Reversal of fortune for Heat down stretch


VIDEO: Wade gets a tough shot to drop in a losing effort

So this is what the post-LeBron James verdict looks like for the Heat: A losing record in a powderpuff conference, Dwyane Wade‘s brain trying to overcompensate for his body, a costly loss Saturday at home to Toronto and another day or two before their absence from the playoffs becomes official.

Yes, this is a rather steep drop from four straight trips to the NBA Finals and two championships and lots of bubbly being uncorked at LIV, the South Beach playpen for a franchise that owned the NBA since 2010. There will be no celebrating the 2014-15 season, one in which the Heat hoped for the best but was served with a worst-case scenario come true.

An injury to Chris Bosh and the LeBron defection will cause Miami to become the first NBA Finalist to miss the playoffs since the 2004-05 Lakers, and this will also be the first Erik Spoelstra-coached team to hit the golf course early. Well, you could understand. No team could survive the loss of two-thirds of a Big Three and expect to live happily thereafter. Although Wade was brilliant at times, especially after healing from a nagging hamstring issue, the Heat couldn’t overcome all the losses or a chance to avoid a losing season.

A critic could nit-pick and say Miami shouldn’t made a stronger stand in the East, where the Celtics (!) could make the playoffs. Remember, not only did Miami have Wade, but Bosh made the All-Star team before a blood clot was found on his lung and ended his season. Plus, Miami stumbled upon the discovery of the year in center Hassan Whiteside and also traded for Goran Dragic at the deadline.

Yet: Miami got too much inconsistency from Luol Deng and Dragic has been a mild disappointment. Here’s all you need to know: Miami leaned on Michael Beasley down the stretch. Seriously.

And now, the question becomes: How long will this non-playoff stretch last for the Heat? Assuming they get good health form their key players, the easy answer to that is: Not for long. They’ll have Wade, Bosh and Dragic (if he re-signs as expected) next season, and if Whiteside doesn’t suddenly turn into a pumpkin, then they’ll have a double-double center as well. In the East, that’s a team worth 44 wins.

It would be dangerous to underestimate Pat Riley and Micky Arison, especially with the free agent class of 2016 coming soon. LeBron isn’t walking in that door again, but eventually, someone else will.

53 Comments

  1. cactusbylin says:

    “Powder Puff Conference” – OMG. He just slapped an entire league in the face Steven A. Smith style!

  2. ImMe says:

    Im not even a heat fan but the only reason they won’t make playoffs is cause Bosh has been injured, and Wade sat a bunch of games.. IF they both healthy they easily get top 5-6 seed. With Lebron there a top 3 team but without
    there still top 8 easily.

  3. Well well well, look at those Bucks!!! Its quite obvious that they tanked last season to get Parker. You cant argue they didnt. They made the playoffs two years ago, missed last year and is back this year. Point is, i hate miami other than D Wade, whose to say they didnt do the same thing for a descent lottery pick. They knew they wouldnt win the East after LBJ left, so why not start rebuilding before the whole thing bust.

  4. Eric says:

    Wade is the best lebron came to the heat because of him !! First year they play togetehr wade did more but they couldn’t bit Dallas wade know he had to step back and they won .spo has to go !!

  5. Kome the Black Dumba says:

    Not a fan of Lecrybaby but he really is a good player. See how the Cavs did after he left them? See how the heat did this year? you can say it’s because of bosh’s situation but last year both wade and bosh was out for a while too.

    I can never stand his childish antics but his basketball IQ is something that I think is underrated. All the Y2K babies loves Kome’s selfish play but lebronze always makes the right play rather than hero ball.

    It will be fun to see how far the cavs can go this year.

  6. Matthew says:

    Wade is garbage and this season proves it

    • J Rav says:

      Your right Wade is some stank garbage LeBron carried him for those 4 years it’s shows that he cannot carry a team no more wow world of wuss. Loyalty to the Heat nation is to cut ties with him and rebuild . It’s business he knows it. That’s the sad part of sports hang em up wade

  7. cactusbylin says:

    Just wait until Chris Bosh gets back on the floor. The Heat will be ligit then.
    Also, Kyrie Irving leaves a huge whole in the Cav’s artillery when he is not playing.

  8. Oscar says:

    You gotta judge Miami and OKC once they´re healhty, the Heat used like 30 different starting lineups just because of injuries. Wade is not an all-star anymore but Bosh is, playing him along with Dragic, Whiteside, Wade, Deng and a decent bench this is a 50-win-season-team.

    • Denholm says:

      no matter how many lineups you say the heat used mate… the celtics used more, they had the most roster turnover out of any team, traded their top two players and had injuries all season and now they are going to make the playoffs and the heat aren’t. miami has picks to burn, now is as good a time as any to rebuild.

