Blogtable: What’s Wrong With The Heat?




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.


Week 31: The Spurs’ Chances | Better next year: Warriors or Grizz? | What ails the Heat?


Half-empty: What ails the Heat? Shouldn’t they be running away with this?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Not much and no, in that order. Look, the Heat are human (odd as that might read). If Dwyane Wade were 90-95 percent of his old self, if Ray Allen were 90-95 percent of his young self, if Chris Bosh-with-a-few-fouls played defense with the same intensity as his mates, maybe this would be, what, 3-1? Indiana’s good and shouldn’t be a breeze for Miami. Now that we’ve seen something we might never see again – LeBron James fouling out of a huge playoff game on four whistles in the fourth – I anticipate something akin to last year’s ECF Game 6 in Boston from him Thursday. You want advancement and style points? By next week’s Blogtable, you’ll probably have both from Miami.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Nothing. No. The overreaction to the last thing we saw is amazing and overwrought. We have turned into a sports watching society of confused bullfrogs, constantly jumping back and forth across the fence.  Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when the Bulls took Game 1 against the Heat and the sky in Miami was supposed to be falling?  These are the Eastern Conference finals.  The Pacers have been a capable team with a solid defense all season.  I don’t know many people or so-called experts who thought the Heat were going to sweep or even win in five games.  This was always going to be a six or seven games series and now that’s what we’ve got.  Settle in and enjoy the finish. At least until after Game 5 when it will be time to set our hair on fire and throw the loser of that one on the trash heap.  If the Pacers win the series, it wouldn’t exactly be Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson.  Having said that, the Heat will survive. Then lose to the Spurs.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Hey, give the Pacers credit for this series being tied 2-2. Look, we’ve all known that if the Heat have a soft spot it’s the interior and Roy Hibbert is proving he’s a man. Imagine had Indiana gotten cold feet and not matched Portland’s offer last summer. Wow. Also, hey, Dwyane Wade is no longer a magical player game-in and game-out, and Miami’s role players aren’t getting the job done as they did during that historic regular season. But, there’s this too: Are the Heat just supposed to sweep everybody they play? I think the Celtics a few years back went seven games in the first two rounds en route to the title. Indiana is good. Very good and very balanced. Let this thing play out. No one will remember any Heat struggles, if that’s what you want to call it, if they raise another banner.

LeBron James (Ron Hoskins/NBAE)

LeBron James (Ron Hoskins/NBAE)

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: I’m saying the Miami glass is half-empty because the Indiana glass is way more than half-full. This is about the Pacers. Indy came in with a rare level of confidence versus the defending champions thanks to the regular-season series, then hit the Heat where they are most vulnerable. Hitting Miami inside, hard, is attacking the area everyone knew the Heat were most vulnerable.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: First of all, they shouldn’t be running away with this thing. The Pacers are a very good team with some (not all) of the components (size, defense) it takes to make things tough for the champs. But what has been amazing about this series is how efficiently both teams have scored. The league’s No. 1 defense (Indiana) has allowed more than 110 points per 100 possessions and the league’s No. 19 offense (Indiana again) has scored more than 110. On the defensive end of the floor, the Heat’s problems have been rebounds and fouls. The Pacers have averaged 15.3 offensive boards and 35.3 free throw attempts per game in the series thus far. Without great perimeter shooting or an ability to take care of the ball, this is how the Pacers score. And against this particular opponent, with its smaller frontline, they can really thrive in those areas.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Are we watching the same series? There is a big man in this series averaging 20 and 10 and dominating the area around the rim. That big man, Roy Hibbert, plays for the Pacers. That’s the same Pacers team that almost stole Game 1 in Miami, if not for the absence of Hibbert on the floor in the final seconds. We have to give the Pacers credit for being an absolute worthy adversary for the Heat in this series. Does it feel like they are playing over their heads at time? Sure. But that’s what you want from the challenger in a bare-knuckle brawl of this nature against the reigning champ at this stage of the season. This series if far from over. The Pacers have already shown us that they are more than capable of winning on the Heat’s home floor. So Game 5 should be wild. Running away with this one? Not even close.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: Well, it’s not like the Pacers are a bad team. They aren’t a great offensive team, and they aren’t very deep, but that doesn’t matter so much in the postseason. To me the thing that jumps out when watching Miami, particularly in these conference finals, is that they just aren’t very consistent with their effort. Yes, they go on runs and streaks, and there are times when they look unbeatable. And then the tempo slows and they play half-court offense and they pass the ball around the perimeter without any real direction, and then defensively they stand around and watch Indiana crash the boards. I don’t know if they’re tired or worn out or what, but they have to summon that effort for 48 minutes.

