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Finals show burden Heat put on LeBron James, need to retool Miami roster

Jun 13, 2014, 2:36 AM EST

2014 NBA Finals - Game Four Getty Images

MIAMI — If I had to use one word to describe Heat players after Game 4, it would be bewildered.

All season long, Miami made the same errors we have seen from them in the Finals: up and down effort, inconsistent defensive traps and rotations, guys not attacking the paint and settling for jump shots (and the list goes on and on).

The difference is coming out of the soft Eastern Conference nobody made the Heat pay. That left the door open for Miami’s answer:

LeBron James.

He was the trump card. He covered their flaws All season long the Heat counted on LeBron to do virtually everything: Create offense for himself, create offense for others, and often defend the opponent’s best player in crunch time.

All season long LeBron was the Miami Heat. In the Eastern Conference that was enough.

He’s not enough against San Antonio.

No team has made the Heat pay for their flaws like the Spurs. Half-hearted traps are quickly exposed with a sharp pass, every slow rotation becomes a lay-up or an open three. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will search the game tapes and the depth chart looking for an answer, but there will be none.

Other than more LeBron James.

That fact and series in general points out the challenge in front of Heat president Pat Riley — this roster needs to be retooled. LeBron can’t do it all by himself, and when he has been on the bench the Heat have looked terrible.

After the Game 1 when LeBron cramped up in the sauna that was the AT&T Center he got hit with complaints he was not there to lift his team up and give them a chance.

Games 3 and 4 have shown just how much lifting he has to do. How much pressure is on him.

“I don’t really get caught up in what pressure is all about…” LeBron tried to play it off after the Heat’s Game 4 loss. “For me, I do whatever it takes to help our team win. If it’s me going one-on-one to try to help us win, if it’s me getting guys involved and taking threes in rhythm, then I’ll do it. But I don’t really get caught up in the pressure.”

Miami’s Game 4 loss was not on LeBron’s shoulders other than they are not broad enough to carry the flawed Heat past the Spurs. Through three quarters LeBron had 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting, the rest of the Heat had 29 points on 27.8 percent shooting. LeBron hit 6-of-10 contested shots and was 4-of-6 when left open.

“It’s not (all) on my shoulders. It’s not,” LeBron said. “I understand I get a lot of the limelight in the press and all that, but it’s not all on my shoulder. I take a lot of it, but I do it for my teammates and I want them to put a lot of pressure on me in that sense.”

They do. He will hear about it on social media. He will hear about how the eventual loss in this series will taint a legacy that is still being written.

But anyone who goes back and watches this series will see LeBron carried as much of a burden as could be asked. It’s just that pushing this Heat roster past the Spurs is more like the job Sisyphus had.

A lot has been asked of LeBron by the Heat. Now the burden should fall on Pat Riley to repair this roster.

119 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    Don’t start counting your chickens just yet.

    • bballhistorian - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:01 AM

      It’s already started…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:12 AM

        That’s fine. It’s happened to the Heat before.

      • limonadamas - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:57 AM

        They’ve been down 3-1 and come back to win before?

      • kavika6 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM

        I wish I could be there to see anti eat his words.

    • kb2408 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:30 AM

      Dude, you are the most delusional guy on here. At one time I actually thought you knew a little something. But now I realize you just like to ramble on and on. This “series” is over in the very next game. The Spurs will not get back on a plane to fly to Miami until next season. They are going to celebrate on their home court and the Heat will be trudging off the court with confetti raining down on their heads. What you have seen the last two games will continue next game. The champagne will be on ice at halftime and early in the 4th Spo will throw in the towel. The Spurs will win by double digits AGAIN. Miami has no answer for them…accept it!!

      • teabone413 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:55 AM

        heat fans are the worst. it’s like old money vs lotto money. they think they belong, but the moneys going to run out soon… oh wait, it has. the heat are done.

