Heat, Lakers: Deja Vu All Over Again?

Maybe it was time to hit the eject button on Mike Brown after just five games.

Maybe, as Charles Barkley said, you want your CPA to come from Princeton, not your offense.

Maybe that pocketful of magic beans in Mike D’Antoni’s pocket will make Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace look younger, make the bench deeper and make everything right in the Lakers’ world again.

Or maybe, just maybe, we’ve just forgotten that we’ve seen this all before and not so long ago, spelled: H-E-A-T.

It was Nov. 27, 2010 when the Mavs hung a 106-95 whipping on the Heat that prompted a players-only post-game meeting in the visitors locker room at Dallas. That was the fourth loss in five games for the Heat, dropped their record on the season to 9-8 and led to…what?

Well, first a 12-game winning streak. Then 21 wins in 22 games. Then a date with the Mavs in The Finals in June, where they came up just short. Then the coronation 12 months later. And now to this point barely two years later, where LeBron James collects Player of the Week honors, not to mention MVP awards, like a cashmere sweater picks up cat hair.

Dwyane Wade chuckles now at the memories of the house supposedly being on fire when the Miami Big Three didn’t fit immediately together like a set of Russian nesting dolls from opening night.

“There’s excitement, of course,” he said. “And there’s a lot of anticipation about what can be possible. But really, a lot of things tend to get ahead of themselves. I guess, when you think about it, those things are only natural. Now looking back, you see how unrealistic a lot of things are in the early days. But I guess it doesn’t stop everybody from doing it all over again and making the same mistake with expectations.”

The Heat watch now from their champion’s perch a continent away and nod their heads in recognition at the echo chamber of discontent that reverberates around the Lakers. Dwight Howard tries to fit in. Nash gets hurt. Bryant seethes. Brown gets fired. Phil Jackson gets teased. D’Antoni moves in.

The difference in Miami is that there were no significant injuries among the Big Three and Heat management resisted the urge from some fans and media to push coach Erik Spoelstra over the edge.

“That was one of the hardest parts, listening to the criticism of him,” Chris Bosh said. “Really, there’s only so much you can do as a player. You take care of your business. You do your job.

“You hear all of the talk that’s going on on the outside and you try to ignore it, but that’s not always easy. There are decisions that aren’t yours and that you have no control over. All we focused on was playing basketball and just the day to day struggles that we had on the court, each game, each possession. That was enough.

“People in management are gonna make their decisions and you have to live with them and make them work.”

In the case of the Lakers, they were trying to put in a new and radically different offense under Brown and now they’re doing it all over again with D’Antoni.

“You know it’s gonna take time, no matter how great you are,” Wade said. “Even if you start off the season on fire, there’s going to be a period of time during the year when you’re going to have to finally figure each other out.

“That’s every team, even this team. We’re a different team. We’ve got a lot of the same personnel, but we still got to figure out our game as we add new pieces to our team. So all this talk about the Lakers. The Lakers will be fine. I’m not concerned about that at all.

“Obviously, when (D’Antoni) he was in Phoenix he gave Nash the ball. They put the right personnel around him, a lot of shooters, and Nash is one of the best pick-and-roll players of all time and he let him be that.

“It will be a little bit different dynamic now. He will probably have to use a little bit more brain power to see how he can get Nash to be Nash and still (fit) with the other elements that they have. He has a tough job ahead of him, but I’m sure he’s excited with the opportunity he gets to be with America’s Team.”

The eye roll and the sarcasm that dripped off the last remark was unmistakable. The Heat took their lumps, survived and thrived in spite of them and, while recognizing many of the same early problems for the Lakers, are hardly sympathetic.

“You know, when we (were) going through what we (were) going through, no one really cared about us,” James said. “So I don’t really worry about other teams.”

Maybe it’s as jarring as firing a coach after five games.

Maybe it’s the magnification of all things Lakers.

Maybe it’s the attention-deficit times we live in the simply make us forget.

“It’s not just as easy as putting the players together and saying, ‘Go win,’ ” said Bosh. “There’s a period when it doesn’t look right. I’m think over the summer everybody knew it was going to be like that from the get-go. Didn’t they?”

