VIDEO: The Heat get back on track against the Wizards
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – This is a high-stakes game of NBA possum that the Miami Heat will never win, not at this juncture of their title-winning ways.
Four games into their second straight season trying to defend their title, there are rumblings of chemistry issues with this group. Seriously, Heat players are using strange analogies to describe the current state of affairs for a team that still has headliners like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to cover up any deficiencies.
They have earned the right to start a season a bit shaky because we know how they’ll finish the season, if the opportunity presents itself. Dealing a with a few “minor” chemistry issues should not be cause for this sort of alarm. Then you listen to the words coming out of the mouths of players in that Heat locker room and it makes you pause for a second.
“Let me give you an example,” Wade said prior to Sunday’s game, which the Heat won 103-93 to even their record at 2-2. “If you’re in a relationship with a woman for a long time, you start getting comfortable. You stop doing the little things that you should do, that you did in the beginning. It’s just like a relationship. We got a little comfortable. Now we have to get back on that edge a little bit.”
Your first instinct is to look across the Heat locker room at James and examine his words and maybe his reaction to what Wade said, which will undoubtedly be relayed to the Heat’s other alpha male. When James mentioned minor chemistry issues and Wade responds the way he did, it becomes painfully obvious that whatever issues exist must be worked out by the two most important men in the room (no offense to Heat boss Pat Riley or coach Erik Spoelstra, but everyone knows that the James/Wade show is what drives the Heat).
“It’s just getting back into it — not taking what we have for granted,” James said moments later when told of Wade’s comments. “We’ve been together so long, you start to think we can go out and make it happen instead of talking through it. We lacked that the last few games. We got a handle on it today, and we know what the issue is.”
We’ll give it a few more games here at the hideout before we go hunting for that Chemistry For Dummies book to figure out the problem. Whatever issues the Heat have right now pale in comparison to what will go on if they continue to play .500 basketball into December and early January.
Based on their recent history, of course, there is little chance of that happening. So 82-0 is already out of the picture. Big deal.
After exhausting themselves last season in a quest to chase basketball immortality, the Heat should know better than anyone that this is a marathon and not a sprint. There is no need to stress a little early season scuffling when all will be forgotten the minute the Heat pile up four or five straight wins.
And save the possum for someone gullible enough to believe these minor issues are anything more than a temporary annoyance for a team that has managed to overcome all obstacles in each of the past two seasons.