Trouble In Heat Paradise?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — LeBron James is 18 points shy of 20,000 points. The Miami Heat still have a slight, half-game lead over the New York Knicks for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Generally speaking, plenty is going right for the defending NBA champions at this stage of the season.

But a closer look reveals cracks in the Heat facade. In fact, there could be trouble in Heat paradise, if you believe what you see (1-3 on their current road trip) and read. Brian Windhorst of provides the details:

The Heat are out of focus and they’re sniping. At their coach, Erik Spoelstra. At each other. Probably at their friends and loved ones, too.

Wade’s been in the middle of it a few times on the trip. Last week in Indianapolis, he scored 23 points in the first half of a game and then didn’t get a shot in the third quarter. Monday, he didn’t play in the fourth quarter — calling it a benching isn’t accurate — when Spoelstra decided to play James with four bench players as the Heat attempted a rally that fell short.

“I don’t know, I just always stay ready,” [Dwyane] Wade said curtly but not disrespectfully, much like he treated his disappearance from the offense in the loss in Indiana. “Coach makes the calls. I’m just a player.”

Wade’s body language said enough. Before the Heat left on this trip, Wade was asked if he missed the days of taking 20 to 25 shots a game. The days before James and [Chris] Bosh and being relegated to the third option some nights. Wade’s response: “Every day.”

A few days ago, Bosh said the Heat weren’t doing enough to ride players with “hot hands” after he was forgotten in the offense during a night when he shot 13-for-18 in a loss at Portland. He was referring to himself and Wade, the direction of the comment not being clear.

Bosh might want to pipe down after his one-rebound showing against the Jazz last night. Wade, on the other hand, makes a solid point. The Heat are definitely more formidable when he and James have it going as opposed to the Cleveland model, where James does all of the heavy lifting and his supporting casts simply observes.

All that said, a little friction for a team still operating in the afterglow of winning their first championship run together should be expected. There are enough new faces involved that the Heat will have to continue making adjustments as the season goes along.

Spoelstra probably enjoys this part of the process more than anyone, knowing that a united struggle (even one forged from the misguided perception of outsiders who assume that it’s something unusual, when, in fact, it’s not) makes it easier to get his team’s attention as the meat of the regular season plays out.

If nothing else, the Heat’s struggles (both real and imagined) will play out in vain, so long as they continue to do whatever they can to humble themselves the way they have after losses:

After the tough loss in Portland when the Heat blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead last week, James gave this lament: “We’re not the most talented bunch. We’re not the greatest team. So we can’t afford to just pick and choose when we want to turn it on and off.”

Most basketball minds would say this team is the best team, talent-wise, James has ever played on. He is likely playing alongside three Hall of Famers in Wade, Bosh and Ray Allen. But James, who is in the middle of perhaps the greatest all-around season of his career, has been right with his teammates in passively complaining about the state of the union.

When he got out of the cold tub, James weighed in.

“It was low energy. Against a team like this, on their floor, with their crowd — you can’t have low energy,” James said of the first half, in which he had his best scoring first half of the season with 20 points.

Of the late-game comeback that happened with Wade and Bosh on the bench, James said: “We played well, we had a lot of energy. Offensively, we didn’t care who was shooting the ball.”

Forgive me for not believing the hype about all of this supposed drama that plagues the Heat. They’ve had a couple of tough nights over the past few weeks.

It happens to the best of ’em, even the defending champs.

But it won’t last … not in paradise!


  1. @ Dave, i hear u cause that’s what the Celts do, just keep playing ball like the professionals they are!

  2. I Don’t care, let them keep crying. They’ll keep bumbling & Celts will be ready come playoffs!

  3. Dave says:

    big cry babies……………. thats what the Heat are. If things dont go their way, they cry like babies. They think the league has to bow to them because they won a championship. BIG DEAL. Just play the game and stop whining….

  4. bu says:

    I like what dattebayo said. Wade has attitude problems. LBJ is way better & he always had my respect.

    Many ppl do not realize the makeup of this team is unorthodox. It relies on the big 3 so much to create offense not just for themselves but for their teammates. Not really an effective system. Defense is also a system & effort thing. Effort wise, they have. System? best is still Thibodeau’s & Doc’s. Spoelstra haven’t shown a very effective system to disrupt flows & create rushed / ackward shots while Thi & Doc has.

  5. Jumppong says:

    the heat just slowing down.. cause i felt that they are boring playing the season and just waiting for the playoffs.. where they are the most dangerous team. just like last season they ended up in number 2 seed but when it comes to playoffs time.. they show who is the real big thing out there yeah you feel me?? hehe lol

  6. jeff says:

    They need a big man imagine if they started with Perkins bosh LeBron wade Chalmers that’s a way better team than bosh battier LeBron wade Chalmers jus cuz of a center that will help with The rebounds and start a fasts break

  7. Cody chapman says:

    I think that the heat are doing great but the only thing wrong is that when they see a team like the jazz they think easy game. So they don’t even try. Then in the end they realize they need to but it’s already to late. Also they need to get back on defense and do some kind of better coverage because there rebounding is not so good they also need to cover the 3 point line. If this helps you email me at

  8. chuy888 says:

    Im a laker fan and all I have to say is give me the heat’s struggles any day of the week. I’ll gladly take them.

