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LeBron says Heat have ‘too many excuses’ after losing for seventh time in last 11 games

Mar 23, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

lebron AP

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Miami Heat, who are in the middle of a late-season malaise that has seen them drop seven of their last 11 games.

Things have been particularly difficult for LeBron James, who in addition to the losing has been dealing with back spasms and an ankle injury that he suffered in the latest defeat to the Pelicans on Saturday.

James was testier than usual when giving his postgame remarks, which may be a good thing for a Miami team that has lacked any sort of competitive fire for the bulk of the regular season.

From Michael Wallace of ESPN.com:

“It’s too many excuses; everything is an excuse,” James bristled as he rushed through his postgame session with reporters before fleeing the locker-room scene as other Miami players were still showering. “We do something wrong, it’s an excuse. We don’t get a stop, it’s an excuse. We turn the ball over, it’s an excuse. What we’re doing right now ain’t good enough.” …

He was then asked about the Heat’s constantly changing lineups; Saturday’s was Miami’s 18th different starting group this season as Dwyane Wade and Greg Oden sat out to rest their knees.

“We’ve always had lineup changes,” James said of the Heat, which went through 15 different sets of starters during last season’s 66-win campaign. “Guys who are on the floor need to produce. It’s that simple. It’s very frustrating. We’re all frustrated. We just got to all get on the same page. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ve got to figure it out.”

The lineups are a real issue, especially when you look at who’s replacing the key rotation players and just how little production they’re actually providing. Udonis Haslem and Toney Douglas started on Saturday, and Ray Allen went 3-of-10 from the field in 31 minutes off the bench on the second night of the back-to-back set.

But the lineups alone aren’t the problem. What we’re seeing right now is a collective level of fatigue from a group which has been to the Finals in each of the last three seasons. There’s a reason no one has been able to make it to the championship round four years straight since the Boston Celtics, who did it from 1984-1987. There’s a physical and mental grind that begins to take its toll after playing so many extra games, and the Heat appear to have reached that threshold.

The way the Pacers have looked lately, home court advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals may not ultimately prove to be as important as it was last year. If the Heat brain trust agrees, Miami has two great opportunities to get its stars some extended rest before the postseason begins.

After playing Indiana on the 26th, the Big Three could sit and miss four games that would give them eight consecutive days off, and only one of those (against the Raptors on the 31st) is against a team currently in playoff contention.

The other opportunity would be to close out the season, and that might make even more sense. The Heat could rest anyone who needs it to finish out the final three games, which would give everyone a nice week-long period of rejuvenation right before the playoffs.

It’s unclear if Erik Spoelstra would consider such a strategy; remember, Heat president Pat Riley was famous for doing exactly the opposite when coaching the Showtime era Lakers. But Miami is weary — players are missing time due to injury, and the long grind of the season has them losing games they should be winning. Something needs to be done, as Chris Bosh summed up succinctly after his team’s latest disappointing loss.

“We’re going to have to draw the line in the sand somewhere,” he said. “We don’t talk about it. We’re not expressing ourselves in the locker room or on the court. So I figure I’ll be the first one to say it. We suck. And if we don’t play better, we’ll be watching the championship at home.”

  1. goraidersgospurs - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    the same guy who whines 4 a foul after every shot???? I should hate Ray Allen for what he did to my team last year but he is the only Heat I respect!!!

  2. cantonbound13 - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Excuses & flopping are what they’re known for.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Weird, I kind of knew them for being the two-time defending NBA champions.

    • void96eater - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      cantonbound strikes again. I’m surprised to see no mentioning of PEDs.

  3. lj312chicago - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    wahhh wahhh wahh I’m LeQueen James wahhhhhh

    funny I said the same thing over a week ago and all you bandwagon heat fans got your panties in a bunch
    guy cries like a little girl for a superstar he’s the biggest cry baby ever.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. All these bandwagoners actually believe A-Rod of the NBA is the greatest ever. So sad, if only they saw MJ, Magic & Larry.

  4. bucrightoff - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    I think he’s gonna leave Miami at the end of the year. Wade is breaking down and Bosh is still the ultimate 3rd option (who’s really a 4th option). LeBron can go to the Clippers and not have to do everything like he does in Miami.

    • soopreme - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      Starting to get that same feeling. I’m surprised that Riley has not been able to put some Rugged beef in the paint after all this time. Bosh can shoot but other than that, he gets abused in the paint and he doesn’t board.
      The point guard situation is a lot to be desired also. Chalmers is not consistent and Cole seemed to have taken a step back this year. Also, Chalmers continue to try to do things he has no business trying. I think Lebron is going to have to play like super duper man in the playoffs if they are going to win it this year.

  5. cluelessdufus - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Doesn’t matter, in the playoffs they tend to go off. They sag off in the regular season (at least towards the end of it) they will be fine.

