Let the criticism begin. LeBron can’t make free throws when it counts. Wade is shooting 35% in the first two games and missed a lay-up. Oh yeah, and everybody else on the Heat’s roster sucks. Those are the things being said on TV and heard on sports radio, and right now the first two are true. The resentment towards the rest of the Miami squad is a little harsh. While the supporting cast for the “Heat 3″ has been inconsistent throughout the year, they have also stepped up big on plenty of occasions. Right now, the reality is that the Indiana Pacers are better than anybody gave them credit for, especially on the defensive end. Miami losing Chris Bosh just threw some gasoline on the fire. Now, after losing this high scoring affair, 78-75, the Heat have lost home-court advantage, but that might actually be a good thing.
When the Chicago Bulls lost in the 1st round to the 76er’s, everyone in South Florida immediately started talking about who the Miami Heat might face in the NBA Finals. They figured their ticket was already punched. Then, in an ironic twist, Chris Bosh went down with an abdominal strain in game one of this series. Still, fans on the radio today were sure that as long as Bosh could be back for the Finals, the team would be ok. Then it happened. Miami lost on Tuesday night at home, and to make matters worse LeBron James started bricking free throws at the end of the game. DWade, who did play extremely well in the 4th quarter, missed a lay-up with less than a minute left. On TNT, Charles Barkley was adamant that Coach Eric Spoelstra was to blame for designing the play for Wade instead of Bron in the first place, but Kenny Smith and Shaq both seemed to think that LeBron wasn’t aggressive enough. I would agree with this view. For whatever reason, when James gets rid of the ball he just stands around and for the past two years when he has had the ball, it was like it was a hot potato. The guy would pass the ball even before he looked for his shot.
All of this is fine. This is why it might have been good for the Heat to lose at home to a team like the Pacers. Miami can’t discount the loss as one that just occurred on the road. They know now that they have to go on the road and win a game against a good team. This has been a serious problem for them during the second half of the season, and that was with Bosh healthy. Miami is going to have to change their game plan. I believe that during the first 2-3 quarters, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole should bring the ball up exclusively. Quit having James and Wade waste energy. Either one of those two guys can handle the ball in the half-court set, and while Cole has struggled mightily during the end of the season, having him spot Chalmers for a few minutes will be ok. It’s better than having LeBron being worn out, not just physically, but emotionally as well. I expect a very energized Heat squad in Indiana on Thursday night. If they want to win, they’re still going to have to shoot better than 35% as a team though.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).