  9. jaun paul jones says:

    No competition in the East all the Good teams in the West.

  10. Amari says:

    I think they need a big man point blank….Chalmers is lacking as a point guard and Cole needs to step back up and put points like he was last year. I don’t think you can blame wade and bosh who still put up double digits each game even on their worst shooting nights. these bench players who average 3million a year need to step up and put up points when they play. Heat have one of the worst benches in the league, pretty sure they’re second to last. The reason the rebounds didn’t matter last year cause the bench was putting up points to offset the deficit. Most of the Heats bench players average 3-5points per game. You get paid to 3million to hit 2 jumpers or layups or dunks or even two 3pointers or even free throws when you get fouled and play average 9minutes. Come on step up your game, there is a reason your in the NBA its not to look good. If the bench put up more effort and stop looking so confused they would get more playing time. Look at Allen man plays at least 20minutes a game coming from a different team. Where is the rest of the defending champions? Stop blaming the 3 all stars who do their job and earn their check to keep putting out more and more to make up for others who are slacking. Its 5 on 5 not 5 on 3. Try going 82 season games and keep putting up double doubles. That stuff wears on the body.

  11. NBAfan says:

    Bosh was talking about riding the hot hand…last time I checked, that’s about getting touches and shots…why are you telling Bosh to “pipe down” because he got 1 rebound one game? It’s a completely different issue altogether!!!!

    Bosh’s rebounding and Boshe’s shots per game….very different…or are you telling bosh…you want more shots, go grab some offensive rebounds..that’s the only way you’ll get any….

  12. St james says:

    The heat just looking a better seed for them with regards what’s the boston seed is.they just dont wanna face the celtics in first round of the playoff..

  13. Djbugz says:

    I agree that the heat have alot of things to fix come playoffs, mostly about defense and rebounding but the thing is its too early in the season to really be able to judge what a team can and cant do. I dont agree that they are the best team around ( IM A SOLID HEAT FAN) but i do believe they can be coz they have one of the best players collected in one team but that doesnt mean they are perfect. if collecting hall of famers was the only ticket to a championship then LA would be unbeatable .bottom line is every team has ups and downs some more than others we’ll see what happens during playoffs but for now they have got to do something about their D and rebounding because it doesnt matter how many points you score if the opposing team is doing the same thing

  14. I was reading what seemed to be a credible article. Then I read “Bosh…hall of famer”. Puhleeze

  15. strawhat says:

    heat needs bigman who can grab atleast 10 reb per game…period

  16. chrissie jam says:

    yeah right! they need big men. Heat out rebounded with their opponent previously.. ^_^ they should acquired THE ROCK from the WWE.. haha! what do you think guys?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bosh is a future hall of famer??!!!! I DON’T KNOW……

  18. kumag says:

    the HEAT are alright they will figure it out, i only wish they could play Lebron in the post more just like in the playoffs and the finals because almost no one can stop him there and that’s where he gets more attention so he could kick out to those shooters then swish!!! He always plays outside the paint and his whole team just watching,waiting eating out the clock then jacks up a 3pointer or a fading jumpshot or bulldozes his way to the basket which is good, but not most of the time because it gets so predictable. But the HEAT are alright though in my opinion theyr’e still at the top of the EAST.

  19. lbmike23 says:

    for me, this is not the real game for them, in the playoff you’ll see the real Heat Champ!!!

  20. benjie says:

    Lastly they lost becaused shane batterier is injured.another well defensive minded 3 point player.Its not yet the end of the big 3 but if they couldnt solve the problem maybe it will be too late.

  21. benjie says:

    They loss few games because spoelstora didnt do his homework.He know’s they will be out rebounded but insisting benching chrish bosh and dwade on 4th quarter which is the most crucial period.I think he needs to think about how those star players feel if theyre just watching.Dwade is a good rebounder ,shot blocker and get good staels.why on earth will you bench somebody you pay maxed salary. I could understand bosh which is a little bit softy on rebound and hustle but not wade. I think they should put back joel anthony as center ,chrish bosh as PF and james @ small forward +wade and chalmers on backcoart.These is a balance team both offence and deffence.who beats OKC in the last finals .Think about it coach or youll be fired if you loss more games.

  22. lifeasprey says:

    The real issue is the way the team has shifted. Le Bron sliding into the four recently to get Wade and Allen out together doesn’t work. Ray Allen is also disrupting the team’s rotation because he is killing Mike Miller’s time on court, who I think is a better defensive player.

    The Heat never had a shortage of shooters, which makes the Ray Allen acquisition a little odd. It has disturbed the starting five and created defensive holes where there shouldn’t be any.

    By putting Le Bron at the four you automatically create a defence problem against bigs. Le Bron can still score but big fours are going to score over him more easily as well.

    At the same time, Le Bron does not know how to box out. He is a ball chaser when it comes to rebounds, which is fine – in a way – for a three out on the perimeter but not inside where there are big bodies. It means spaces open up for offensive rebounds. Kevin Love is a master of offensive box outs and it could be ugly on Miami’s defensive end if he gets to go up against Le Bron.

    Looking at stats it appears that Le Bron has improved his rebounding but in reality his rebound count has gone up because he is now at the four and closer to the action. However, I would hazard a guess that the rest of the team’s rebound count declines at these times because there is no one clearing out big bodies inside.