      • billtetley53 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM

        If there were a picture for the word hypocrite in the dictionary, there would be a photo of kb’s punchable face there. You commenting on someone else’s delusion is laughable.

        Take a look in the mirror dummy, you are the lakers version of anti.

        You are also a 3 coiled 💩.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        I’ve seen James and Wade come back from worse deficits. If they have to win three straight games to win a series – they can.

    • teabone413 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:53 AM

      i think most people dont hate the heat. they hate heat fans. heat fans are delusional. yes they won last year… but like it or not, it was luck. it’s CLEAR that the spurs are a better team and had they been healthy last year, they would have won. in any case, the heat are 2 time champs and i give it up to them. but they are getting beat down silly. all this talk about dwade is healthy now yada yada.. had the heat been a best coast team, they wouldnt have even made it to the finals.

      • 1historian - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:39 AM

        I don’t hate heat fans, I just don’t give a s..t about them. Those shots of them leaving – don’t slam the door on your way out.

        The shots of them trying to get back in last year when the heat came back – THAT I like.

      • goodtogo28 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        heat fans established 2010. btw, they’re not really fans they’re just band wagoners. let’s see how loyal of a fan base they are if lebron opts out and leaves.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        Well they didn’t win last year and they haven’t won this year… so don’t end up like a 2006 Mavs fan and think you have this in the bag because you’re up 2 games on the Heat.

    • infectorman - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      1 chicken, 2 chicken, 3 chicken 4, can’t wait to Get Wade and Bosh out the door

      • raysfan1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Wade has been with the Heat his whole career, and took less money to stay there to bring in James. He’s earned 3 championship rings, and this is his 5th finals. He’s a guaranteed Hall of Famer after he retires.

        I am not a Heat fan, but if there is anybody on that team that should never be disrespected, it’s him.

      • infectorman - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        You’re also describing Paul Pierce, a player near and dear to my heart. But when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. It’s a business not a Hollywood movie where everyone has a happy ending.
        Wade is a shadow of his former self and it’s time to go.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        There is a difference between acknowledging that someone is aging past there prime and the disrespect shown by the comment to which I replied. I am presuming that person is a Heat fan–and if so, is showing an appalling lack of appreciation and gratitude for Wade’s contributions to the remarkable success his team has had. I actually don’t think Wade is washed up, but I’d say it is getting to where he will need to accept being a role player in the future.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 14, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        Ah, just noticed you are the commenter to whom I replied. Based on the Paul Pierce comment–If you are then more Celtics fan than Heat fan, then I misread your intent and apologize.

      • infectorman - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        no prob. my comment wasn’t about respect or disrespect. It was about the realities of the modern NBA. Eventually, you need to cut bait with players regardless of how decorated their career has been.
        80’s Celtics held on too long with Bird McHale and Parish and suffered immensely for it.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      Not one chicken, not two chickens, not three chickens, not four chickens, not five chickens, not six…

    • spthegr8 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Anybody else notice the lack of Heat fans around since last night’s Curb Stomping.?? Or is it just me?

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        It’s not just you. That’s typical of your average fan. I don’t hold it against them.

        When the Spurs lose you never see these other guys around here, and most of them aren’t even Spurs fans.

  2. steelers33 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    Very good point, the Heat are not losing because of LeBron. Basketball is a team sport you can’t have one guy beat a whole roster.

    • sprest83 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      That roster isn’t bad. The coach is the problem. It took Spo 3.5 games to finally remove chalmers.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Chalmers isn’t the reason they’re getting killed. The fact nobody else is any better than him is the problem.

        And the storyline on Spo is so comical: Horrible coach when the Heat lose, then one of the best in the game when they win, back to being the problem when they lose. Or, just maybe, it takes more than one guy to win a championship series. Wade and Bosh scoring 10 and 12 points ain’t going to cut it.

      • sprest83 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Another gem for you LBJ fans…For the 2nd straight game LBJ had the worst plus/minus — -21 — of the 26 players that played. That never happened to MJ in the Finals.

