Found January 15, 2013 on Fox Sports Florida:
Be
The Harlem Globetrotters have played more than 20,000 exhibition games. As for the Miami Heat, it will be 90 this season. Thats eight in the preseason and 82 in what some call the regular season. Sure, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra would disagree that this is an extended exhibition run. But his players, with the obvious exception of LeBron James, often perform as if theyre just checking their watches to see when the playoffs begin. For the Heat, that could be at 3:30 p.m. EDT on April 20. Its easy to criticize Miamis many lackluster performances this season. The latest was a 104-97 loss Monday at Utah, the Heats third loss in four games on an ongoing six-game trip and one that dropped their seasonal mark away from AmericanAirlines Arena to 8-9. The game featured Heat guard Dwyane Wade being benched the entire fourth quarter and center Chris Bosh sitting out all but the last 40 seconds. Miami (24-12) did make a stirring rally from 19 points down at the start of the quarter to get within two late, so Spoelstra certainly cant be questioned for the moves. There are plenty of people questioning the Heat right now. But the bottom line is that, considering the adversity they overcame in the playoffs last season, they really cant be lambasted this season unless theyre eliminated from the postseason. The Heat didnt seem too concerned last year when they didnt get the top seed in the Eastern Conference, when they fell behind Indiana 2-1 in the second round, when they trailed Boston 3-2 in the East finals and when they fell behind Oklahoma City 1-0 in the NBA Finals. They then became the first team to win an NBA crown after trailing in three straight series. Each time, they had to win at least one road game if they wanted to stay alive. Theyre a perception on the Heat that they can turn it on when needed, and that might be the case. If it is, theyll win another NBA title. If they dont win another one, then there rightfully could be plenty of Heat bashing for the laissez-faire attitude in which the regular season often was handled. Despite their tremendous talent, the Heat are just tied with Memphis for having the NBAs fourth-best record. Yes, the Heat are lacking when it comes to a big man, but that didnt stop them from winning the title last year. Spoelstra knows they can board better this season, but theyre last in the NBA in rebounding percentage. Bosh has been an embarrassment on the glass this season for a guy who has center listed by his name. After grabbing one board in 27 minutes against the Jazz, his average is down to 7.2, in line to be the lowest of his 10-year career. Wade has had his ups and downs this season. But it wont be fair to fully judge him until after the Feb. 17 All-Star Game, a time when he predicts he will have fully recovered from offseason knee surgery. The bottom line is there might be no reason to worry too much about the Heat unless James were to get hurt. Miami, which is 17-4 without Wade the past two seasons, has proven it can win without him. The Heat were able to get by for much of the playoffs last year when Bosh missed nine games due to an abdominal strain, although they might not have won the title without him. James is showing no signs of disinterest. With averages of 26.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists, hes heading toward perhaps his second straight and fourth overall MVP trophy. At least for one Miami player, its not an extended exhibition season. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

NBA Rumor: Cleveland Cavaliers targeting summer of 2014, LeBron James

The whispers surrounding the worst kept secret amongst NBA circles are growing increasingly louder. While many fans wonder when the Cleveland Cavaliers will make a move to help win basketball games, it appears that the answer is the summer of 2014 when LeBron James can opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat. In his piece which was filed for the Sunday morning paper, Jason Lloyd...
SETTING RECORDS

LeBron youngest to reach milestone

Video: Reaches 20,000 points at age 28

LeBron James close to reaching 20K milestone

LeBron James was the youngest player in NBA history to win rookie of the year, to record a triple-double, to score 1,000 points, to score 10,000 points, to win MVP honors at an All-Star Game ... You get the idea. His latest youngest-to-do-it milestone could come as early as Wednesday. He needs 18 points to become the 38th NBA player to score 20,000 in his career. If it happens...

LeBron James Becomes Youngest Player to Reach 20,000 Career Points, Also Records 5,000th Assist

LeBron James added a few more accolades to his already illustrious career Wednesday night as his Miami Heat took the Golden State Warriors. He reached two career milestones, becoming the youngest player to ever reach 20,000 career points while also recording his 5,000th assist.  But it wouldn’t be enough if that was all he did, right? So, he gave us two ridiculous dunks in the...

LeBron nears 20,000-points milestone

LeBron James was the youngest player in NBA history to win rookie of the year, to record a triple-double, to score 1,000 points, to score 10,000 points, to win MVP honors at an All-Star Game ... You get the idea. His latest youngest-to-do-it milestone could come as early as Wednesday. He needs 18 points to become the 38th NBA player to score 20,000 in his career. If it happens...

James' late misplays help Jazz hold off Heat

SALT LAKE CITY -- LeBron James had big compliments for the Utah Jazz's crowd before and after Monday's game. The EnergySolutions Arena faithful had reason to return the praise to Miami's superstar after a wild contest. Al Jefferson scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Gordon Hayward added 22 points off the bench for the Jazz as they held off a furious fourth...

James passes milestones as Heat crush Warriors

OAKLAND,Calif. -- If there's one thing LeBron James has learned in his NBA career, it's that sometimes the best things aren't scripted. On a night that might have been called "The Milestones" if he'd been allowed turn a mid-January regular-season game in a place called Golden State into a made-for-TV extravaganza, James crashed through two historic NBA...

Kobe Bryant responds to LeBron James saying that the Heat endured more criticism than the Lakers

Remember back in the summer of 2010 when LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach?  Remember when the Miami Heat then held a pep rally and LeBron James himself stated that they’re going to win “not 2…not 3…not 4…not 5…not 6…not 7″ NBA championship titles?  They claimed [...]

Heat rally falls short in loss to Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- LeBron James once scored 51 points against the Utah Jazz, and needed 50 on Monday night to become the youngest player to reach 20,000 for his career. He almost got there. James scored 32 for the Miami Heat, but the Jazz held on after nearly blowing a 21-point lead and won 104-97. "We're trying to learn how to push a lead from 20 to 30 and close...

Powerful Udonis Haslem Putback (Video)

The defending NBA champions, the Miami Heat, are matching up against the trendy Golden State Warriors Wednesday night and around the 4:23 mark of the first quarter we have our first killer dunk. Was it LeBron James? No, but he was involved as Udonis Haslem stuffed the ball with authority off of a James’ miss. H/T [...]The post Powerful Udonis Haslem Putback (Video) appeared first...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.