    • money2long - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      we’ll see, won’t we

    • casualcommenter - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Probably. One of the reasons why the Heat have historically done better in the playoffs against elite teams than they did in the regular season is that their rotation shortens. That’s meaningful because they’re still a top-heavy team that relies a lot on their Big 3, especially LeBron, so giving more minutes to LeBron and less minutes to their bench improves overall team performance.

      My guess is that the Heat will look better once players like Beasley (huge liability on defense) and probably Oden (huge liability on offense) are taken out of their rotation, but good health will be important for them.

  6. southsidegroovin281 - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    This coming from the same guy that blamed his sleeves for having a poor shooting night. Most of those excuses have come from his mouth. This is the same guy that takes off running to the other side of the court when a foul is called on him.

  7. rodge1 - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Every team has losing streaks… It is amusing reading the comments from the haters. There’s a Knick’s fan chiming in while his team is irrelevant. There’s a Bull’s fan making comments while his favorite player sits injured and is afraid to play in the playoffs even after being medically cleared. I’m sure some Laker fans will be commenting while their favorite player sits out while making more money than any player while crippling the Lakers salary cap… Please keep up the comments haters.

    • cruzan80 - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      The level of ignorance in your comment is astronomical……& just as amusing as the comments you speak of.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      All we’re doing is stating facts. Wasn’t it your “King” that blamed a poor shooting night on sleeves? Wasn’t it your “King” that complained the Bulls are too physical? Isn’t your ” King” notoriously known for flopping that the term LeBroning was created?
      Can’t handle facts, can you? Instead, you & the sensitive bandwagon fans call it hating. Fact is your team is a bunch of whiners, floppers & excuse makers.

    • money2long - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      lol…ok, question, who are the people who can comment about the heat? you seem to have a criteria in mind .. lmao

      seems like youre attacking the person, and not their message. which is narrowed minded thinking.
      just because you don’t like they deliverer, do not knock the person’s message. open up your eyes and your mind. this is the reason people think heat fans are biased and closed minded and flip floppy. you guys love oden now because he’s on your team when before that you made fun of him. you guys love beasley now when word on the street was he wouldn’t ever be successful because of marijuana. you guys praise lebron’s 60+ point game against a bobcats team when you knock kobe and melo’s high point games against non contending teams. stop contributing to the knock against heat fans. open your eyes. do not blind yourself from people’s messages because you hate who sent it.

      • 00maltliquor - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        (I give you a theoretical) +10 thumbs up for that comment.

    • spthegr8 - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      @Ryder1
      Why are you always so worried about the Lakers and Laker fans. ?? We aren’t going anywhere and we know that. You need to to worried about the fact that the Heat aren’t invincible and looks like their run is coming to an end. Not hating on the Heat either but it doesn’t look good right now! They are Not the same team.!!

  8. sportsfan18 - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Hey Lakers fans, the Heat have only won 4 out of their last 11 games…

    And it is STILL a higher winning percentage than the Lakers have this season…

    Heat are at .364% for their last 11 games…

    Lakers are at .324% for the season…

    I thought some perspective might help…

    Oh, the Heat could lose their next game and STILL have a higher winning percentage for those 12 games as 4 wins and 8 losses is better than the Lakers too…

    • money2long - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      the difference is….

      the heat are playing for a championship

      lol

      this post of yours just wreaks of a pathetic person trying to make himself feel better about the heat’s recent struggle. hahah.

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        I could NOT care less about the Heat’s recent struggle Money.

        I’m a Bulls fan… since the mid 1970’s.

        I don’t like the Lakers though and enjoy rubbing their lousy season in their stuck up fan’s faces… and was simply pointing out that the 4 & 7 in their last 11 game Heat is STILL a better winning percentage than the Lakers.

      • money2long - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        so you are agreeing that a lakers fan making an observation about the heat isn’t so bad, you are only criticizing them because you like to rub their stuck up faces ?

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        NO money, I said NOTHING either way about a Lakers fan saying something about the Heat and it not being so bad.

        That wasn’t my point and I didn’t speak to it.

        You’re putting words in my mouth…

        My original comment wasn’t a reply to anyone on here but a STAND ALONE comment… and it was SIMPLY a dig at poorly the Lakers are doing this season…

        I was NOT putting the Heat down in what I said originally either. I was simply pointing out to Lakers fans that the Heat’s record in their last 11 games at 4 & 7 was BETTER than the Lakers winning percentage this season.

        It isn’t that complicated…

    • R. Edmond - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      You just prove why Lakers are so great. You want Lakers approval. Daddy issues and all that.

      • casualcommenter - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Doesn’t sound like he’s looking for the Lakers’ approval so much as trying to insult them.