      • borderline1988 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        Plus-minus stats in basketball are really misleading.

        Fact is, the Spurs went up by 20 when all the starters were on the floor, and the game remained in the 14 – 24 point differential range the entire game, save for one stretch early in the 4th when Wade, Haslem and some of the scrubs role players went on a mini-run. Just because Lebron wasn’t on the floor at that time, means he’s going to get the worst plus-minus. That doesn’t say anything about his performance this game.
        Lebron was the only guy scoring on the Heat, just because Wade was on the floor when Lebron was scoring all those points, Wade should get credit for?

        Lebron is a fantastic 2-way player which is what plus/minus stats are supposed to convey. Throwing stats out there without any context or theory behind conclusions shows ignorance.

        This Heat team is just awful. The defense is incredibly bad…the crazy thing about yesterday is that the Spurs misses were often wide open looks. The Spurs were getting good looks at the basket every time down the floor

  3. bballhistorian - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:00 AM

    In all fairness, no team in the NBA was going to beat the Spurs this year in the playoffs…because they have been on a mission since losing Game 7 in the Finals last year.

    Miami has been put under immense pressure since July 2010 after LeBron’s Decision and initial parade, yet theyve been to every finals (4 straight since then). If they lose this yrs finals, that makes them 2-2 …. and if Bron stays with the Heat, they will be contenders for years to come.

    So it’s not “lets completely rebuild the roster”… they still have a great team.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:47 AM

      Yes bball, sometimes you just have to tip your hat to a team that is playing lights out and peaked at the right time. Even if a team executes to perfection they still might miss the open looks and shoot 40%. The spurs are executing and shooting at historic levels with even their bench. They are also defending well and Miami has some guys under performing and missing shots and a big part of that is the defense. The Spurs didn’t look this good against Dallas. Over the last 8 years the Spurs have looked great in the regular season and then at some point floundered in the post season or just got out played or just plain unlucky but not this year so good on them. They also are doing it without being boring and plodding and dull like in previous years.

    • spursareold - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      Miami needs some youthful defensive legs. Their rotations were slow because they are playing 38 YO Ray Allen, 35 YO Birdman, and 34 YO Rashard Lewis. You can’t do that as your core (especially Wade) ages.

      Melo isn’t the answer.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        I agree, Melo won’t be the answer. He’ll add some scoring, but they need a big who rebounds and defends and can finish around the rim. I’m not sure if that’s out there to be had.

    • fpstratton - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      Totally agree. Miami has been in the finals for 4 consecutive years. This is an outstanding team. They are being decisively defeated by a team that is playing out of its mind! You can’t win it all every year. That said, of course, Miami needs to retool. They have never been very strong in the front line, some of their role players are past their peak, and Dwyane Wade is not the explosive player he was a few years ago. Chris Bosh has been turned into an outside shooter. This team needs work, but let’s not gut it, for God’s sake!

  4. campcouch - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:08 AM

    These guys chose this route, the new Big Three. They kinda forgot that Boston only won one ring during the Garnett,Pierce and Allen era and two may be the max for this group. If the Heat fail,it will work in the favor of the rest of the league. Teams can point and say it’s a flash in the pan and to look at the Spurs,a team that SHOULD be going for a back to back and 6th title in 15 years. Now the Heat will have to entice someone to take less money,clear their other contracts and sign an even weaker bench. I don’t hate LeBron or the Heat for what they did. I’m glad a local boy is doing good and I know if any other team could’ve had Wade,Bosh and James,they would’ve taken them. This is 3 on 8 team basketball and it cannot be overcome by one great player.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:15 AM

      “This is 3 on 8 team basketball and it cannot be overcome by one great player.”

      “Challenge accepted” – LeBron james

      • draconian1111 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:34 AM

        You…need…therapy

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Stay tuned, cousin.

