The Big Collapse

They had it all going. They were slicing through the Magic defense like a hot knife through butter. Dwayne Wade and LeBron had 20+ points apiece and the Heat were in control, or so they thought. I guess someone forgot to tell the Heat that there's a 2nd half and the other team has a propensity for making 3's in bunches.

The Heat led by as many as 24 points in the 2nd half and the Magic's will looked broken. Who would know that a couple substitutions would make a huge difference for the Magic? The Magic put in PG Gilbert Arenas and PF Ryan Andersen and decided if they were going to go down, they were gonna go down with their best offensive group on the floor. They had Arenas and PG Jameer Nelson in at the same time, so SG Jason Richardson moved to the SF position. And up front they had Andersen and C Dwight Howard. That's when the excitement began.

With two PGs in the game, either Nelson or Arenas could initiate the offense and the other could go get his shot. This resulted in Nelson becoming extremely assertive on the offensive end. He was taking Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers to school anytime he wanted to. And when Nelson wasn't hitting shots, Arenas was. Arenas showed a flash of what made him one of the great scoring guards in the current NBA at one time when he hit back to back deep jumpers. Then you throw in two back-to-back 3's by Jason Richardson and what do you know, the Magic are back in the game.

When the game got tight, it looked like the Heat were in shock and disbelief. I thought to myself they can't let this happen. But the Heat did and they ended up losing to the Magic at home and blowing a 24 point lead. Three things stood out to me as to why the Heat lost this game. PF Chris Bosh has disappeared again for them. He couldn't throw the basketball into the ocean in the 2nd half and give LeBron and D Wade some help. For the Heat to be as good as some think they could be, he cannot disappear like that in big games. This is the 2nd game in a week's time where he has disappeared (7 points on 1-18 FG and 5-6 FTs against Chicago last week in a loss).

The Heat seem not to have a killer instinct at times. They believed the game was over, so they eased off the gas pedal. Good teams don't do that. When championship teams have teams down, they are supposed to apply the knockout blow to finish the game. The Heat haven't applied a knockout blow all season to a team above .500 in the NBA. They've only beaten up on the worst teams in the league.

But, above all, their biggest issue is the PG position. A lot of people were saying that bringing in Bibby was the missing piece for this team. Well, what a lot of people choose to ignore was that Bibby isn't the greatest defensive player and he is a liability down the stretch. I love his shot-making ability, but down the stretch, you need defense and shot-making and he only makes shots, he doesn't defend. If the Heat could somehow put what Chalmers and Bibby do into one PG, they would have the perfect PG. Chalmers is a great defensive PG, but down the stretch, he can't get you the big shot you need. I counted 4 wide-open shots he missed down the stretch.

Its because of these reasons that I do not think the Heat will win the Championship this year. Heck, I had them going to the NBA Finals, but that even looks shaky because they haven't beat Boston or Chicago once this year. They just simply have too many holes to fill with too little time. Maybe next year they can be creative and get the pieces they need.

12 Responses

  1. You couldn’t be more right about the PG problem for Miami, but equally as bad is their abiliity to control the defensive board down low. Chicago and Boston has exposed this every time they have played this year. We are gonna find out a lot about this team in the next month. They have a brutal schedule that started last night.

    • Should be interesting to see what happens.

  2. James Rutherford

    Yes Mike you are right the Miami Heat do have a problem at the point guard position,they need a all around one and they have a problem defending one, especially a quick one who can penetrate and pass to waiting three point shooters.The Heat are very good when they can run but there half court game is ineffective when they can’t drive to the rim and I think the league has figured that out.

    • They don’t have a consistent guy they can throw the ball into down low and expect points. Chris Bosh isn’t that guy. The Heat would have been better off signing Carlos Boozer or Amar’e than Bosh in my opinion. Those two guys can score in the post and get you easy baskets.

  3. They have no team chemistry and Bosh is a wuss! Bosh,bron,bibby for 3, briiick! Yet again Wade doesn’t touch the ball at the end of the game and you can watch his arms in disgust and drop his head. LBJ is used to being a ball hog his whole life and can not relinquish that roll. Every year Kobe would get trashed for not sharing the ball, yet Lebron gets glorified. He’s a selfish punk

    • I think they have some chemistry issues, but they don’t come out until crunch time. I think that Bosh is not the strongest post player and that’s what they need. In terms of LBJ taking the last shot all the time, I do agree that he’s used to taking the last shot all the time from his Cleveland days, but I don’t agree that he’s a selfish punk. Who would you have passed it to in Cleveland to take the last shot? No one that was on that team. I think Kobe actually gets vilified for other reasons besides being a percieved ball hog. I think that LBJ should be a creator of shots in crunch time and not the big shot taker. D Wade should have that role because he’s consistently done that over his career. LBJ is the driving force for that team, but D Wade needs to be the closer and Bosh needs to decide he’s going to play tougher for them to even have a chance this year.

  4. Its Wade’s team!! and he’s pissed that it’s not. James came in and took over. Rude, arrogant and selfish. Who was the BEST player in Beijing and carried USA to the Gold Medal with consistent play every game? Wade

    • It may be Wade’s team, but for them to go as far as they want to go, LeBron has to lead. These guys have all been superstars on their own and its going to take more time than a year for them to get it together. Wade is the closer and he the most clutch of the three. I agree there, but how do we know that Spoelstra isn’t calling the plays for LeBron? Any star athlete is going to be frustrated when he feels that he should have got the last shot. I don’t think its a sense of arraogance and selfishness. I think that all 3 want to win and have been used to doing it themselves and they are all still learning how to do it as a team. And as far as Wade being upset and LeBron being arrogant and just taking over, Wade himself said that he wanted Bosh and LeBron to play their games because that gives them the best chance to win. The best chance they have to win is for LBJ to handle the ball. I’m not saying he has to take every shot. What I’m saying is he draws so much attention that he will make things easier for Wade.

  5. James is so strong and talented he should post up any defender who “thinks” they can guard him, like he did in 1st half of Magic game. Wade went off and James was unstoppable, then they went back to the “old” format in 2ndH and blew it. Defense was atrocious and Bibby is not the answer they need.

    • The thing is, he’s more like Magic Johnson than any player in the NBA right now. I don’t think he realizes that though. Magic used to operate the Lakers in the half-court from the post as well as being the orchestrating the fast break.

  6. Kareem Howard

    A work in progess. People penciled them in for a championship, but they still more pieces. A center is a must, and their bench need to step their game up as well. Can’t always deferred to the Big 3 all of the time. What if one of them gets hurt? I think in due time the Heat be a true elite team, but another year is needed to strengthen their chemistry?

    • They will have to be creative financially to get better pieces in there. And you’re right, chemistry takes time.

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