Davide Chinellato, NBA Italia: Someone is finally exposing the Heat’s lack of size. The Pacers are dominating the boards and controlling the paint with the 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert, who’s back to an All-Star level after a tough start to the regular season. Miami doesn’t have an answer for him and David West (neither for reserves Tyler Hansbrough and Ian Mahinmi, for that matter), largely because guarding West takes too much out of LeBron on the defensive end, and the Heat need the MVP to run their offense. Miami is still the best overall team here, but to win the East they need more from Wade (concerns mount around his knee) Bosh (3.3 rebounds per game, down from 8.6 against the Bulls) and their long distance shooters (Ray Allen is 29.4 percent from downtown, Shane Battier 15.4 percent, and Norris Cole is at 28.6 percent after hitting 81.8 percent against Chicago)

Philipp Dornhegge, NBA DeutschlandAt this point the Heat have basically gone from the Big Three to a one-man show. Chris Bosh is being manhandled by Hibbert and West and Dwyane Wade simply isn’t himself. And as great as Miami’s supporting cast is, they really don’t have the guys that could step in and play like stars. Indiana’s philosophy is to not let 3-point shooters beat them and to dominate the boards — which is exactly the way to beat Miami. It’s obviously easier said than done, but with the underwhelming way that Bosh and Wade have performed so far, it’s possible.

Hanson Guan, NBA ChinaDwyane Wade, at a position where the Heat should have the greatest edge over their opponents, is the key to the rest of the series. However, after going 5-for-15 in Game 4, it marked the fourth time in nine games in which he hit fewer than 50 percent of his shots. In those four games? The Heat have gone just 1-3, including Game 2 of this series. The Pacers are tough, and with the Heat’s chances hurt by inside weakness, they have to bring their strengths into full play. James has done what he could; now it’s Wade’s time to rise to the challenge and push Miami through.

55 Comments

  1. They need to do something better at home only one man beats the miami heat *roy hibbert* for all superstart (lebron james, Chris bosh, wade, ray Allen) come ur. Make this possible. …

  2. nba fan says:

    I really dont how some NBA sports writer became sports writer, why not giving any credit for pacers? they play tough and great. Is this NBA AMERICAN WAY OF BASKETBALL?

  3. Kid says:

    Da heat r 2 vulnerable inside they culdnt even handle the pacers reserve bigs. Chris bosh 1 of those soft bigs dat like 2 run 2 da perimeter and shoot jumpers like hes a wing player or sum he jus simply cant hang wit roy n david

  4. W/E says:

    Lebron chokes late in 4rth quarters, thats whats wrong.

    • W/E says:

      in the last 2 minutes of fourth quarters the guy goes in choke mode, silly fouls, turnovers and missed shots, thats why the Heat lost 2 games, cause of their main guy choking big time in the most crucial moments.

      • Mua says:

        its hard to choke when you are not in the game because the refs wanted Indiana to win…3 fouls againtst LeBron were made up and not fouls

    • Jeffro says:

      I guess you didnt see game 2.

  5. Ali says:

    For once Lebron feels out powered by another team. If heat lose which I think they will, it will be blamed on lebron no
    Doubt. If they lose, he’s leavin Miami after 2014 season.

  6. Jj says:

    It’s okay miami won the ship last year, they don’t need another one

  7. Heater-pac says:

    Lets be honest. The pacers are not playing that great basketball… Out of the big couple West-Hibbert nobody else in IP is playing that good nor George, nor Hill nor the bench. The pacers just have a 7.2 strong player cleaning the boards, ahhh and the fouls!

    At the other side lebron has lost his focus thinking on the fouls, while wade and bosh are playing injured, regarding to R. Allen he is doing hes best do not expect him to charge with the team.

  8. J says:

    nothing is wrong with heat
    Heat in 6!!!!!!!!
    pacers are just simply a great team

  9. What is wrong with the HEAT??

    Well a couple of months ago NBA.com had a blog named “which team can stop the Heat” or something like that. My answer was Celtics, OKC, Pacers & Knicks. And why? They all have a dominant CENTER.

    So it’s not a surprise that Roy Hibbert is making the difference here because this was very predictable. If David West & Paul George contribute their part then Miami is done!

    So what is wrong with the HEAT?? They are not able to defend the paint. So give the Pacers some credit and thank them for giving us an exciting CF in the East again. Last year it was a7 game thriller, I hope for the same again.

  10. CITADEL says:

    GAMES ARE WON IN THE COURT, NOT WITH SOME PATHETIC PREDICTIONS! SAY YOUR PIECE WHEN THE SERIES IS OVER!

  11. many says:

    I absolutely agree with lang whitaker Miami has not been consistent at the both ends off the floor. Offenssively they make runs then once they are up they loose focus and make some bad plays like wade three pointer with lots of time on the clock or simple move the balll on the perimeter for a contested three pointer. On the diffence end guys are stay on the ground and no body i going for the ball. Guys like hibbert , west and Noa are not afraid to get called for reaching over the back. Miami players are Lalways on the look for the fast break and forget to secure the rebound..