    I’m also wondering at what point Wade and Bosh get tired of being second fiddles. Is another title going to feel so great if they are also-rans in the triumph and the victory is ascribed to Le Bron. I see chemistry and positional issues continuing to cause problems for the Heat, unless they move Ray Allen down the line to rotate with Wade and Miller or bring in a big to let Le Bron defend more on the perimeter against players where he has a physical advantage.

    That’s my two bob, although i could, of course, be completely wrong.

  23. INJURY IS A DANGER says:

    Its all right play basketball in the Playoff, dont force it. If injury comes… season ends. 🙂 Spoelstra knows this.

  24. HeatKingsofEast says:


  25. HeatKingsofEast says:

    i’m sure the heat wants to go to the finals playing at home at 3,4,5. because in this formal of finals 2-3-2, i really think that the 3 games home had the advantage. just think for it, you’ll see the picture. either win the finals in game 5 or 6

  26. Frank says:

    It is not fun any more watching the heat. I would rather turn on different channels that don’ t make sense to in terms of sport, watching the heat playing. They have chosen to play like people in high school training camps – exhibiting locks of skills and experience..

  27. thesacredspectator says:

    getting one ring, ya they did so…two rings..maybe but 3 or more you eventually gotta have big men down there…miami is loaded with shooters…but rebounding and taking away second chance points is whats making things very difficult for the heat…they do everything else very well…they just need a big dude down there to help em do the dirty work and go get those boards and help put the ball back in after the stars draw the double and triple team. its just sad to see bron shoot a turn around fade away and you got haslem tryin to box out someone who is clearly bigger and stronger than him….but as someone above mentioned..if the big three are all well rested and healthy come playoff time no way any team in the nba will beat them in a 7 game series…none..

    • Shadowspinner says:

      Except that last year they barely squeaked by Indiana and Boston.

      The big three is never the question for Miami – last year’s run came down to one question being answered – Can the Heat’s bench step up when it matters? Last year the answer was yes, this year the jury is out again.

      It’s like OKC’s big question is whether they’ll bring their turnovers under control. If they do, they can beat anyone, if they don’t then it’s likely they don’t get out of the West.

      There are 4 teams in the West with a legit shot at the crown – OKC, SA, Memphis, and (I can’t really believe I’m saying this) the Clippers. They all have the depth and the weapons. Their flaws are as follows:

      OKC – turnovers and decision making.
      SA – age
      Memphis – experience
      Clips – halfcourt and reliance on O to give them defensive energy

      Out East there are also 6 teams that could be considered contenders for the conference, but only 1 for the crown. Miami is the only team with a real shot at the championship, but Miami, Chicago, Indiana, New York, Brooklyn, and the Celts could all make the final. Their weaknesses are as follows:

      Miami – inside play and rebounding, stagnant half court, questionable bench play
      New York – live and die by the three, inconsistent defense
      Brooklyn – lack of experience and inconsistency
      Chicago – the Derek rose question and the lack of a go to scorer without him
      Indiana – lack of a go to scorer and offensive droughts
      Celts – age

      New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Indiana all can beat Miami because they have the size and hustle to hurt them down low and Indiana and Chicago are good defensive teams. New York can shoot it’s way into or out of a series.

      And I never count the Celts out because they have the pride and experience. They have a chance in any series, just not a very good one.

      If Miami’s bench continues to pull a disappearing act, you will likely see Miami doing a disappearing act earlier than they want in the playoffs.

  28. NHbleedsGREEN says:

    when it really matters, (like in June) they will get it together and prolly repeat.

  29. Dwade#1fan says:

    everyone is forgetting that lebron and bosh left their teams to cum n play with wade, they couldnt get a ring on their own(which wade has done) so dey moved to miami. i hate the fact that everyone is down on wade after everything he has done for this miami heat team over the years. leave the man let him get healthy and we will see what happens in the playoffs. LETS NOT FORGET LEBRON = 1 RING, BOSH = 1 RING N DEY BOTH GOT IT WITH THE HELP OF WADE. WADE = 2 RINGS. did he leave his team n run for help????? wade is still playing with the same team he got drafted to. everyone acting like without lebron wade cant get a ring when in fact its the other way around. i wish dey trade him to another team for that type of disrespect the are showing him n when he gets on another team i want them to destroy miami. me i go where ever wade goes

    • Shadowspinner says:

      Saying Wade got his ring on his own is foolish. Shaq was still a force at the time and Wade wouldn’t have had the ring without him. That being said, the team at the time was Wade’s.

      Wade was lead for 1 ring. The last ring was Lebron’s team with Wade and Bosh helping. It’s like Jordan’s rings – the Bulls were his team, but he wouldn’t have the rings without Pippen and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. Stop confusing raw number of rings with being the force behind those rings. Otherwise you end up with Derek Fisher being better than Lebron James – after all, he has 5 rings . . .

      • Dwade#1fan says:

        your foolish to think that im saying wade didnt have help from shaq. i was refering to comments about wade bosh n lebron. this is lebrons team, ok buddy lets see how long he stays there. im not knocking lebrons talent, i kno he is the best player in the nba n i give him props for that but he left n came there wade didnt leave and go anywhere. im not worried about miami, i kno their gonna make it, im not worried about the relationship between them. im just tired of ppl throwing wade under the bus when its clear that we need a pg and most ergently a center.