30 Comments

  1. Popoy Di Maunat says:

    First of All Lakers MUST WIN On the FIRST… And WIN over a Contending TEAMS… Like last years Finalist… OKC and MIA…then MEM and NYK, CETICS,SPURS, and Clippers too…. The HEAT is UNBEATABLE at HOME…. While your lakers can’t manage to win a single game on the road…. What’s Up laker fans???? DEJAVU???????

  2. joey boy says:

    Trade Pau to AMARE from KNICKS,
    and sign Kenyon Martin for additional Rebounding for L.A.

  3. lets go says:

    it all matter what place the lakers get going to the playoffs

  4. RYI RYI says:

    RENE U R AN IDIOT

  5. kutz says:

    lets go lakers!!!

  6. Be ready for the Heat this year. I will just watch. It will be insane I promise.

    Can´t discard Boston in East because they will fight til the end.

    I think Reggie Miller or Charles can talk more about the Lakers.

    We are talking about practice in Miami.

  7. james says:

    the west have too many strong teams this year its not even funny its gonna be along playoffs for the lakers

  8. Belizeboy says:

    This is stupid because the Lakers have such an easy schedule that they shouldn’t even have had five losses. Miami was losing to good teams.

    • Mister 215 says:

      Maybe I’m wrong but since there are 82 games every team plays every team. Also Miami wasn’t trying to learn their third different offense in one year either.

  9. Rene says:

    The Lakers should be worrying about getting to the Finals first before worrying about the Heat. There is no doubt that the Eastern conference is a lot weaker than the Western Conference.

    The biggest challenge for the Heat to get to the finals this year are the Boston Celtics (who are washed up, but not done yet), and the New York Knicks. The Bulls, even with Derrick Rose back by the end of the season, just aren’t the same without their bench mod whom they got rid of in the summer. The Pacers look a mess, the Sixers are too young and the Nets simply don’t have enough talent to match up to the Heat in a seven game series.

    On the other hand, Lakers have to worry about the Grizzlies (I have great expectations for them this year), the Clippers who have the best bench in the NBA, the Thunder (I see them going into the finals again), and of course, the Spurs (as always).

    As of now, I don’t see how the Lakers could beat the Thunder match up wise. WestBrook will have his ways with Nash/Blake, Sefolosha and Durant will take turns guarding Kobe, Artest, or World Peace is no longer the defensive force he once was, if Durant can score against LeBron, he damn well will do whatever he wants with Artest. Ibaka and Perkins are perfect defensive big men in the paint to guard Gasol and Howard. Howard will still get his points, but he’s going to be working very hard for them.

    And lets not forget the Thunder has Kevin Martin and Eric Maynor coming off the bench for that extra spark. Who on the Lakers bench can stop Kevin Martin? Jodie Meeks? Devin Ebanks? I don’t think so. The Thunder are just simply younger, better, more talented than the Lakers. Kevin Durant is arguably the best scorer in the NBA with exception of maybe Carmelo Anthony, far better and far more efficient than Kobe at this point of their careers.

    I think this Lakers team is way too overrated, this Laker team is not THAT much better than the Lakers team last year. Bynum had a MONSTER season last year, and the Lakers were mediocre at best, swapping Bynum for Howard, and adding in a 38 year old Nash doesn’t automatically make them contenders. Do keep in mind that Kobe, Artest, and Gasol are all getting older, plus the Lakers still have no bench. I would go as far to say that the 2009-2011 Laker teams were better than the Laker teams now with a slightly younger Kobe, Gasol and Artest, Bynum in the middle, and Odom leading the bench.

    • Larian1983 says:

      Ok, so you are basically saying now that the Lakers had bad summer that made them worse, because u just said last year’s Lakers was better.
      To me, it sounds pretty sour, but at least I get a taste of what haters feel now.

      • Rene says:

        No, I did not say that they had a bad summer, in fact I stated that the trades they made in the summer indeed made them better, but how much better?

        I said that the Lakers team last year were pretty bad due to the loss of Lamar Odom. Bynum had a monster season, but the Lakers were mediocre at best last year, and I don’t think anyone would argue with me. They added a 38 year old Nash this year, and Howard who just came off back surgery at the cost of Bynum. It’s an improvement yes, but does that all of a sudden turn them from mediocre to contenders? I don’t think so.

        I’m not hating, I’m just stating my opinion. And my opinion is that the Lakers were a better, and a more complete team when they had Fisher, Kobe, Artest/Ariza, Gasol, Bynum as their starting five, with Odom and Shannon Brown coming off the bench among others.

