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Dwyane Wade says Lakers slow start reminds him of Heat

Nov 20, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

Do you remember the 9-8 Miami Heat? The ones off to a slow start after putting together a superstar team (then the players doing their part to hype the expectations at a pep rally)? The ones that had national pundits calling for Erik Spoelstra to be sent packing so that legendary coach Pat Riley could come down from on high and solve all their problems, to whip the team into shape?

That feels like another lifetime in Miami, where the defending World Champions play.

Dwyane Wade told Fran Blinebury of NBA.com he thought people might have learned about expectations from that experience, but apparently not.

“There’s excitement, of course,” he said. “And there’s a lot of anticipation about what can be possible. But really, a lot of things tend to get ahead of themselves. I guess, when you think about it, those things are only natural. Now looking back, you see how unrealistic a lot of things are in the early days. But I guess it doesn’t stop everybody from doing it all over again and making the same mistake with expectations.”

It didn’t. And the situation is different — Riley clearly had faith in Spoelstra that Jim Buss never had in Mike Brown. (Which leads to questions of Brown’s hiring and why he was kept through the summer, but that’s another discussion for another day.) The Lakers made an aggressive change to Mike D’Antoni and just simplifying the offense has them playing better.

Chris Bosh said the challenge for the players is to tune all that out and focus on the job at hand.

“You hear all of the talk that’s going on on the outside and you try to ignore it, but that’s not always easy. There are decisions that aren’t yours and that you have no control over. All we focused on was playing basketball and just the day to day struggles that we had on the court, each game, each possession. That was enough.

“People in management are gonna make their decisions and you have to live with them and make them work.”

If the Lakers have that same outcome as that Heat squad — making the NBA finals this year — some of that noise will subside. But for now, the Lakers are the center of the storm and are just going to have to deal with the expectations, realistic or not.

  1. hoodheisman - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Anything less than a championship will be a failure for the Lakers. The only way short Buss can successfully defend his choice of D’Antoni over Phil Jackson is if the Lakers win it all this year. If they come up short, everybody will point the finger at that hire and say “you should have hired Phil”. In that sense, the comparison to the Heat is a bit off. The Heat never turned down Phil Jackson in favor of Eric Spoelstra.

    • justwannawinna - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      Well that all depended if phil wanted to coach, which he obviously didnt and it also depended on why they didnt stick with the good defensive mind of brown. Yea his coaching is complex but ultimatly it pays off when you can teach guys with this kind of talent how to really ball instead of having them rely on their physical talent to succeed. D’Antino is a fast pace offense which shouldnt help the older vets of the Lakers, but will help Nash and Howard have great pick and rolls. Kobe their best player will only get a certain amount of touches after a while when the team is up tempo. They shoulda relied on Browns defensive team because this kind of talent finds ways to score no matter what, teams will go into slumps but if u keep feeding ur bigs in Gasol and Howard and give it to the hot shooter then youll eventually get out of that slump. This was a stupid move to D’Antino

      • alekezam - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        I disagree to some degree. Yes, overall Brown was the better choice. However, D’Antoni, having actually played basketball, gets the game on a level that Brown, no matter how high a basketball mind/IQ he has, can’t reach.

        For me, it wasn’t that the offense was complex. For me, it was that his rotations sucked so bad combined with the bench being ineffective/not playing much time. Under Bernie/D’Antoni, the bench has actually been able to stay on the court and gain confidence in their game. Mess-ups aren’t equaling being benched like it was under Brown (and let’s face it even Phil). Under D’Antoni, everyone gets used to their best potential.

  2. cantonbound13 - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Laker fans say who cares what Diva Wade thinks!!!

    • edweird0 - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM

      Clearly you do since you bothered to read what he said.

      • eventhorizon04 - Nov 20, 2012 at 9:32 PM

        Funny thing is, he’s a Knicks fan.

        Don’t know why he’s pretending to speak for Lakers fans.

  3. lakerluver - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    I’m a big Phil Jackson fan. I think he is one of the greatest coaches ever. However, he wasn’t perfect! All things considered, I think the LAKERS made the right choice. Phil is not the only coach that can lead this team to a title….The biggest difference in the situations is the LAKERS began the season dealing with injuries and the Heat were healthy, for the most part. Of course that hasn’t stopped the “smartphone experts” from writing the LAKERS off. But if health is not an issue come spring, I like the LAKERS chances against anybody–including the Heat. The LAKERS seem to be figuring it out quicker than the Heat did. The LAKERS chemistry is coming together rapidly and nicely. The critics doubted whether Kobe and Dwight could coexist. I think they’re the best inside/outside combo in the NBA right now.

    • loungefly74 - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      any change was a good change. as much as i wanted to like Brown…he was the wrong man. D’Antoni brings a new breathe of fresh air. would having PJ be great as well? heck yeah…but it is what it is. D’Antoni is our man…im sticking with him!

  4. paulhargis53 - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Ugh! Shut up with your homeristic bs!

    lakerslurper, you are the most inane, annoying pos I have ever seen.

    You disappear when they are losing and are on here chirping every fn day when they win a few games.

    If you were a fan of the Clippers, Paul and Blake would be the best inside/outside combo.

    You show no objectivity whatsoever.

    Arent you late for your job providing happy endings to your clientle at the all male massage parlor you own and operate?
    Try to stay at 1/2 mast today will ya? You creep your customers out with your 1/2 pack of rolaids going while on the job.

    Say hi to Travolta for me would ya? He,was great I’m Welcome Back Kotter…

  5. lakerluver - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Oh, one more BIG difference. The LAKERS will NOT be crying in the locker room!!

  6. manchestermiracle - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    If you’re going to claim in your headline that Wade said something, put that something in your article. There’s no indication Wade is saying anything about the Lakers.

    And why would you want to continue debating the why and when of Brown’s firing when you’ve already beaten that to death?

  7. broadstbully - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    @lakerluver,

    Kobe cried on the bench in ’04. Get your $#!+ together, bro. But for what it’s worth, I love Kobe. And I agree that they still have a legitimate shot against anyone, when fully healthy. Now and in June, if they make it that far. Sometimes, this sport is like boxing. Old champions can dust off the gloves, get a new trainer, and maybe, just maybe, win the title one more time. We’ll see if the Lakers can do it.

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