  9. Chris says:

    The Heat will be back. No doubt about it. Why the Spo haters? With all the disabling injuries to the starters, we almost made it. We fought hard to the end. We are not quitters. Heat Nation will be back healthier and stronger. Never never underestimate Pat Riley. How many teams can claim three championships?

  10. yhame says:

    lets just wait for next season on whats pat rileys next move. a couple of 3 point shooters from free agent and a draft pick plus healthy wade, bosh and dragic will do.more plays should be made on whiteside. the problem is that heat does not have outside shooters. they have inconsistent shooters (chalmers,deng,walker ). with wade,dragic,deng,bosh and whiteside they will be good enough starters but they need 6th and 7th scorers from the bench. They need to pound the ball inside 70 % of their plays also for them to do that they need to add more shooters. get rid of chalmers..
    SEE YOU SOON HEAT FANS…. WE WILL BE BACK NEXT YEAR FOR THE PLAYOFFS..

    • Denholm says:

      the window is closed, trade bosh, trade deng, sign and trade dragic, get picks, rebuild, because with this current roster their ceiling is 7th-8th in the east, which is not where you want to be..

  11. Jay T says:

    Bulls without Jordan? They still make the Eastern conference finals Cavs with Lebron? Finals appearance and usually made the playoffs with a bunch of no name players. . Cavs without Lebron? They dip to the end of the eastern conference. Cavs with Lebron again? 2nd spot in the east behind Atlanta. Heat with Lebron? 4 straight finals appearances. Heat without Lebron? No playoff appearance this year. Kobe with Shaq ? Three chips. Kob the year after Shaq? No playoffs at all. Kobe with Pau, Odom, Ariza, Bynum and a reliable D fish? A chip. Keep in mind two 7 footers included with one of the best players of all time along with a 6’111 odom usually would equal a chip. Don’t judge the played by how they ended their career but when they were there. Next year add Ron Artest( who by the way is a defensive pit bull and prior to going to the lakers he averaged 24 for the pacers , 20 for Sac and 17 for pacers with great Defense). another chip. Compare them to all other teams? Best team in the NBA at that time talent wise. Don’t forgot the shots Ron and Gasol hit to save the lakers from the celtics. Which is fine. Its a team sport. Today the Cavs are losing to the Celtics and the other day they lost to the Celtics without Lebron. Lebron is simply they best. The others are conditional winners.

    • CCrane says:

      Lebron with a bunch of no name players? shaq? Jamison? mo williams? ilgauskas, varejao.
      post shaq Lakers C’mon… way worse than cavs before LBJ left
      Odom werent 6th man oty until he came to the lakers, ariza wasnt a big shot before he came to the lakers, and he’s still not, bynum was young, and injured most of the time, d-fish was way past his prime,
      please give credit where credit is due and dont take credit away from LAL og Kobe,

      if you want to talk about Lebron look at who he has around him. no need to discuss miami time, we all know how many star players came to help. but look at cavs now. IRVING LOVE BRON. didnt do very well until MOZGOV and JR.SMITH joined. face it. lebron need all the help he can get. AND HE IS GETTING IT!! ALL THE FREAKING TIME

  12. and whiteside is gonna go to the lakers next year too

  13. Kobe says:

    Dragic a mild disappointment? What are you talking about, dude has been the 2nd option guy from the start and he did his job well….I think the main problem is Spo and also D-wade is just not himself….also, they lost their playoff hopes before trading for Dragic… your writting doesn’t make sense.

  14. Stopmakingexcuses says:

    Every team gets hit with injuries. Look at the Spurs, they weren’t fully healthy until March. N look at them know. Even the thunder. Durant has been out practically the whole season and their still gonna finish with 45+ wins in the west

  15. GameBreaker says:

    Hahahahahahahahahaaaaa. Just 2 years ago, the Heat were “the best and can’t be touched”, the highest rate of bandwagoners in all sports. Bahahahahahahahahahahaha. You losers needed a wake up call. Can’t wait to see who you’ll pick in your NBA2K15 and 15, now!!! Hahahahahahaha. #WeTheNorth #ColdNrthBeatTheHeat #NorthernWindsBlowOutFire #FOHHeat

  16. Vito says:

    “Dragic was a mild disappointment”??? Really??? Where did nba.com get this guy from? Kinda hard to give a fair and unbiased critique when you aren’t close enough to a team or haven’t watched them enough to truly speak on them. Very bad choice of words, and my money tells me this guy live somewhere else and hadn’t watched them all season long. Very poor writing throughout the entire piece….wow….