      • teabone413 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:56 AM

        you cant cure being retarded.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        Slurs and derogatory terms are unacceptable under all circumstances.

      • johnc44 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:37 AM

        Challenge accepted?Like he did in Cleveland? Keep the faith anti because you don`t have much time left before Lebron does you like he did Cleveland fans.He didn`t accept a challenge.He`s about ready to look around again and say “I need more help” and leave you for a better looking team like the whore he is.Don`t get down though.It`s not you it`s him.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        That comments demonstrates why it must sometimes totally stink to be LeBron. He’s got absolutely zero help, yet there’s bandwagoners still expecting him to pull them out of the fire. He could score 50 in game 5 and if they still lose there’ll be somebody saying he really should have done more.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        Remember that you said this… “he’s got absolutely zero help”… because later during the summer this Heat team is going to magically transform into a “superteam”

        But this is not an unfair comment from me, and LeBron knows it. He knows it because he’s seen himself do what I’ve seen him do. If something is possible on a basketball court, James is a player who can do it.

      • johnc44 - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        Absolutely zero help?He chose his own helpers so that`s his own fault then.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        That’s true. He built his own team, so he is responsible for it. James relied on himself to do his own GM job whereas a player like MJ waited for others to build a winning team for him. So when something goes south in Miami, it falls on James, and he’s accepted that. When something went south in Chicago, MJ just pointed the finger at Krause.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:53 AM

      4 straight finals and 2 chips is just a flash in the pan?smh Do you know how many teams haven’t been to the finals or won a chip at all? You act like this team won’t prob. be back again next year. And many teams in the past had big 3’s or even big 4’s.smh WoW

      • loungefly74 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:28 AM

        no way in what the Heat have done in 4 years a let down. in fact, its a major accomplishment and kudos to them.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:54 AM

        I was responding to campcouch’s comment above where he said they were a flash in the pan.Can’t you guys see the ? and the smh. I don’t know why my reply isn’t under his comment

      • campcouch - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        sorry,I should’ve been more detailed.the “flash in the pan” was meant in a measure of time,not as some kind of magic trick. I’m not belittling their feat,I’m looking at how Wade’s knee has robbed him of his athleticism and how Bosh morphing into a wing player not sounding like he wants to take another pay cut,may shorten this run.

    • 6thsense10 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:30 AM

      4 straight trips to the finals and 2 of 4 times winning the NBA championship is a flash in the pan??????

      You guys a delusional. Seriously calm down. How many teams have made it to the finals 4 straight times? How many have won 2 championships? I don’t even like the Heat all that much but that statement is exactly what is wrong with fans. Flash in the pan.. Give me a break.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        loungefly74 and 6thsense10, I was responding to to campcouch above who said Miami was a flash in the pan. Didn’t you see the ? and the smh. Read campcouch’s comment above

  5. wallabear - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:12 AM

    Well… after four (4) straight finals appearances, it would appear that the Heat do need to rework their roster. Especially in the last two games, it’s just plain weird to see the Heat shoot and miss, and yet there’s no Center under-the-basket to contest for the rebound. And then you see Tony Parker, a definite “small” (lol) just charging into the paint and taking it to-the-hoop LeKing-style, without any challenge — huh? And then you got old-man Ginobili and then Leonard and Green et al. just breaking free and popping Three’s all-around downtown…well… yeah, the Heat appear to need a roster shake-up after four years of finals appearances. Welcome to Miami, Mr. Carmelo Anthony… and Mr. Dwight Howard?

    • zackd2 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:19 AM

      Dwight Howard? Can he opt out if his contract every year or let me guess are you about to propose some sign and trade involving Bosh and Chalmers?

    • mogogo1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Why stop there? Surely they could find jerseys for Kobe, Durant, etc. Maybe both All-Star rosters will sign with the Heat. If everybody agrees to play for $1 it would all work out with the salary cap. Maybe they can use a time machine and a young Wilt Chamberlain will play for them, too.