      • Reality says:

        Wade knew what he was getting him self into …. NUFF SAID

  30. Ultimate1 says:

    D wade LBJ & Bosh R more than we can say for most player’s or x player’s thah we glorified. Wade has gotten 2 of the most covitted pieces of jewelry most player’s & x would give their right arm for. I think the doubter’s R feeding from the hater’s. The hater’s said we wer’nt suppose to win last season. We did prove them wrong.we need help down low, but with this group i got total confidence that we will repeat if we play to our strength.Why do we need to trade bosh a proven commodity while we pay other big’s for three year’ to sit on the bench.we made off season changes that need to come together.We need more help from our bench.overall we R gonna prove a lot of side line G M wrong again.

  31. Kevin says:

    The only problem with Miami is that it is the regular season oh and Spoelstra is too predictable in his rotations and situational game coaching. In a seven game series Miami will beat anyone in the league, over an 82 game schedule that is a different story. Now, Spoelstra who is still learning how to coach is another story. He does not yet have the feel to coach the flow of the game. Even last night when he did the right thing by putting Wade and Bosh on the bench, he did’nt know how to put them back in at the right time. He makes his substitutions, based on managing his stars minutes, but that doesnt work al the time and he needs to learn how to adjust and go with the flow of the game.

    Barring injury Miami will repaet……….

  32. Aaron says:

    I think the Heat should sign Chris Anderson and/or Kenyon Martin. These two players can help Miami’s rebounding a lot. The Heat are LAST in rebounding. Coach Spo’s small lineup can’t out rebound other teams like Indiana and Chicago. Adding depth in the front court would help them a lot. Miami should also sign Greg Oden. He maybe be a bust, but not in Miami.

  33. a says:

    Sorry to post it at an ill advised spot. But on that thought: How can you simulate the playoffs in this scenario when no one repeat NOONE plays real defence (British spelling on purpose). C’mon Europe is so much better until April if your not the PS3 kind of fan and even then.

    And if I was the rest (like every lottery team) I would make a pact even put some kind of reward out there (if I were the other contenders) to give my last out there that this retort team would not even make the playoffs

  34. BrooklynBoy says:

    Its so sad how the NBA got so corrupted and is not about basketball anymore yet the only thing it actually is is busniess. smh-.- THEY make so much money

  35. bern831 says:

    Yes, they need big man. However, this team won the Title with the same big man they’ve got right now. So “Big man” is not the issue here.

  36. bern831 says:

    People, please live the Miami family to figure this thing out for themselves. We have to remember they are the Champs… Last year, they had been through many tough times. But they pulled them over, and a grab the Title. I know coach SPO did commit some mistakes on his rotation, but he is probably studying the perfection rotation since he got some new players… Remember, regular season is for finding your strength and weakness, because we all know that this team will make to the playoffs. There, you can’t do any experiment. If you want to do any experiment, you have to do it now…

    • MechaMew2 says:

      Experimenting is what training camp and preseason is for. If you are STILL experimenting this far into the season, you’re gonna have a bad time.

  37. OctoPPus says:

    James “cries” (everybody saw it in 4th quarter! ) when the referee didn’t call the easy calls they used to call like last year – UNFAIR !!! just because he is Lebron??? other players are somehow worse than him??? – come on ….
    almost fouled out! – when he begin to lose he plays like a bull – that’s no basketball out there – there’s rugby for this …. get used to reality – 1 man won’t make it – Team play rules – Iverson – take example ! Too much PR – the game itself is forgotten (( …

    • Reality says:

      that was a the most scattered comment ever.

      You know your spreaking about LeBron so who dare you mention a chump like Iverson next to his name.
      Iverson was the definition of all balll hog.

      LeBron is the definition of a team player… MAKES HIS TEAM BETTER BY EVER ASPECT

      That team work is what got him his ring… AI couldnt get 1 because he was hog.

  38. Jamal says:

    Cracks me up!!! Bumps in the road and they’re in FIRST place in the East with wins over teams such as The Thunder…Yeah they’re REALLY struggling right now…Must be tired of writing the same ol lame ol “Lakers are in trouble” articles.

    • Rocket33 says:

      Yeah I think you’re right. Must be time for another Royce White update too hey?

    • Carl says:

      They didn’t deserve that win, and they’ve been losing to teams that shouldn’t give them any problems. YES, there is something wrong.

  39. michael says:

    the heat are a different team during the play offs, just wait =)

  40. LePiv says:

    There’s one line in this article with which i don’t agree, the one refering to Bosh as a likely hall of famer … WHAT???????????????

  41. yoblob says:

    The Heat will be fine. They have been through problems like this last season (to a lesser extent) and the previous year. Come the playoffs everyone will bring their A game and they will start to show their real potential.

    Right now the team just doesn’t seem to be taking the regular season to seriously, like they are waiting for the playoffs to start.

  42. BrooklynBOY says:

    Erick Spoelstra is a very wewak coach. HE is being a kissup to the BIG3 so they don’t do to him what Howard Williams did to their coaches. BE STRICT. ITs basketball you want me to help you improve or do as you wish and stay quite to you?NOOO! Avery Johnson wins the caoch of month next month hes fired. WHAT for? It was the players decision! HE yelled at them and was strict and that’s what a real coach does not just favors you because your LEBRON JAME OR DWAYNE WADE!

