NBA / Apr 8, 2011 / 12:00 pm

Miami Will Turn The Heat Up On Everyone In The NBA Playoffs

LeBron James (photo. Mannion)

I’m not sure if anyone is currently aware, but the Miami Heat play basketball. They’re an NBA franchise – a pretty good one – that is still playing regular-season games. Those games are played against other NBA basketball teams. Many times, they win those games. I just wanted to double-check that we all still knew that this was going on. It’s happening, I swear.

And so it went that somehow the most scrutinized, publicized and wrongfully deified team in the history of sports media started to fly just a little bit under the radar. And while nobody seemed to be watching (for the first time ever), these Miami Heat beat the Lakers again. And then ran down Memphis. And then took it to the Spurs, Nugs and Rockets respectively. While news spread of Knick meltdowns and Boston’s new pillow-soft interior, the Heat continued to tour the land with their three stars, like Nirvana circa 1993. Maybe not the best band of the era, but definitely the most identifiable.

And yes, we do generally dislike them. But in the last 50 games or so, we’ve been forced to move from “don’t like” (as in “I just don’t like their front line”) to dislike (as in “I dislike the Big Three”). Their weaknesses are clear: that bench and the paint. But their strengths are even clearer: the talents of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh taken famously to South Beach.

That’s why, for my Eastern Conference episode of “Who Do You Not Want to Play in the Playoffs (That Nobody Is Really Talking About)” I’m taking the Heat. Even though it’s giving me an ulcer.

What I like about them:

1. Starlight, Star Bright: LeBron and D-Wade have proven they can personally win playoff games – but Bosh may be a different story. I guess it’s a better time than ever that he be playing his best ball of the season, giving them 20 and nine and shooting over 50% for the months of March and April. If he can be the versatile, post-extended scorer that he’s always been (and not meet his jumper on Myspace and fall in love with it), they could be getting anywhere from 70-90 points, 20-30 rebounds, and 15-20 dimes a game from Three’s Company. That’s insane.

And doesn’t it feel like the stars are the guys who end up winning playoff games? We love that upstart-underdog storyline so much that we almost forget that in most cases, it’s the team with the best player that ends up taking the series. It’s why teams go out and get these guys in the first place, despite having to spend the whole year dealing with them doing and saying things that just don’t make any sense (like how I’ve been telling people the new Russell Brand movie “Arthur” looks funny).

When it comes down to it, stars win series…and right now, the Heat have the most stars.

2. It’s Their Defense: They’re long, they’re athletic, and when they truly bring it on the defensive end, they will shut you down. If they can force turnovers, you’re then talking about stifling defense combined with the best team, maybe ever, in transition. Do I feel like they might get a little too excited with themselves after a sick fast-break throwdown (it still only counts for two, holmes)? Absolutely. Do I want to discourage it as a third-party observer that spends hours a day on YouTube? Not at all.

And about that gaping hole in the middle. It should be a problem, and if they ever have to play the Lakers, it will be – but who in the East, outside of Dwight Howard, has the interior scoring to really exploit it? And do we really think the Magic are a real threat this year? To our real elite teams, I’m just not sure if Boston or Chicago have the honest post-game guys that could really hammer Miami inside. And if you’re stuck out on the perimeter against a motivated Miami defense, then you’re kind of like this guy.

What I don’t like about them:

1. Riding the Pine: I was going to look up how many times the Heat bench have been outscored by their opponent’s bench this year, and then decided it didn’t matter. It’s all the time. The numbers are almost irrelevant. The moral of the story: their bench doesn’t score a lot. They don’t score a lot at all.

Also, I wouldn’t put too much faith in a potential Eddy Curry signing. After he recently headed to Chicago to get in shape (ya know, right around game 60), I decided that wasn’t nearly soon enough. You can’t take all of that time off and expect to come in and contribute to a contender.

2. Finish Him: So you’re telling me that the guy who conceptualized “The Decision” is going to sit in the corner and watch a D-Wade iso with seven seconds left on the clock in a Game 6? I wouldn’t bet on it. But only because you can’t. I checked. Despite his well-documented late-game shortcomings this year, this is still LeBron James: the guy who, according to 82games.com, had by far the best clutch production of any player in the NBA last year. I still feel like there might be a late-game alpha dog battle brewing in Miami, and it might take the pressure of the playoffs to really bring it to the surface. And if the Heat end up matched up with the Knicks, I’ll be praying for it. We shall see.

Are The Heat The Team That No One Wants To Play In The East?

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  • Bill


  • top_gun

    Miami? Really? They haven’t addressed any of their weaknesses. The real threats are some of the underdogs out west. Portland has been a dangerous team especially since they acquired Gerald Wallace. Denver is clicking on all cylinders and it couldn’t have came at a better time.

  • http://www.uneedathink.wordpress.com uneeda

    Great article.

  • First & Foremost

    As your playoff series moves along, you should put links to your earlier articles. Just a suggestion

  • neoy

    I agree with you that Miami is not one of those teams you’d want to fk with in the playoffs, but then New York just might give them a run for their money…

  • JEAR18

    if u listen closely .. u can hear LA and Boston FANS running to they keyboards to go off on this article LOL ..

  • neoy

    when the hell did Eddie Cury get into the conversation again..LOL

  • Claw

    Cmon is this Austin writing this under a psuedo name?

    This is some funny sh*t, Lebron was clutch LAST year, he also had a better record LAST year.

    Done in the 2nd round, possibly the first if they continue to have a stagnant offense only thing going for them is NY recites the alphabet, “A, B, C, E, F, G..” NO f*ing D!

    Be original, choose Denver, Portland, or possibly the Magic out East, not a team that was supposed to run the table and have multiple championships already!

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo



  • neoy


  • lolcakes

    portaland in my opinion with oden if healthy could have been a serious contender. Miami defense gets better when wade want to play it. did u see how amazing he is on kobe who the best i the world. he can play defense it just he a lazy guy sometimes.knicks wont last 5 games with any one this year b/c no defense will screw them.miami will be eliminated in east finals 100% b/c they just dot got the depth and chemistry plus haslem wont make it in time.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    i only cap when fools post ignorant statements

    if there is a “switch” that can be turned on and off then we all should be scared of the heat. we all know wade can turn it on and showed it against dallas in the finals so many years ago. and since lebron came to miami to win i doubt he will have any trouble giving up the ball to an open wade or donyell marshall to win the game. and we cant count the value bibby and house will have on the court and in the locker room during a 7 game series.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    i think another team thats scary right now with no ifs is the thunder. they are just too dynamic to count out and can score with ease against any defense. i used to be able to beast anyone who played with the thunder in 2k11 but now they got perkins patroling the lane and i dont get them easy dunks(R2+square) like i used too.

    i agree that wade dont play D sometimes but i dont think that will be the case for any of the miami heat once in the playoffs, well except for bibby, hes worst than d.fish from the lakers

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    The Portland and Denver story lines are cute, but be serious: There is no way either of them will be in the 2011 Finals. Out of the playoff teams that are being written off already as non-contenders, the only ones who actually could go all the way are Miami, Orlando, Dallas and MAYBE the Thunder.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    i really doubt orlando will make it all the way, their team seems wimsicle and unfocused at times especially when areanas is running the point. and we all know dwight has tendencies to shut himself down in games, usually when he doesnt get enough touches.
    dallas has a few things going for them coming into the playoffs, i really like their production with terry and barrea coming off the bench but i just cant see them beating the lakers or the spurs. eventually they’ll pop a peanut in their mouth and CHOKE to death…

  • 2cents

    man this article just take pot shots at everything.

    does the writer have their period?