    • fpstratton - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Yes, Miami, PLEAAAAASE. Get Dwight Howard, and you won’t win another championship ever again.

  6. sportsfan18 - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:27 AM

    MJ is smiling wherever he is…

    Being 6 & 0 in NBA Finals…

    Priceless…

    IF the Spurs hold on and close this out… LBJ will be 2 & 3 in NBA Finals…and As George Clooney said in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” many times…

    “Damn, we’re in a tight spot…” is what LBJ will be thinking about as he ponders his legacy…

    • tuberippin - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:54 AM

      http://tinyurl.com/k8jzbbr

    • teabone413 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:59 AM

      you’re clearly an idiot. you’re probably still in diapers and think mj is the goat bc you havent seen anyone else play. as anyone that know’s anything, they put mj in the top 5, but still not #1. transfer out of your diapers… maybe even transition into pullup and then come talk to us about basketball.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:31 AM

        while Lebron is the greatest athlete to play in the NBA…MJ is the GOAT.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Uh, if he was in diapers he never would have seen MJ play and would only have been exposed to LeBron. Might want to rethink your clever sayings so they actually make some sense.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:08 AM

      He’s got an 11-15 career record in the Final. That’s pathetic! 5-10 vs the Spurs in the Finals! Enough with the comparisons to MJ. MJ 6-0 in the Finals & never needed 7 games to win a title. People that compare LeBron to MJ are clueless!

    • hwatt - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:59 AM

      I’m born, raised, and still live in Chicago and live through all those MJ years. I think it’s fairly pathetic how some people hang on to 20 year old history for dear life. It’s 2014, wake up and let the 90s go.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:18 AM

        Amen!

      • tfilarski - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM

        85 bears!!!!!!!!

      • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        72 dolphins!!!!!!!!!! just kidding im a raider fan lol

  7. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:45 AM

    Oh now we’re talking retooling the roster. Stephen A. and the rest of his front running cohorts were talking as if Miami had all but won the series after that bogus foul call that James got to seal it, and winning Game 2.

    • kb2408 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:47 AM

      Stephen A is a loudmouth who is still living off of the fact that he was the first to say LBJ and Bosh were going to Miami. He is nothing but a LBJ cheerleader.

      • billtetley53 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        Says the 41 year old man that swoons like a middle school girl over Kobe. Didnt you sa that you were going to bawl like a baby when Kobe retired?

        In your 40S and still have a sports hero? Seek help.

  8. harshedmellow - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:07 AM

    This one is going 7. Mark my words.

    Lebron wasn’t physically right and the Heat roster indeed couldn’t beat an inspired Spurs team but the Heat win the next one in SA, come home for redemption in a Game 6 blowout of the Spurs at home….. then lose in 7 to a superior Spurs team.

    That’s my call. Bet the farm.

    • spursareold - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:53 AM

      No.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:36 AM

      man…i was thinking the same. i could totally see the Heat winning the next 2. its not far-fetched…or them getting blown out by 20 the next game…

    • bkg63 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      What are you on man???!

    • mogogo1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      But he will be “physically right” for Game 5? But I’ll happily bet your farm.

  9. cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:51 AM

    The real big 3: Duncan, Parker & Ginobli. Soon to be 5 rings & most post season wins. ESpN’s three are overrated! A title in a lockout shortened season vs the Thunder with an injured Harden. The second ring handed to them because the Spurs choked.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:27 AM

      The Spurs choked and handed them a ring?lol Aren’t good teams not supposed to choke? Your stupid, Is this the other cantonb0und13? The league locked out all the teams did they not? Did they all not play under the same conditions and play a full playoff schedule? Again your hate is stupid. I’m not a heat or spurs fan but i’m a fan of good basketball and 4 finals and 2 chips in 4 years is the envy of 95% of the teams in the nba. Same as the spurs record. Where were you when the spurs as a number one seed with the yet again top 3 record in the regular season lost to an 8th seed? Make some sense or go away.