  43. Peter says:

    I totally agree with the whole LACK OF ENERGY thing…it is not the size of these guys, it is not the quickness…if they play with high energy and focus, they can barely be beat….if they play like last night vs Jazz…you can see that not only the fans are ready to just turn the game off, but even in the player’s eyes on camera you can see that something ain’t right…so i believe they need to go back to having fun, and not overthink the game. I still believe in the RE-HEAT!!! LETS GO MIAMI, dont let this get to you, YOU GOT THIS!!!!

  44. BrooklynBOY says:

    Miami Heat are a very talented team but they show no effort. They underestimate most of the teams they play. They show no effort in trying to win games except Lebron James. Chris Bosh is a very weak center sorry to say so he should just go back to his old possition.Erick Spoelstra always made DEFNCE the number one strtergy of winning. Now he just talks. Its so sad that a very talented team are doing so bad. There gona continue underestimating teams and wake up at the 6th place. Iswear there needs to be changes. Lets play real basketall for the joy of the game not for the money.

    • LeBUMjames says:


    • Reality says:

      Your a tard!

      LOL i Bet my house they wont be 6th seed.

      You think MIAMI cares about having the best record?????

      They ae a pLayoff team they’ll hover around the top 3 seeds through out the season and switch gears come april leaving everybody in the east behind them.

      My only concern is who they play in the finals

  45. This is how the heat were last year.. i said last year and im going to say it again.. The heat dont care about the regular season or where they finish as long as they make the playoffs. I mean they lost to the bulls without d rose twice and didnt even finish first in the east! The heat can beat any team in basketball and they proved that last year with blowing out okc in 5 games in finals. Yes they need more rebounding, but than again they got the job done in the playoffs with getting out rebounded nearly every game against big team like indiana, new york, and the thunder.

  46. dattebayo says:

    Wade is not the kind of player you bench for any reason, but I like that Spoelstra did it. How often do you see the all time great coaches yell at their players? How often does Spo yell at Wade, James or Bosh? How often does Scott Brooks yell at Westbrook or Durant? Wade has been playing poor and inconsistent defense off the ball, especially when he is guarding a good three point shooter. He gets hung up behind screens, doesn’t get back on defense because he complains to the refs or gambles for a steal and suddenly there’s an open shooter and he nails a three. Look at all the perimeter players that had big games against the Heat and then take a look at who was guarding them. I don’t think it’s a lack of effort, but it’s a lack of concentration and caring and it needs to change.

  47. imlan says:

    The Heat is a very confident team, too confident at times. In their minds, all they need to do is get into the playoff, which they will. Once in the playoffs, only a very few teams that can beat them in the best of 7 series, OKC, Clippers, and maybe the Spurs. As far as the East is concern, they can’t see any team beating them except maybe Indiana and Chicago, with a healthy Rose.

  48. Antwan806 says:

    It doesn’t matter if the Heat finish first or 8th in the end they will be there

  49. JULIO says:

    ANOTHER bump IN THE ROAD. well, well, well, nothing has change. ERIC what happen to the warrior mentality? I have the feeling that you WILL BE THE NEXT HEAD COACH TO GO.!!!!!!!!!!. I wont be surprise , but extremely glad..

    • Carl says:

      Are you NOT aware that he’s taken them deep into the playoffs and led them to two Finals? Ungrateful little brat.

  50. NWVEGAS702 says:

    They might lose a couple in a row here in there, but same thing happened through the previous 2 seasons. Wade and bosh just need to shut up and play. They were both fierce defensively last year, but they were benched for their lack of hustle last night, probably from being unhappy with their lack of touches on offense. This aint the only game this season they showed this kind of effort. Their envy for Lebron is starting to show with both their play and comments.

  51. Lady L says:

    We need a big man bottom line..I was happy to see Rashard get some minutes off the bench against Utah, he was fantastic! This team will be very dangerous in the playoffs. It all comes down to experience, and every player on this roster has been in the finals at least once in the career…Rashard with the Magic and Ray with Boston and of course the rest of the Heat roster last two seasons. That’s what the Thunder was missing last year, and people under estimate how important that is….

    I do believe that the front court needs to be bigger and stronger. Bosh is better and comfortable at PF. Udonis is better of the bench. This is when they both were averaging 6 to 9 rebounds per game. Put them back in their natural positions.

    Get a big man, play Rashard more minutes, put UD and Bosh back in their natural positions, and this team will be fun to watch again, and dangerous. I am interested to see what Pittman will be like after returning from the D-league. Really if they could get him in these games at least 20 min, that may work. It can not get no worst than Joel Anthony’s bad offense and lack of size.

    • Shadowspinner says:

      They need to pull a rabbit out of their hats to get a big man though. Between Bosh, Wade, and Lebron they can’t afford a quality big man because quality bigs are so rare right now. Without giving up one of their big three, I just can’t see them getting anything other than a blue collar workhorse – and even those blue collar guys will be hard to get since not a lot of teams want to trade one to Miami to shore up their weakness and even the blue collar guys might be too expensive if they want a good one.

  52. Alex Lamar says:

    The difference this year is that this year when the Heat mount valiant comebacks they don’t always finish the deal.
    Fourth quarter comebacks have always been a staple of this team for the last three years.

