the thunder bring and that is just amazing when you think of who their wing players are.

    the lakers are great. and i think the heat may want homecourt advantage against this team.

  11. 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 19, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Sorry. Still basking in the glow. Not quite ready to worry about who has home court 9 months from now.

    • cantonbound13 - Aug 20, 2012 at 6:51 AM

      Flopping is more effective when you have home court. A lockout shortened season is helpful also.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM

        I truly love this guy. Dude, we have other issues to worry about now. Our football team is going to take some lumps this year.

    • cantonbound13 - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      I give up on watching the Dolphins until they fire Ireland. Tannehill has no shot of succeeding with no talent at receiver & once again holes in the O line. It would be even better if Ross sold the team to someone that understands the game. Maybe you should buy the team 72!

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        I only have a couple billion on me. Might need a little help.

        I’m sure you will agree, our problems go back WAY before Jeff Ireland. I actually think it goes back to Robbie deciding to lowballing Csonka, Kiick, and Wardfield at the end of the 73 season. Ever since then, 98% shit. (81-85 was good)

        But let me ask you… you won’t watch the Dolphins because of Ireland, but you’re still all in on the Knicks? Kind of inconsistent, don’t you think.

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