Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 4/14/12
MIAMI The storm clouds are hovering over the Miami Heat. Again. And they're darker and more threatening than last season, when this Big Three thing was a first-year experiment. Here's the reality of the situation for Miami: Nowadays, more than a year after uniting the Big Three, things should be running smoothly. Instead, everything appears to be an absolute disaster, or at the very least, a struggle. Guard Dwyane Wade (ankle), forwards Udonis Haslem (stomach virus) and Mike Miller (ankle) and center Ronny Turiaf (hamstring) all missed Friday's 105-82 victory over Charlotte with injuries, although each should be back for Sunday's showdown with New York. The rotation is a mess. The road losses against quality opponents are alarming (Chicago and Boston), and lately, the home losses against quality teams (Memphis and Boston) are just as alarming. And as the entire basketball-watching world yells there's something wrong Miami had lost three of its previous four games, and four of its previous seven, heading into Friday -- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra stands stubbornly. "We feel good about some of the steps we're making," he said. Disregard, as I'm sure you will, Friday's 23-point over Charlotte. The Bobcats (7-51) are the worst team in the NBA. They might not get 10 victories in this lockout-shortened 66-game season. The Bobcats victory was almost meaningless, although James thinks differently. "We got better tonight," said James, who had 19 points and eight rebounds as the Heat improved to 11-1 without Wade, "and that's what's important." Spoelstra believes the same thing. He maintains the Heat, which is 41-17 and holding the second seed in the Eastern Conference, is improving. "There is the real and the unreal," Spoelstra said. "There's everybody else's truth and there's our truth. And that's all we're concerned about." Such platitudes are why it's open season on the Miami Heat. The Spo-isms sound ridiculous in the face losses to quality teams such as Memphis, Boston (twice) and Chicago. And the Heat's fourth-year coach is being lambasted as he continues to insist this team is actually comfortable with things, and that they're getting even more comfortable. "We want feel confident going into second season," he said in reference to the playoffs. Spoelstra's coaching is being scrutinized more closely than ever. But he's not worried about what he always calls "white noise," the chirping among the so-called NBA experts. So when people wonder about the numerous late-season lineup changes, Spoelstra is unnerved. In the last few games he's changed his starting center twice, going from Joel Anthony to Ronny Turiaf to Udonis Haslem. He's inserted rookie guard Terrel Harris into the lineup then took him out after Harris played reasonably well. He inserted forward James Jones into the lineup and took him out after Jones played reasonably well. And he's shuffled the rotation to the point some of the lineups you see haven't even played together. "This is something I've been planning for a while, and I've mentioned it a few times," Spoelstra said of the lineup changes. "And again, I'm not afraid to pull these triggers because they're small tweaks." Spoelstra did similar tweaks a year ago. Point guard. Center, The bench. And it all worked OK. Those tweaks weren't the reason Miami lost to Dallas in six games in the NBA Finals, so maybe Spoelstra is right in saying he's making his team better. Jones, the three-point shooting champion from last year's All-Star Weekend, took the company line on the ever-churning lineup. "Guys are comfortable with their roles," he said. "It's not to say it's easy but guys are comfortable." That's hard to believe. But James also said things are going well, and he said the lineup shuffling isn't a bad thing. "We've got two weeks to figure it out," he said. "But it's enough time for us as a veteran ballclub. If we were a young group I don't think it would be so great to do it, but as a veteran ballclub I don't think it's a bad thing."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker