Blogtable: Heat’s Playoff Run

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


What do you think of the Heat now? Always impressed, newly impressed or … eh?

Steve Aschburner: Newly impressed. Three things came together over the past two playoff rounds that were a real credit to what Miami has accomplished this spring. First, the Heat fell behind both Indiana (2-1) and Boston (3-2), two solid opponents, but dug out from the deficits while either playing without Chris Bosh or having him for uncertain minutes. Second, they got back into and won each series without undue assistance from the referees -– not to say that any help would have been intentional, but a bevy of entirely legit calls and earned free throws would have fueled conspiracy theories; no compliant official was handing LeBron James that 19-for-26 field goal performance in Game 6 Thursday. And third, the Heat looked more like a team than just a Big 3, getting boosts variously from Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller and underappreciated point guard Mario Chalmers. I’m still not a fan of the whole concept — stacking the deck with elite players who should have stayed rivals — but the way Miami survived and advanced merits big respect.

Fran Blinebury: What’s changed? Three big-time talents and a roster full of dwarfs.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Always impressed this season. Are the Heat the perfect team? No. But there is no perfect team, and the Heat were clearly the East favorite once Derrick Rose went down and the Bulls followed. Being in the Finals is not a surprise. It is Miami’s deserved place.

Shaun Powell: They don’t appear to be better, as a whole, than last year. Same Bron (although with an MVP), same Wade, same Bosh. The supporting cast, never intimidating to begin with, remains very iffy. Miami never upgraded its big man spot and the best point guard remains Mario Chalmers. The Heat’s offense still isn’t very imaginative, and the defense is top notch. Any improvement must come from Bron in the fourth quarters. There’s room to grow there.

John Schuhmann: A little of both. Back in December, we all picked them to be here, so it’s not like this is unexpected. But they did show a new level of resiliency in winning the last two games against the Celtics. That was the first time LeBron has ever faced elimination and won a playoff series, and I do think he’s got a different mentality this year than last. So while I’ve always thought they could win a championship, I also like what I’ve seen of late.

Sekou Smith: Not particularly impressed with the Heat, since they’ve ended up exactly where I predicted they would back in December. But I must admit, I’m newly impressed with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. He’ll never be able to live up to the crazy expectations so many people had for him when he came into the league. He’s already six or seven championships short of that. But what he showed me in Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference finals is stuff I wasn’t sure he had in reserve at this stage of his career. You are basically what you are when you’re nearly a decade deep into your NBA career. But he rescued his legacy and the Heat’s season by delivering them from that 3-2 deficit and into The Finals. Bosh’s Game 7 performance is the kind of effort that makes the difference for a championship team. He showed some serious guts playing through whatever lingering pain he’s dealing with and making sure the Heat didn’t fall to the Celtics. If he has four or five more efforts like that in him, The Finals will be the epic we’re all hoping for.

25 Comments

  1. renz_garnett says:

    1st round loss against knicks – 1
    2nd round loss against pacers – 2
    3rd round loss against celtics – 3
    now
    4th round loss against thunder – 4..
    hahaha.. just a thought.. let’s go thunder beat the heat.

  2. it'sfinalstimeagain says:

    First let me get this off my chest, a comment or 2 ago, it was mentioned by dattebayoabout the officiating in game 6 of SA-OKC. That might of had something to do with game 3 of that series. The fact that some have coined that game as a 5 on 8 against OKC (IN OKC). Game 3 had atrocious officiating for both sides. The officiating in that whole series was a disservice to the game.

    As for the celtics-heat series, I think boston played better than miami and would have been victorious if regulation time was shorter. Miami had better legs to go the distance, period. Another key point that I observerd, Celtics in Boston, game 6 for the ECC. Celts are down and fans are leaving at the beginning of 4th quarter, wtf. That was VERY uncharacteristic of Boston fans and kinda pissed me off. I am sure that it also had a huge impact on the celt’s bench.

    Now talking about legs, Miami is going to have to take their stamina out of the equation to beat OKC. There can’t even be a discussion about which team has the younger, faster, AND fresher legs going into this series. As for expecting the big hitters to carry this series, LJ, Bosh, Wade, KD, Westbrook with big points, I see them being evenly matched. In my opinion, what will tip the balance of the scale will be the bench. Primarily Oklahoma’s bench. Their bench could easily and successfully compete in the NBA as a starting roster.

    All in all, I pick OKC in 6.

  3. Sick says:

    oh please heat are not impressive
    everyone know boston won that series 4-1
    remember game 2? that was boston’s game
    kg touch the ball technical, ray ray jump technical, Doc “come on eddie” technical

    • HeatH8r says:

      As much as I, being a Laker fan, hate to agree with someone who’s written something supporting Boston, I have to agree in this case. Miami’s referees baby the Heat. The Celtics play a physical brand of basketball, and I respect that (as much as I hate the Celtics). I’m disappointed that the Lakers and the Celtics won’t have a chance to go at it again for the Finals, with the Lakers’ right to tie the number of championships that the Celtics have (or the Celtics’ right to put two titles between themselves and the Lakers) on the line. I grew up watching guys like Kobe work hard to win rings. Kobe went seven years without winning a ring (from the Lakers’ last title in 2002 to 2009), but he managed to get the Lakers back into the top ranks of the NBA to win back-to-back titles. LeBron, like a coward, fled the Cavaliers at the first opportunity that he had just three years after being in the Finals against the Spurs (who were a superteam at the team, so I don’t blame the Cavaliers for getting swept in that series) rather than try to carry the Cavaliers back to the promised land. That patience and determination is what sets just the regular superstars apart from the champions, which is a club including individuals like Jordan, Bryant, O’Neal, Olajuwon…the list goes on and on. The Heat need to stop crying and just shut up and play.

      • Francisco says:

        why do not you shut up and bring something new and smart to this blog, be original dude, you hate lebron because with ring or without it he has been THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NBA THE LAST FIVE YEARS.Previuosly mentioning jordan again, Lebron does not have to be jordan , he is Lebron The most complete player the league has seen.HE is a bigger piece of the puzzle than jordan was , but you need the rigth pieces to get it completed and sometimes it does not happens.SOME history about your kOBE, HE won his first ring without being an star only 21.1 points per game in the playoffs, SHAQ was the main man an MVP, BEST PLAYER, MAIN FACTOR IN THAT TEAM,those 3 rings have the same value than horry’s
        last ring HE SHOCKED BIGGGGGGG TIME 6 OUT OF 24.GET OVER IT KOBE DOES NOT HAVE THE STATS TO BE CONSIDERED THE SECOND BEST PLAYER EVER.

  4. wooderson says:

    oh sorry why am i taking any of you seriously youre just heat/lebron haters. sad sad retarded individuals.

    • HeatH8r says:

      A Heat fan calling someone retarded? That’s funny haha. We wouldn’t hate the Heat so much had LeBron not announced that he was signing with Miami with so much pomp and ceremony. You forget that after LeBron signed with them, Miami threw a parade and celebrated like they had already won a championship. Then LeBron had the balls to tell the press that the Heat were going to win a plethora of championship trophies for the Heat (which, if the Heat were actually a solid team, would’ve started last year), but is in his second year in this experiment and hasn’t delivered yet. If the Heat don’t win the Finals this year, there are going to be a lot of people questioning the wisdom of bringing James and Bosh on board with Wade. I personally think that LeBron is a phenomenal basketball player, but doesn’t deserve to be put in the same coversation as Michael Jordan because Jordan has six rings and LeBron has none. Not only that, but Jordan (with the exception of Scottie Pippen, who developed as a superstar AFTER being drafted by the Bulls) carried the Bulls to those six titles as the biggest star on the team, with no one rivaling him. I find it amusing that LeBron is chasing his first title with the Heat with two other superstars in his eighth/ninth year in the league, while Jordan was in the middle of a three-peat by that time.

  5. LOLakers says:

    Heat in 4, possibly 5. The Thunder haven’t had to go against any defense yet and now they’re facing the greatest defensive team in the league! On top of that Lebrom can explode for 45 or more points at any time and when he does it’s all over!!! Blunder stand no chance.

    • HeatH8r says:

      The Thunder are deeper than the Heat, and Miami has no clue how to guard good point guards. Rajon Rondo destroyed the Heat in the conference finals, and the only reason Miami won that series was because Boston’s other three stars gave out before the series was finished. Rondo put the team on his back but got no support down the stretch. Westbrook is just as explosive as Rondo, if not more so, and he’s got solid teammates in Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kendrick Perkins (whom all Lakers fans acknowledged as a worthy opponent when he was a Celtic), Ibaka…the list goes on and on. The Heat have Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James, and…*cricket cricket. The Heat’s lack of depth (not to mention that Brooks is a better coach than Spoelstra) will hurt them in the end, and allow the Thunder to win the series.

  6. lakermig says:

    come on lets face it how impressive were they really. They had the leagues 3rd best record which is not very good when you consider the superstars they have and the fact that bulls did better without theirs for 1/3 of the season and the spurs did better with their big 3 being in their 30s. Then they couldn’t even sweep NY who apparently have been swept in the playoffs for like the past 10 years and then went all the way to game 6 against the pacers ?!?! and then to a game 7 against the celtics who played without bradley and basically without allen not to mention pierce hardly showed up either, so how amazing was their 3-2 down comeback ..not as impressive as the OKC 2-0 counter sweep that is for damn sure.Dont get me wrong I am not a Heat hater and def not a lebron hater BUT they did not impress in the least , for me personally in fact they did the contrary and to imagine them beating a much deeper team with more size that beat teams that won 10 rings the past 13 years on the way to the finals it going to be nearly impossible.

    • dattebayo says:

      In the last two years Miami defeated Teams that won 25 rings in the last 50 years, and they did it without a good Center and Pointguard. Using your logic, OKC beating them is nearly impossible…

      Maybe ridiculous statements like that simply mean nothing. That Laker team was nothing like those Championship Teams and the Mavericks clearly were not the same as last years team either. OKC barely beat them at home with the help of the refs. And just take a look at the 4th quarter in Game 6 against San Antonio and then tell me that the refs did not decide that game in OKCs favor…

      You may not be a Heat Hater, but clearly you can’t distinguish between “funny facts” and things that matter.

  7. HEAT/OKC 2012 NBA CHAAAMSSS says:

    MAVS=0
    LAKERS=1
    SPURS=2
    shoul miami get 4???is number 4 next to 2????i dont think so. .i just want to share because in every series there,s always been a formula. .

  8. HEAT/OKC 2012 NBA CHAAAMSSS says:

    MAVS=0
    LAKERS=1
    SPURS=2

  9. HeatKingsOfEast says:

    I always wonder why people expect the bulls to be in the finals, i thought because of their fans and their home turf, i can’t imagine a credible nba writer up until now will open a topic for the bulls as a rival or contender of the heat in the east. please no miami haters this time, im just talking about the east conference ok?

    going back to the topic, i bet next post season if the celts still have the big three with rondo, or at least only ray allen is not extended to have a contract, boston with pierce rondo and garnett will surely defeat chicago in a series. i hope next post season bos and chicago meet in the playoffs and knock each other before they meet miami.

    and i also hope that scott howard cooper can read this.

    some people or should i say chicago fans are dreaming that they are rivals with the heat, uhm eh? well excuse me, the rivals of the heat are the boston celtics. just think about it, why did lebron wade bosh joined together? remember when lebron said that the boston is the reason why they teamed up, boston gave the blueprint to them, which means miami and lebron are recognizing the boston as their east rivals, how about chicago? no comment ahahhahah

  10. LETS GO HEAT! says:

    There is no short supply of HEAT/LeBron haters out there. If only scientist could find a way to harness all their hate and discontent for the HEAT we could have an unlimited source renewable energy.