  12. wooderson says:

    laughable. the refs have kept indiana in the series everyone with eye sight knows this. indiana are a delusional bunch lead by the most comically delustional coach who puts false hope in his team which i find hilarious especially when guys like hibbert, lance stephensen and paul george think they are decent players. the pacers have absolutely no reason to be confident i think they were lucky to make the playoffs in the first place and they struggled to beat the hawks, who are an poor basketball team. the only thing funnier than the pacers confidence is the fickle nature of american sports media, after the heat smashed them in game 3 everyone was writing the pacers eulogy and lamenting how inept they are, now that the refs hand the pacers a dodgy win at home suddenly its the heat with the problems. like i said, laughable.

  13. not a kobe fan either says:

    ‘RB is eating them alive’ – i like this line.
    and it’s true, the rebound department has been in favor with Indy. even when birdman and bosh double-teamed RB, they still didn’t stand a chance. heat’s 4 & 5 is up against Indy’s 5, automatically west is open for a J. and when west takes a shot and misses the ball’s back to RB and makes a score. that’s basically Indy’s inside plays however, miami is having a hard time dealing with this so there must be a problem with the heat’s defensive end.

  14. Lakersboi says:

    I don’t see what’s wrong with the heat plays, the only thing i’m seeing that costing them the game is how they’re not rebounding and putting pressure in the offensive end. Like most of you say Bosh and Wade just need to step up and stop putting everything on Lebron hands. They’re both superstars that should be carrying this team as well, with Bosh needs to get more rebounds and Wade just have to be Wade then pretty sure you see Miami winning this series.

  15. Karlo Garcia says:

    Battle of the paint ails the Heat. Before the series against the Pacers I was not thinking that Miami was not running away with it. The Heat have not played a very good defensive team like Indiana.

  16. Big Al says:

    Yet another set of biased, meaningless comments from Latasha…

    Two words: Roy Hibbert. To all Heat haters out there, this is your man. The Pacers have tied the series mainly because of him. Bosh says he wants to contribute more, but then again, things are easier said than done. While he doesn’t have the bulk, he can still be more effective. He has added decent three-point shooting to his resumé, but he needs a lot more than that if he yearns to prove that he is on the same level as LeBron and Dwyane.

    Miami also needs to get their bench solid again. They can still lose the series altogether, so it’s important for the second unit to be reliable.

  17. M. James says:

    What’s wrong with the Heat……..; cheating Indiana refs. These “paid-under-the-table” guys have been doing this throughout the playoffs. Indiana can’t win a fair game; not against Golden State, not against Miami, and not against any team in the post-season.

  18. Brian says:

    This series if far from over. – IS not if

    Not bad for mistakes… for once. I usually find five-ten per article on here. You have my email address in case you’re in need of a need editor who doesn’t just spell check.

    Pacers taking this series 7 games and the spurs will be dropped after game 6.

  19. mintball says:

    Miamis bigmen are the problem they can’t contain Roy Hibbert – RB is eating them alive. if they will not find a way to stop Hibbert then expect to take their vacation sooner than expected.

  20. vk76 says:

    Look at the dirty work on the offensive glas from Indiana. A lot of pushing and fighting for positions and the most times on the degree of legality. Miami needs to step up on the boards. The defensive is very good, they contest every shot, but they have to make sure to get the rebound. A lot of offensive boards came from the opponent of the guy how try to make a block shot! In my opinion Miami have to take care of the defensive rebounds and the series will end in 6 games. If not Miami need the more then the heaven from James!

  21. Wade Smock says:

    Like i’ve told everybody I know, the Pacers can beat this team. The whole team will need to be better then the last game. We will see a different Heat team I am sure. The Pacers will be different also. More confident, more ready willing and able to finish. They have proven it to the most important people of all. THEMSELVES!!!!

  22. No point spurs got the championship next round

  23. TBONE says:

    It’s amazing to me to see so many heat haters and when you ask them why they don’t like Lebron or the heat , they couldn’t possibly give you an answer, only silence. All of this going back and forth about Miami should be concerned is nothing. But when you are the best team, people expect you to sweep every team in the playoffs. The pacers are really not that good all hype with Hibbert in the middle. All of this will be over, when the heat win this series and move on to the next to win the championship.

    • BeFairNow says:

      They act like prize fighters and flop like teenage girls, that’s why they’re hated. It’s tall poppy syndrome but they make it so easy to hate because they winge and carry on like self entitled sooks.