    I agree that the Heat are still a good team but the question is have their rivals improved ?

  53. Shadowspinner says:

    The Heat have some key weaknesses and have had a few bad games, but they also have one thing going for them that almost guarantees them a spot in the final and it isn’t anyone wearing a jersey. No, it’s definitely not their coach either.

    It’s their conference.

    The Heat are on a losing streak and have a record that’s good enough for first in the East despite that. If they played in the West they’d be a 5th seed or maybe even 6th seed depending on how this slide goes. Who are the major threats in the East?

    New York? Living and dying by the three, New York hasn’t shown the consistency necessary to be a legitiamte contender yet. That may change as the season progresses, and they have the size to pound Miami, but this would be a coin flip at best for New York.

    Brooklyn? They have size to punish Miami, but lack consistency and experience. They just aren’t there yet.

    Indiana? Maybe . . . defense is a good carry through the playoffs and Indiana has that in spades. Unfortunately they also have some abysmal dry stretches on offense. Once again, consistency and experience may be issues.

    Boston? I love my Celtics and they have attitude, experience, and desire, but they also have talent that is . . . well, let’s face it – old. The Celtics might surprise someone, but it will be just that – a suprise.

    Chicago? Chicago is lacking a key weapon and doesn’t really have a fall back guy when they need a bucket. We don’t know how Derek Rose will perform when he comes back. Just too many questions about this squad right now, and they also lost some of their depth this last offseason.

    All of this favors Miami to come out of the East even if they aren’t at 100%. They’ll need to be at 100% for exactly one series – the Finals. The teams in the West will have to have at least 2 series at 100% to even make the Finals.

    Basically, the way the Heat are playing right now is good enough to get them to the finals because they’re in the East. If they were in the west they wouldn’t make the finals – hell, playing the way they are, they might not even make it out of the first round if they were out West.

    Consider their run last year – they had constant surprise performances from Battier, Chalmers, etc to make their run. They haven’t had those performances much this year and it’s reflecting in their record. For the Heat to repeat, they need their role players to step up big and that includes grabbing boards. Right now they aren’t playing like a team looking to repeat and they definitely aren’t looking like champions.

  54. Flopping nomore says:

    The reason for there defense being bad they can’t flop anymore lbj defense is a joke he locks down no 1 at all and now the untouchable is touchable now lebron get fouls now wades dirty plays are not being ignored anymore so pretty much there not getting there way anymore is why there not playing good

  55. Ayman says:

    Wade is a ticking bomb, just give him if not after the all star game, then in the playoffs. He will explode. Heat will finish 1 in the east. They will reach the finals. They will repeat.

  56. jake s says:

    It happened to the Mavs. Knocked out first round! I can only hope the same for the Miami Heat… I mean LeBron James. Oh Kay See!

  57. rhand says:

    in the last couple of years heat have proven there are no ‘true’ or ‘false’ about them until June.. okc looks pretty much the same as in finals – good solid two way basketball and harden is not there (as in finals).. i’d give heats’ defense 50% of what I saw during playoffs last year… no major personnel changes except for ray allen.. he really is a big defense liability, but you can see many defense lapses when he is not on the floor too.. and offensively their are doing a thing when they (big three) just attack in turns, which is spo’s idea from the last regular season… did all these teams got so big over the summer that heat can’t get a board?! basically they just have to turn it on (and not just once in a week) and they have time till playoffs..
    P.S. hope this year they don’t fall behind in three series

  58. BigCaliMac says:

    When you have that kinda squad, with that kinda talent, that has that kind of experience in both ring collecting as well as the more important key factor of guys that can share the spotlight whether they like it or not, because its nothing new for any of em… These guys are the best co-pilot friendly aviators in the game led by D-Wade. That man is the best in the biz at being option 1.1A++++ whenever he needs to be. Nobody else of his caliber would repeatedly do what he done to have the best shot at winning.

  59. DWADE 3 says:

    Wade used to be the face of miami… Heat need better big men Joel Anthony can’t grab any boards , heat should trade bosh for someone better, joel anthony for greg monroe of detroit pistons josh harrelsonshould have more playing time and honestly if this keeps up I don’t see another championship

  60. flowerpot says:

    Miami can be liken to the Atlanta Falcons, a team that has a winning record but the concern is the fashion in which they are winning and losing. Most often when the win it is with a great deal of effort against inferior teams, and when they lose (most often to inferior teams) they look horrible, weak and old.
    Doc Rivers should be ackowledged for allowing Ray Allen to leave. He has something to offer but the role Spo is putting him in is over-sized (defensive liabiility/inconsistent shooting)

  61. Wilt #13 says:

    All the heat needs is a center who dont care about money,playing time and points.
    If they will get that one Defensinve Center who can hustle his tail off they will win it big.
    I say trade Anthony and pittman or something.. Get a piace that will make this team even better.. Last year they won out of hustle of lebron and wade and Bosh … I dont see that same Type of hustle out of them.. They might be bourd…
    But I just dont see them winning without making a great deal like getting battier last year .