      • jjsooner - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        Hey BKBELL, no need for call him names. He’s not stupid, he’s just voicing frustration over ESPN’s anointed best player and team EVER. The Spurs did choke and Miami won because of that. They did beat the Thunder without Harden…FACT. The Western conference is far and away a better conference…..FACT. And Popovich may be the best coach in NBA history with 5 rings with the same TEAM.

      • heat256 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        Don’t bother with Cantonpedophile. It offers nothing to the discussion. It’s just a bitter Knicks fan that hated to see Riley leave and will now get to watch Melo leave (and it’ll say it’s glad to see Melo go), while thinking Phil will save the day. You can see the pathetic “excuses” it trots out for the last two years.

  10. courtjester1234 - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:02 AM

    I think facing the competition that they do in the West is another reason why they are playing heads above the Heat now. It’s not their fault the East isn’t as strong as the West.the Heat can look back and see they had a nice run and maybe retool the team,but don’t slight what San Antonio has done in this round. They have a great group of guys who are having their Swan Song. all should be gracious and congratulate them

  11. cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Not 5, not 6, not 7… LOL!!!

  12. cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    The best part of all of this is the failure of Pat Riley. This clown came up with the term 3 peat, even went so arrogantly far to patent the term! Yet he never had a team 3 peat!!!! Lol!!! If he didn’t have Wade fall to him in the draft he would have been a complete failure in NY & Miami.
    The Zen Mater 3 peated 3 times, just saying.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:32 AM

      And what if robinson and duncan hadn’t fallen to them in the draft what would you be babbling about? Yea Riley is a failure compared to what you have accomplished in your life, right?smh

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:36 AM

        Not 5, not 6, not 7….hahahaha!!!

      • bkbell3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        Cantonbound13 this is why you annoy people on this board. They were at a PEP RALLY for their fans and were asked how many chips can you win and lbj started with not 1 not 2 and then both he and wade started giggling and went on to say not 4-5-6 and laughed. They weren’t guaranteeing anything they were answering a question and having fun. That is and was overblown and i’m not a heat fan but 4 finals and two chips and counting isn’t far off and they won’t win this year, but they have more time, so stop the unreasonable hate and appreciate the good basketball and a great Wade and Allen career winding down and another great career in the making in lebron. Clown

    • loungefly74 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Riley is no joke. what he has done in Miami is incredible. give the man some props. any team would trade places on what he has done the past 4 years there…

      • program33 - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Only mistake he made in my opinion is coming back with the same players. Many of us said that he should have traded out Chalmers and a few others right after the last championship. No big deal they still had a good run.

    • fpstratton - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      I think Pat Riley has done very well for himself: Five NBA titles as coach, two more as GM. Finals appearance with New York. So IF he didn’t have Wade, he would have been a complete failure in NY and Miami? Sure, and Phil Jackson would have been a complete failure without MJ and Kobe. You need great players to win multiple championships.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        He didn’t have great players in Ewing & Mourning & Hardaway in their prime?

      • fpstratton - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        Yes, he had great players, and those were the most successful Knick teams since the 1973 team that won it all. It’s not like Riley was a failure in New York! Just because you don’t win it all doesn’t mean you haven’t added value to a franchise.

  13. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    The Heat ride this team out to the end. This team deserved the chance to defend their titles (plural). What this team accomplished is truly remarkable and it was a privilege/honor/joy/blessing/miracle/once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Thank you Miami Heat players,coaches, ownership, and fellow fans for making this ride so wonderful.

    Thing is. This current roster’s run might be over. But the players and management know changes are needed; and we have selfless players and the best GM/front office making decisions. Future is bright.

    So enjoy the Heat’s getting a beating and their roster limitations against the Spurs. The Spurs. How would the 90’s Bulls have done against this team?