    • JR818 says:

      The heat are a joke only reason they have the best record is because they play in the east that conference is garbage i mean i dont remember the last time all 8seeds were above 500 how can u not have the best record wen everyone is garbage over there if they were in the west they woulda been the 3 or 4 seed and woulda maybe made it to the west finals and thats a hard maybe either way woulda lost to spurs they are by far not the best team around just cause they were able to win a championship in a joke of a season last year that started n december and was only like 60 games pathetic they are gonna loose just like they did in 2011 againts maves and lebrons hair line is gonna reseed all the way back to the top of his head

      • TBONE says:

        All okay, we got jokes ……! I’m sorry for the disappointment of YOUR team not making it to the finals, I’m pretty sure your not a fan of the Spurs to be bragging on coming out of the west. LeBron can go bald for all I care, as long as he win championships.

  24. theholyspectator says:

    hibbert is a beast, so many shots that indy was missing and hibbert was there to clean it up,,,,im expecting lbj to go true beast mode in game 5 and drop 30 in the first half…its the only way they gonna stay in this series cuz once hibbert establishes himself in the post its a wrap…when all this is said and done miami has GOT to pick up a decent quality center, their is no way you can continue to win titles without being able to rebound the ball…miami keeps gettin burned by second chance points…thats the only thing miami has to fix..if they could control the boards they woulda been 3-1 right now…but ya if miami loses game 5 then id worrya bout the heat, right now its all good…we are about to see miami put in serious work in game 5

    • TBONE says:

      well said….

    • jose says:

      Well said…but our genius Spo talks about “positionless basketball”…….
      Not having a Real center ( gasol traded for Bosh, Al jefferson., Bujevic ….or the 7.0 rooky in Europe,Hamilton) is like having a bunch of Obessed people playing soccer.
      Basketball is been designed to play offense and defense.And difense means making hard for opponents to get to the board.
      You do not need to be a rocket scientist to realize that Miami needs ”no one ..no two..”.but just ONE decent center……or a different coach.

      Bosh is weak , soft and frighten…he is a coward.

  25. They need to do something better at home only one man beats the miami heat *roy hibbert* fir all superstart (lebron james, Chris bosh, wade, ray Allen) come ur. Make this possible. …

  26. Ali says:

    I don’t care who wins really, and I know whichever team wins are considered better. But in my opinion. Lebron goin back against spurs, this time older, better seems like a better series. But. Indiana going to finals is better to see than heat.

  27. Haston Lowman says:

    Who is the idiot that keeps screaming in the background?!

  28. voiceofalabama says:

    Sekou, how can you say they would have stole game one IF Hibbert was on the floor? IF Ray Allen hits his free throw its a four point game with 12 secs remaining and there is no overtime. George hit a miraculous 30 footer in regulation and got a bogus foul on Wade to put them up in OT.

  29. Game Time says:

    If Miami loses game five then you should come back asking what’s wrong with the Heat. Stop flip flopping your views.

  30. slider821 says:

    Until the Heat lose two games in a row, nothing is wrong. Protect home court is all they need to do. no one sweeps every series so these back and forth post’s asking what’s wrong with last night’s losing team are pointless.

    • Horndawg says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for this comment! I don’t know about other sports, but this is all you hear from NBA writers anymore. I swear, a team can win by 50 and have a write up about possibly being a flawless team. The next day that team could lose to the worst team in the NBA by 20 and have a write up about needing to work on different areas. This has aggravated me to no end! lol Everything is based on one game… one game doesn’t tell you much at all.

  31. Latasha says:

    what is wrong with the Heat?
    Everything is wrong with the heat. Players, fans, just all wrong….

  32. Sickou says:

    What’s wrong with the Heat? Nothing. They have been playing that way all year long. The Pacers are just out playing them, more resilient, more aggressive on the floor.

  33. Loki says:

    Lebron James is playing his heart out. He scored over 20 last night, but considering the ast and rebound total weren’t in the triple double ball park it’s fair to say Lebron may be struggling. That’s okay, every superstar does it, that’s where Wade and Bosh, who are also supposed to be superstars should be coming in. I don’t like the heat but if they lose this I actually might feel bad for Lebron seeing as how the other guys with the exception of game three just havnt really showed up

  34. googergieger says:

    The refs need to work harder for them apparently. Listen it is impossible for refs to make one team win and one team lose. However it is beyond easy to make it easier for one team to win and harder for another team to win. With that said, sometimes a team can play better than the refs. Unfortunately game five will probably be the most obvious example of how a referee can affect a game so far in these horrible playoffs.

  35. Bailey says:

    The pacers are tough they just need to win one at mami and bring it back home to win it all

    • Loki says:

      But Miami just has to win at home and steal another in Indiana too. This series could go anywhere. So far the pacing has gone in the pacers favor with an exception of one game. But Miami is most dangerous when they have their backs against the wall.

    • UFO says:

      Well, have you seem DWade and CBosh in this series except for game 3? I didn’t. They both went missing, so left LBJ be the Big 1, and Miami is clearly too short for Pacers. So unless Big 3 all decide to show up, give me the Pacers.