  62. big cat says:

    the heat are bums , they stink , they ll be out in the second round this yr, to many wagon jumping fans , can’t stand em…

  63. Bob says:

    Yeah, Miami needs some size. We’re like the one of the smallest line ups in the league. CB can play centre but I doubt he’ll be able to dominate in there. He doesn’t have that type of o body; to push out rebounders possession after possession. I say we trade for at least one dominant big man, given that we have cap space.

    • flowerpot says:

      He has the body type, he doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude, he’s soft, he’s weak – I don’t know what spo could have been thinking, relying on him to anchor the boards – that’s a man’s job, one that U. Haslem had but likewise doesn’t appear to be up to the task. But if excuses are what you looking for Chris Bosh is THE MAN!!!!!!!

  64. alfred says:

    The heat are saving wade and bosh or whoever for the playoffs , ridin the hot players may seem the right thing to do, but it adds up in minutes total per game per season which takes a toll. The playoffs wade and lebron and whoever is hot will get enough opportunities whens ask for the ball and in the playoffs or late season this is a tough visiting schedule 2 a days to prepare for the next match so the heat are tired and they do need more help points wise off the bench.

  65. Jcormier says:

    The Heat are going through changes, the hangover from winning it all and adding new pieces. As a former professional basketball player people truly underestimate the value of chemistry and how long it takes to develop. All the talent in the world gets you individual awards but few team awards. The Heat have moved away from their staple which is defense, as a team, and fallen in love with their new offensive weapons. It is a year later, bodies have a year more of wear and tear and they are not the same team. being a professional is about ones preparation but is is also about ones ability to adapt to internal and external changes. The Heat will be fine, but this year will be tougher because they are not the hunters any more, they are the hunted. Every team wants to say they beat the champs, and for some teams that game will be their championship, their small measure of success. They need to continue to focus on team and not who does what, just as long as it gets done. EGO is what destroys great organizations, not the competetion.

  66. kobe says:

    heat will be fine…they do have a concern when they play teams that have skilled big men..they get out rebounded every game …but they will b ok…they r in the east..if they were in the west it would b a problem…

  67. Pro says:

    Nah.. Heat just don’t like to be in number 1 seed in the East I mean in the last 2 years they have encountered this 6 in a row loss but they end up going in the finals and win it… they just comfortable in number 2 seed like the past 2 years season and ending up in finals so NO Biggie… and they have a sure ticket in the playoff and that’s the important if their one team in the Trouble Paradise that’s the Lakers..

  68. ko0kie says:

    as long as LBJ stays healthy, miami has nothing to worry about…

  69. basketball godz says:

    heat are loosing some games recently. i am sure they will be ok but they dont look like the same team from last year and the competition is really good now with new york and a surging boston and indiania in the east and the absolute powerhouse the west is. OKC just keeps getting scarier and scarier. watch out heat…

  70. amitpal bains says:

    this is easy for james to say becuz out of the big three he was the only one who didnt have to change his game. wade and bosh take fewer shots whereas lebron does whatever he wants. the ball is always in his hand. erik spoelstra has really fallen in love with lebron and forgot about dwade. I dont see this ending well for the heat.

    • Reality says:

      wouldnt you to???

      He can do everything better than anybody on that team besides maybe 3pt shooting but he is still great at that to.

      Wade knew what he was giving up for Rings. He can only blame himself but im sure him and Bosh are looking at the Big Picture

      • BigCaliMac says:

        I disagree with the last statement of Lebron doing whatever he wants, as he realized his Cleveland version of an A.I. type career was emerging with that same kinda let this guy do whateeeever he wants is obviously not the way to win championships. Look at the most recent dynasty in basketball, its a clear albeit boring prototype for successful ring collection teams. Bosh is soft, most days he looks as if he isn’t all that concerned with doing whatever it takes to win, and that to me is much more of an issue in my mind. Regardless, the Heat are still big favorites for a reason, they will do what it takes when the time is necessary and the ring is on the line. D.Wade is the guy I have my money on to take that game winning shot, n R.Allen my 2nd option before L.J to be honest.

  71. slider821 says:

    Good article. Heat lost a few, it happens. They’ll have a tough game against the Warriors on Wednesday.

    On the other hand, glad to see Wade cares about getting fans ejected. He’s sure got his priorities straight.

    • MechaMew2 says:

      When it comes down to it, fans being able to attend games is a priviledge. You abuse that priviledge, you get escorted out. They don’t have time to tolerate that.

  72. Game Time says:

    It’s interesting because when people talk about Wade’s decline (mainly for scoring) they never mention it may be a coaching decision to have him shooting less. I think if Miami wants to finish of the regular season in 1st or 2nd then Wade, James and Bosh will need to score the way the used to when they first got together. I’m watching Chalmers and Haslem take 10 shots a game and it’s horrible to see them end up with 3 or 5pts for it all.

    • Lebron fan says:

      Except for the Kings game when Chalmers dropped 34 on your face with 10 3ptrs

      • Carl says:

        One game and you talk about him as if he’s God. Get over yourself.

      • MechaMew2 says:

        That’s not skill. That’s luck.

      • Denzo says:

        When you nail 10 3pointers there is a LOT of skill involved. Not just a bit. I hate the heat- but credit where it’s due. You can’t hate on 10 3pointers.

        I still remember one game I hit 5 x 3 pointers and I felt like bird for a second haha.. 10 3s in the NBA is just sick. Even if it is flop chalmers.