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Bingo Casual… So many Lakers fans are too stupid to figure that out though.

        It really isn’t the Lakers per se that I dislike, it’s their fans.

        One should know how to lose with grace… AND, with the amount of success the Lakers have had for decades, their fans should be much MORE gracious…

        But reading what so many of them say, well I like to have fun with them is all…

      • R. Edmond - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Your insecurities are showing.

    • spthegr8 - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      @Sports
      What in the Blue Hell does our winning percentage have to do with this?? It’s a known fact that we are one of the worst teams in the league right now & every Laker fan knows that! You posting your little meaningless stats have nothing to do with this thread! Your another fan that gets more of joy out of disliking other fan bases. It’s actually pretty sad & Creepy & feel sorry for you!!

    • urodaddy07 - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      Not sure what you meant to illustrate by your stats. We already know LA is having a very bad season. What’s your point?

  9. cruzan80 - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    “It’s too many excuses; everything is an excuse”

    Says the guy who was blaming sleeves two weeks ago for what has always been an unreliable jump shot….

  10. casualcommenter - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    As the rest of the Eastern conference playoff teams have become a bit more respectable, both the Pacers and Heat have fallen off.

    Like most people, I still think the Eastern Conference Finals are between those two teams, but they’re playing their worst basketball of the season while the top teams in the West are playing their best (Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Rockets).

    We’ll see if the Heat “flip the switch” this year and get back to playing elite basketball.

  11. blueintown - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Lots of people complaining about other people complaining.

    • reesesteel23 - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      This!!!!!

    • money2long - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      here’s someone complaining, about people complaining about people complaining

      • blueintown - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Merely an observation, money. But bite your tongue, or I’ll start complaining about you complaining about me complaining about people complaining.

      • money2long - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        haha!

      • 00maltliquor - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:53 PM

        LOL @ blue!
        That just made this thread perfect! Lol

  12. shanydawg - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    they Heat have answered ever bell and I wasn’t worried, even after the 4th loss. i’m worried now. I just can’t understand how they can forget how to play defense over night. we’ll see.

  13. knoxxlive - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    I love how you guys are only focused on lebron , Chris bosh also commented and ripped the team same time lebron did but u only over lebrons side smh

    • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Bosh got a few lines at the end of the article. LBJ got a big blue box, and the headline. Plus he’s LBJ.

  14. jzone954 - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Canton bound…..my man, you post the same garbage every single post about Miami or the Heat, da hell is wrong with you? Like my goodness. You ok friend? Listen. We’ve all wanted the Heat /Knicks eastern conference finals match up. Miami held up there end of the bargain, don’t be mad at them because the Knicks….well you know….. I mean, will y’all even make the playoffs? Will the Knicks even make it past the first round??? Miamis my man.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      First of all, thanks for butchering the English language. Second of all, I could pull a LeBron & make all kinds of excuses why the Knicks have not had a good season. However, I’m not worried, we’re getting hot at the right time & are the hottest team in the NBA right now. I’m not saying we’re going to win anything this year but I will say with confidence that my team’s future is a lot brighter than yours. You have a broken down Dwhine Wade who’s going to want a max deal after this season. King PED’s back is starting to go from carrying the team & Bosh Spice is softer than ever just shooting 3s instead of banging down low. No way your overrated Heat win this season & we all know they shouldn’t have won last season.

      • soflasfinest - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:39 PM

        The Knicks have a brighter future than the Heat??? Haha, thanks I needed that laugh. D bag.

  15. jzone954 - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Miami waiting my man*

  16. jzone954 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    With all that being said, you ok? lol.

  17. jzone954 - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I’ve never seen anybody hate the Heat so much, like I said Miami had held up there end of the bargain , we’ve been waiting and hoping for the Knicks but I mean who are we fooling?

    • campcouch - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:46 PM

      It’s easy to hate. The summer of 2010 pretty much destroyed 3 or 4 teams because their owners dumped players and salary in the hopes of landing James or at worst Bosh. Then his royalness hopped on national TV like an afterschool special to announce he was going to Miami. Unheard of, most players just go and thank their former team for the opportunity…then the infamous countdown with smoke,rising stages,lasers celebrating something not won already. Do people hate the Heat or LeBron personally? I would guess not, it’s probably more hate for what they stood for and the way they looked like mercenaries.

  18. 00maltliquor - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    This a good thread. I laughed audibly multiple times reading all the responses! Keep up the good work gentlemen.

  19. yousuxxors - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:40 AM

    can’t wait for lebron to jump ship

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:01 AM

      I wish! At the end of the day though, I just don’t see it happening for the life of me.

  20. antistratfordian - Mar 24, 2014 at 5:51 AM

    They went through something like this last year, right before they won 27 straight, when they lost 6 of 10. It’ll be good for them.

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