    • hwatt - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      those Bulls played hard every night (72-10, anyone?) so they had the discipline to keep it up every time. The Heat have been well known the last two years to only play hard when they feel like it. Spoelstra and Riley need to impose some nightly discipline, or hope half the Spurs retire.

      • fpstratton - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        The Spurs are playing at a level I haven’t seen from a basketball team in a very long time. This may be the best team basketball I have ever seen, in fact. Instead of beating on the Heat, extreme praise should be heaped on San Antonio.

    • bucrightoff - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      The best GM/Front Office is the team who is annihilating the Heat. Amazing how little respect people want to give San Antonio.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      1

  14. theebadguy - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    If the Heat take their heart out of it and use their brain, they shouldn’t re-sign Wade to another big contract. He isn’t worth it anymore and that money could be used much more wisely

  15. rrhoe - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    The Heat are being exposed as not good at rebounding,while a good defensive team once you get past the initial defender they have no rim protector and their PG position needs a serious upgrade. The downside to being good is the teams generally draft at the bottom of the first round,therefore they don’t get the infusion of youth and athleticism to sustain being good. The Heat looked tired tonight.

  16. unxpexted1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Look miami has gone to 4 straight championshps so much respect. But honestly, they have been one of the worse constructed championship teams. There is no reason a team with no big man and no center should when championships. This does speak to the greatness of lebron, but the construction of the team itself is greatly flawed and its really showing.

    • fpstratton - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Yes, I think their makeup has always left something to be desired, but they knew they could beat the current competition (until they ran into the Spurs, that is) with these players, and to their credit, they did. I think not having a great front line eventually catches up to you, but it took years for this to affect the Heat, and that’s because Wade and James were so good.

    • program33 - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Agreed.

  17. heat256 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Sad to see it’s their defense that has completely failed them. The team looks vastly different compared to last year’s, and it’s basically the same group. The weaknesses the Big Three masked are painfully present here. Forget Melo. I don’t know what the FA list is like this year, but they do need size, PG depth, and they have to get a bit younger. Getting to 4 straight Finals is a hell of an accomplishment, so it’s not like they need to dismantle everything, but Oden and Beasley just didn’t pan out.

    • jkirby317 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Heat lost!

      • heat256 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        That’s great, Captain Obvious. What other nuggets of intellect can you show us?

      • jkirby317 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        I got another one… after next week you will be a “fan” of the SPURS because they won or whatever NEW team LBJ takes his talents

      • heat256 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        Sorry, tool. I’ve suffered through the Manute Bol, Alan Ogg, Harold Miner and countless other mediocre to bad Heat players and seasons that have came through here, and will when they bottom out again. However, I’m pretty sure your allegiance, like your cornhole, is for sale to the highest bidder.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        I wasn’t sure you HEAT “SUPPORTERS” knew the score… I am sure you turned it off around halftime.

  18. reesesteel23 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    After the way they’ve played together, Spurs deserve what seems to be coming next.

    • jkirby317 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      Perfect example of a Heat SUPPORTER… now he is a Spurs fan.

      • reesesteel23 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Do you know me from somewhere? How many time do I have to say I am an OKC fan? Just because I don’t troll Heat fans or have anything negative to say about the team doesn’t make me whatever it is you think I am. I think the Spurs deserve the ring. What’s wrong with that, troll?

      • jkirby317 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        If you were a real FAN you would HATE the team that eliminated your team. Never would you say, “They deserve it!”

      • reesesteel23 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        You’re such a miserable Pacer fan, you see nothing but Heat fans wherever you look.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        The HEAT don’t have fans, man.
        They have supporters and if your team got worked by the SPURS…why are you supporting them?

      • reesesteel23 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        I thought Heat would win game 4. Nothing more, nothing less troll.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        Well… YOU thought wrong, loser.

      • reesesteel23 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        So, now you’re getting on to me for not hating both teams? I’m not as miserable as you man. Spurs deserve the title whether you agree or not….