  73. Tom says:

    This is very simple. The lowly Utah Jazz out rebounded the world champions 40-23. THE HEAT NEED SOME BIG MEN THE HEAT NEED SOME BIG MEN THE HEAT NEED SOME BIG MEN. I said it last summer and I’ll say it again. THE HEAT NEED SOME BIG MEN. I don’t know what they are doing not even picking up a single big man????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    • aaaaaa says:

      Well the Jazz have the most front court depth in the league with Milsap, Jefferson, Favors, and Kanter. They will outrebound any team anytime, but regardless you are right…

      • Denzo says:

        I agree but the Bulls and Grizzlies are better rebounders IMO.

        The beat are that good, but maybe wade doesn’t want to spend his peak being a second fiddle. I mean 2006 Wade did what James clearly could not – clutch a comeback Finals win against the Mavs – yeah he had Shaquille – but he didn’t have Allen, Lewis, Battier, James and Bosh. Don’t ever forget that. And before last season – James has been known as a 4th quarter choker. Joker James joins a team of not all stars but hall of famers and beats a young inexperienced OKC team and now everyone thinks he’s some clutch beast. ##### please. Wades a beast that James will never be.

    • Saeed says:

      Yes, that is what I insisted on last year.
      They are giving a sequence of offensive rebounds to their opponents. They need SIZE. They do NOT need Ray Allen, neither Allen nor R. Lewis (knowing that Lewis is bought only to make 3-pt shooting). They need SIZE. R. Allen was enough concerning the reinforcing the 3-pt shooting line. They need a rebounding MACHINE. A European-type rebounder like Orlando’s Vucenic or Cavs’ Varejao is enough. They are wasting their money on Bosh. He is very good offensively but is a dummy concerning defense and do not have a price of 18m$ per year. He might be given only 8~9. Wade also only should be given 11~12. So that they can bring depth and size. But SIZE IS MUCH MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN DEPTH. They first have to wait until bosh’s contract get finished. They do not have enough money right now. Ray Allen consented to take only 3m$ per year since he do want to get more glory at 37. But what buying new guys wants is money more than 3m$ per year.

      • Eli Odell J. says:

        what’re they doin with rashard anyway?
        that guy’s dropped off like a rock, only 3 or 4 seasons back he was in seattle gettin 25 a game
        now he’s a benchwarmer who struggles to get into games at all? i keep seein him listed as DNP
        comeon he aint that old? hell aint half old at all really

      • kdog says:

        You are complaining about a core that won a championship last year…. any GM in the league would give WADE/BOSH a near-max contract … so how do you figure they should “only be given ____” If you were a sports star, would you give up half of your salary just so you can bring more players on board or think that the team you have (the one that won the championship 1 year and went to the finals the other) is enough….

    • Saeed says:

      Now imagine that Bosh take an injury like that against Indiana last spring but now when they are against Oklahoma!!!!
      Can they win Oklahoma????

    • Notquite says:

      Heat are NBA champions not ‘World’ champions. Why do Americans feel the need to claim the winners of the sporting competitions as world champions? Sure MLB and NBA are rich leagues often resulting in most of the best individual players playing in the comptetition but please as Sekou says stay humble.

      • celtic533 says:

        Yeah i think about that all the time when they call any team “world champion”. USA is not the only part of the world that is relevant.There are no NBA teams anywhere else in the world.thats fine but once there are teams part of THIS league alll around the world u can call them World Champions.

      • filipinoINusa says:

        i think the main reason why it is called “WORLD CHAMPS” because people from all over the world come to play in NBA..

        believe it or not. that’s what it is

      • J says:

        It’s “NBA World Champion” in the world of the NBA.

  74. jayrulez says:

    The Heat have a defense problem but their offense will more than make up for it if they have at least 3 guys showing up. Bosh has been MIA in quite a few games recently. He needs to show up more often and hustle more to win some of those loose balls. Wade needs to be more consistent. Chalmers needs to up his game and make better decisions with the ball.
    Spo needs to stop fugging with the line up in the second quarters when the Heat are up by a few points. That is when they are supposed to use their best players and beat the opposing teams into submission.

    You are right though. The troubles will not last.

    • cantstopfate says:

      Great article Sekou. Am I the only one who watches these games and think the Heat play only 2 quarters seriously per game? I truly believe they are SO good and know it. They have to tank quarters to simulate an actual hard situation/game. If this team is as good as we know they are… they need to simulate situations/scenarios they may face in the playoffs.

      • AreYouSerious says:

        This is quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever read.

      • Phil says:

        Actually it’s not that they only seriously play 2 quarters per game, it’s that their players don’t get in rythm at the same time. Wade might have a greatt first half then only score 4 in the second half while LeBron has a quiet first half and puts up 25 in the seconds half. Miami is good, but not so good that they have to tank quarters to get a good game. Right now there are several teams who could beat them in a 7 game series, the Knicks could probably win in 4 or 5 against the Heat right now because the perimeter D for the Heat is really bad. The biggest problem for Miami is rebounding. If they keep giving up second chance points after being outrebounded by 20+ boards they will not be repeating this year.

      • LBJ says:

        lol. this isnt 2k where u can start out on rookie difficulty then turn it up when you have the lead. thats sad. teams try to keep the lead at all times, right now the heat are just going cold, i know they”ll pick it up soon.