During the Cavaliers vs. Heat game Tuesday night the NBATV panel of Chris Webber, Greg Anthony and former Heat guard Steve Smith gave a few of their opinions regarding some potential Miami Heat flaws – go figure. Anthony had this to say: "When you watch Miami, they play with arrogance. They feel like they can turn it on and off like a light switch and win a game whenever they want.” While the Heat have seemingly played lesser teams tighter this season than to their liking, one would be foolish to chalk it up to arrogance. Getting off to slow starts in Denver or Golden State may have more to do with fatigue and the opponent’s play than the Heat just feeling it can make up the difference later when they feel like it. While it is frustrating to see the Heat let the Detroit Pistons hang around until the last second, a lack of urgency seemingly would have little to do with the sub-par effort. Bottom line is the Heat has looked tired over the past week or so, and for good reason, they played four games in a five day span – following the dreaded “circus road trip”. Prior to that grueling portion of the schedule the Heat sat at 8-1, and few were questioning their sense of urgency or overall politeness.
Anthony -- seemingly this panel's Jon Barry -- brought up another issue: is the Heat’s lack of overall “team balance”. Anthony said, "When you have guys that can dominate the game like those three can, it doesn't allow other players to get into the flow of the game. It's important that they figure out balance." Anyone that has followed this Miami Heat team this season can tell you that it’s controlled chaos on offense most of the time. The two best wing players in the world and a power forward in Chris Bosh that has shown an extended range this season, his best and most productive with the Heat thus far, pilot that chaos. Mario Chalmers is having himself a career season, and his backup Norris Cole has contributed more than expected. Since Mike Miller has returned he has played his best basketball in a Heat uniform. Hell, even Joel Anthony has been getting touches lately. A common misnomer this season seems to be to trash the Heat's depth, when in reality they are a far cry from last year’s shallow team. This Heat team can play 10 players starter's minutes on any given night; that seems like pretty good balance to me. Calling this team top heavy, and all about the Big 3, is so 2010.
Thankfully, Chris Webber was the voice of reason on this night, saying, "They are so good and they will continue to be good. That's why I picked them to win the championship. Because when they get below the box, they are just so hard to stop." He speaks the truth, the Heat will “continue to be good”, but is their “good” good enough? No. They need to be great, to do the things this team promised itself when it was put together. This season is bound to have its ups and downs, ask the Oklahoma City Thunder about their loss to the Washington Wizards. GO ASK THE NEW YORK KNICKS! OK, bad example, they might just stink.
Anthony thinks “You need more than one glue guy. You have to have one in your starting lineup and a few on your team.” Not only do you need more than one glue guy, you need 15. The one championship this franchise has was based on that motto; any loose piece puts the entire structure at risk. It may be a shortened season, but hell if it isn’t still a long season. Last year’s Miami Heat team was playing their best basketball in the playoffs; this year’s Heat team should aim to do the same – even if they have to adjust to finding minutes for this Wade guy that returns soon enough. Hopefully they can overcome that.