  19. cueghost - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Hey Lebron, if you really want to be “King” there is only one true throne, and that’s NYC… See you in the Orange in Blue in 2016!!

    • jjsooner - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Yeah, he’ll prostitute himself for more publicity and fame. Money isn’t what’s driving him, its his gigantic EGO. He should take a page from the MVP’s book and go develop some humility. He will NEVER learn how to act like he’s been there before. Great player with a punk demeanor.

  20. timb12 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    What happened to Lebron making his teammates better? I guess that only works when they play well. Credit Lebron for when they play well, blame the teammates when they lose.

  21. realfootballfan - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    The real problem is their offensive approach, which imo still involves the bad fit between Wade and James playing at the same time. As you saw last night, Wade is closer to the end than the beginning even with as much rest as he had during the year, so it might be best going forward to move him to a Ginobli-type 6th man role, especially if they could pull off the Anthony deal. That might be a large pill for Wade to swallow, but I think if anyone would do it, he would considering how much he sat out this year to be fresh for this very series, and it still hasn’t worked and unlike the last two years, they ran into a team that is exposing it completely.

    However, instead of Anthony, I think they would benefit more from a true point guard who can knock down shots instead of burdening James with being that primary distributor all the time, but the problem is that the guy they should have went after for that role is occupied on the wrong side of the tracks in LA.

  22. Miami305 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    I think every Heat fan knew that winning a 3rd straight championship was going to be very difficult. We’ve watched all year as the Heat played inconsistently. As much as I hoped that the Heat would pull it off, I have been preparing myself mentally for the possibility that they don’t get a third straight Finals championship. We hoped that Dwyane Wade would recapture his former glory and we’ve seen it in spurts this season. The reality is that our boys are tired and after two thrashings, deflated.

    The Spurs most likely win this year, but true Heat fans are not giving up yet. If there is a team that can string together 3 brilliant games and win, it is the Miami Heat. If they don’t win it this year, we should still be proud of their accomplishments as they have been the best team of this decade, win or lose.

    We love you Heat!

  23. Miami305 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    I think every Heat fan knew that winning a 3rd straight championship was going to be very difficult. We’ve watched all year as the Heat played inconsistently. As much as I hoped that the Heat would pull it off, I have been preparing myself mentally for the possibility that they don’t get a third straight Finals championship. We hoped that Dwyane Wade would recapture his former glory and we’ve seen it in spurts this season. The reality is that our boys are tired and after two thrashings, deflated.

    The Spurs most likely win this year, but true Heat fans are not giving up yet. If there is a team that can string together 3 brilliant games and win, it is the Miami Heat. If they don’t win it this year, we should still be proud of their accomplishments as they have been the best team of this decade, win or lose.

    We love you Heat!

  24. elbolling3 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Neither Bosh nor Wade better opt out They will be leaving 42-43 million on the table. Wade is breaking down and Bosh has no post up game after all these years in the league. 6″10 or 6″11 and shooting 3’s and 15-18 footer all the time knowing his team is the worst rebounding team in the NBA and has been for the last 4 years. If you don’t turn the ball over on the them can’t get out and run and get that crowd going. It’s like the Spurs are on the floor with a scout team

  25. program33 - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Stirring the pot: I honestly believe that Lebron is seriously thinking about leaving. If so the question becomes where would he go? I believe that he would first of all want to stay in the East. Without insulting anyone let’s just say the chances are very good in reaching the finals. With the great Phil Jackson in New York…that would be hard to ignore… but they (the Knicks) are not ready just yet. That being said who in the east has the best chance in competing against a strong western contender other than Miami? Possibly Chicago… maybe Indiana perhaps? Personally, win lose or draw for entertainment value, I would like to see him play and be successful with KD and the guys out west…but that’s just me and probably would never happen. Some feel that if he goes to the west then a western team would win the championship for many years to come. If Lebron goes west possibly the chances of championship success for eastern teams goes south. Without being mean what are some of your thoughts?

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