  11. CManley says:

    Did anyone really expect the Pacers to be a big deal? And wasn’t Boston not in the playoffs at all at one point? They should be here. What they should be concerned about is the lack of “MVP” type games from LBJ. It’s nice when he gets 29 points on some dunks, fast-breaks and dribble drives. They need him to be a reliable midrange shooter, because this is where the closer-type players thrive. Kobe, Jordan, Pierce, could all hit consistent 18-20 foot shots repeatedly in the 4th quarter, either to bring their team back or keep the lead until the buzzer. Wade is this team’s best option to close out games with clutch shooting, and he is not as reliable as he used to be. Yea we saw James do it once in game 6, but how many times has he actually went for 40 points or more? He is consistent at 28-34 ppg, but to really take over and push 40 to 50 points, not really his game until he can get a jumpshot and not rely on fastbreak points and dunks to score points. He should really shore up that free throw percentage before they foul him intentionally. If he can get a reliable 18 foot fall away, I’ll shut up.

    • HEAT-ALL-THE-WAY says:

      So now that LBJ is trying hard on his post games, attacking, getting closer to the basket, defending, rebounding and you’re looking at his jumpshots… I know you won’t shut up or neither any of the haters will do… and who in this league did average 40-50pts/game? Exactly, no one did… 28-34ppg is at best as any great players did their entire career and that helped their team a lot… So just shutup and enjoy the game… A lot of the predictions failed this season for any of the teams…

  12. Hoops observer says:

    Well said.

  13. NBAfan says:

    I personally give them a Meh….IF you have Lebron James in your team AND you also have D Wade….and oh…you also have Bosh…and Oh…..you have dependable support guys like Battier, Miller, Turiaf and Chalmers? I expected them to SWEEP every series leading to the finals…that is seriously what I expect from a team like this.

    I also expected them to EARN their way to the finals by going through Rose and the Bulls, and Dwight and the Magics, and also Boston….but Rose got injured and Dwight never even played. Only Boston happened and we all know they could have lost that series….

    Instead they lost once to a weak Knicks team, lost twice to a Pacers team that is an 8th seed at best in most seasons, and almost lost to an aging Boston team…they also needed a phenomenal game from Lebron to avoid elimination.

    THIS YEAR IS THEIR BEST CHANCE TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP….and they have to beat OKC to do so….hope it’s as good as it is being hyped up to be

    • shanydawg says:

      WE are the only one’s hyping it. The Heat just go about their business… and they’re certainly not reading this blog. Instead of EXPECTING them to do it… why can’t we just reduce our expectations to HOPE… and actually ENJOY the ride. We’ve seen more great basketball in the last 4 weeks that we’ve seen in a life time… but virtually every post here starts with Ehhh!? What is UP with THAT?!? GO HEAT!

    • CHITOWN says:

      I’m with NBA FAN’s comments. All the writers above are talking about how impressed they are at them coming back from deficit in the playoffs. BUT what I see is the fact they fell into a deficit in the first place on teams that in the west would be number 6 or below seeds. The Thunder play on another level, and the Pacers and Celtics don’t even compare to them. On top of that the Heat aren’t rolling in the playoffs like they were last year at this time. I think they’re in for a rude awakening starting tomorrow.

      Thunder take it in 6.

  14. ALL TIME GREATS says:

    I am a bit surprised the Heat are back in the Finals, only because that in and of itself can be a feat. Look at Dallas. They won last year but this year they have declined. When the Heat won in 2006, they declined big time the next year. With that said to see them back shows they’re heart and how much they want to win. Lebron is a different player this year for sure. He is more comfortable with the Heat as a team and organization, and I think he is more comfortable as the unquestioned leader of the team. Wade is still a leader, but he should not be THE leader, and I think both Lebron and Wade are on the same page with that. Wade knows Lebron is one of the best players ever, and he wants him to take the mantle of leadership. As hard as that might be for Wade, he knows it has to happen and he has been instrumental in letting it happen. I do think the Thunder pose a challenge for the Heat, but we also know that Lebron is clearly better than Durant, and Wade is clearly better and more experienced than Westbrook. Bosh is clearly better than the 3rd best player on the Thunder. The problem is the rest of the players on the Heat roster, although I think if they play they’re best they can help the Heat take the title. With that said, I am impressed with the resolve and perseverance of the Heat this year.