    • Mister 215 says:

      Okay so two years ago the lakers lost to the NBA champions, the year after they lost to the team the made it to the Finals. Is this why you say they are a mediocre team. I’m not the world’s smartest man, but mediocre teams don’t make the playoffs (referring to the west coast cuz everybody knows the east is weaker). Mediocre teams don’t win their division either, because that isn’t a mediocre accomplishment. If it was they wouldn’t keep a record of division titles. People forget that the lakers LET two games slip away from their hands against the Thunder. Not like the lakers got ran over by them because a great team will destory a “mediocre” team any day. Since everybody is talking about right now, Kobe is the league leading scorer, and is shooting over 50% percent from the field. We will see how mediocre they are come June.

    • the only reason why you think OKC has a good bench is because of martin, Martin should have been a starter and Thabo should be on the bench, now what if Martin is on the starting unit? what’s left on the Thunders bench? hahahahahahaha…….WORST THAN LA…

  10. ko0kie says:

    lakers will be fine as long as kobe stays healthy..

    the western conference playoff race is wide open this year.. although I think there is are 4 teams locked in: OKC, Spurs, Clippers; Memphis.. maybe the lakers, not so sure yet ;).
    I can imagine any team except the Kings and Suns (probably also the Hornets if Eric Gordon is out for the whole season) make a run for the playoffs..

    it’s gonna be hard for the lakers but they will improve game by game..

  11. GFE Desires says:

    All will be well IMO. Lakers will ultimately be in the small group of teams contending for a title, and once they begin to gel as a team, I love them to win a series against ANYBODY. Time will tell. Go Lakers!

  12. Fo Real says:

    LA will be fine until playoffs …. The west is tough, real tough

  13. Beach we gbe says:

    Alright I’m going in! Excuse the lakers choppy with the skaters! Kobe is on pat called his game patricia! Young heat militia and James is ballin with the commissioner! You don’t wanna make him mad cuz in nba 2k he’s got finisha!

  14. Larian1983 says:

    What’s wrong with firing Mike Brown?

    I think it’s the only right thing Lakers had to do, because he was the problem. The Lakers played lot more comfortable after Brown got fired, it’s obvious to me and it’s obvious to everyone. The media is just worrying about back slashes, therefore, no one is going to blast Mike Brown, but as a fan, I’ll do it for ya. Mike Brown was holding the Lakers back.

  15. Neal Raj Mathur says:

    OFF-TOPIC

    This article puts one of Kobe’s comments in a better light….

    When he said the 2012 Olympic Squad could beat the 1992 Dream team. The 2012 version played more together as a team… they had to as the rest of the world has somewhat closed the gap in the last 20 years.

    How many NBA players did the dream team play against?

  16. MPac says:

    Dejavu? Atleast the Lakers didn’t put up a celebration before the season starts like the Heat did.

    • thekingo522 says:

      Yes, you, Lakers fans, starting celebrating before the season started. You said that you were going to break the Bulls winning record. You said that you were going to destroy every team in the league. You said that nobody would stop you from winning a champioship. Yes, you started celebrating before winning anything. That is why Kobe calls you “dumb fans”

  17. Corey says:

    The Lakers have a lot of work ahead of them, but they have even more potential. Watch out Heat…it’s almost time for the Lake Show.

  18. lafan101 says:

    Dwight Howard is starting to look like Dwight. Nash will be back soon and Kobe is Kobe. See you in the Finals Heat.

  19. the guy says:

    don’t you hate the new NBA layout, I just find it interesting why popular sites like Facebook, youtube, and now NBA keep changing their layout, smh

  20. cruzero says:

    putting to much superstars that are used to do the same job ain’t gonna work, maybe nash with kobe, or kobe with howard, or nash or howard. i dunno, but i guess it can’t be the three of them if it will be, it will become not kobe’s team anymore. and which i do not think will happen. cannot compare to miami, because the big three bosh, james and wade, inlcuding spo set aside their egos, maybe that’s what the lakers should do.

  21. charles says:

    Lakers will win lots of games. Whether they win a championship is going to depend on the coach and the players willingness to play real team ball….

  22. josephcorr6 says:

    Interesting points discussed.