  17. Carlos Claro says:

    Wade, the “all-star” role player. Poor man Jerry Stackhouse. He can’t win anything without help (Shaq and James).
    And some people like to say that he will be a HOF (well, HOF is a joke. Alonzo Mourning is a HOF, this tell you everythng).

  18. TOTENPLATZ says:

    “We’re not ashamed “..and that’s true,we’re not !!..Bosh and McBob healthy for the next year, the Heat should get rid of Mario Chalmers, and kept Dragic and Whiteside at ALL COSTS I love Spo..but he needs to adjust or leave,..play more whit the centers and not over burden Wade whit handling too much the ball down the strecht..and let’s back for the next season LET’S GO HEAT !!

  19. Matthew says:

    Wade’s trash, can’t make the playoffs in the powderpuff East. Got demoted as Lebron’s sidekick for a reason.

  20. James says:

    Spo is far from being a being a coach. The Heat lost about 10 games by 2 or less, that is a coaching problem.

  21. nbafanatics says:

    people who really watch NBA or have played basketball understand that losing key players is a big factor in missing the playoffs…. same reason why we have + – on a team… “can’t win it all”.

  22. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    The Heat don’t have the talent, Wade has been good, Bosh was out, Gragic is average, Roberts was injured early, Deng is washed up, Beasley was a bust, Whiteside is still rough around the edges, Spo did the best he could with what he had, it’s not like they were a top 4 seed and fell out the playoffs, they just made the 7 spot a month ago, and in the East when your a bad team you win a couple in a row you go up in the standings and then you lose a few in a row and your out. The Pacers did the same thing, The Nets the same, Lebron carries teams, no player on the Heat can carry a team, Wade is not a superstar anymore.When you up people love you, when you down people want you out of town.

  23. Gin O. Romero says:

    The heat didn’t get into the play off because they didn’t win enough games to qualify. It is as simple as that.

  24. HeatLifer says:

    Sorry people, it wasn’t “just LeBron” he didn’t do it on his own, it was the TEAM and the COACH. It wasn’t LeBron who kept us in the finals in game 6, it was Ray Allen. It was LeBron who was called “LeChoke” during the first trip to the finals with the Heat. It was also LeBron who waited to the last hours to drop the bomb on Miami last summer, deliberate act to cripple any chance of building a team after he left. Riles and Spo still worked magic and pulled together an awesome team, injuries happen, there were too many to overcome. This team never made excuses, they fought on. At the end of all the trash talk it’s still the Heat who have THREE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BANNERS/TROPHYS in their house, LeBron and Cleveland so far????? Proving it wasn’t “just LeBron”
    Heat Nation!!!!!!!!

  25. Coffeecurry says:

    I like Wade, but I don’t know him too well. I thought he was slacking off during the time LBJ and CB4 were there. Maybe he just want to past the torch to the BFF and not trying to outshine there. Well, they can all shine, not sure why they can’t have 3 leaders but just LBJ. Ego, period.
    This ear, Wade has picked up a lots of slacks. However, he is aged. He could have dunk that shot but he missed a layup. I think he was nervous but this is not a mistake I anticipate to see on a veteran player. I still like him lots, though I remember he got rejected by th rim when he played in china a couple yrs ago. He has to go all in, “if” he has not already doing so now. I don’t hk to be another Tracy McGrady, or Vince Carter… Who just simply tell ppl after – well, I didn’t play with my best effort.

    Anyway, one can argue Spo is accepting new idea therefore he has so many diff line-ups. But… What do you think about what the players are thinking? Players won’t think “oh, I gotta play hard to earn as pot”. What it ends up is… Cole become starting point guard, calmer become 6th man, being a shooting guard when Wade is resting. Then all of a sudden sending Cole away and “hire” Dragic. Charmer may not have the best ball sense, but he plays hard, he lost 15lbs hoping to give his best to the team… He ends up being one of the small potatoes. MB, G.Oden, prevent CB4… Sorry, Riley tries to make good bet, nope, not a bang for the buck, at all. Why would good players retired from or left Miami… If not just the head coach, it’d be the entire coaching system.

  26. Lorna says:

    Go heat!!! Heat all the way!!! Disappointed but we will be better next season….Spo is not always good at his rotation. But he is not a bad coach; It was not Lebron only who brought the team to four finals….it was a team effort. We still have to support our team even when they are down…NOT only when they are winning…

  27. JimBo says:

    Dwayne Wade what a loser

  28. harriethehawk says:

    Both Spoelstra and Blatt aren’t good coaches if you ask me. But does it really matter if you have Lebron James on your team? Miami fans, stop making excuses. Yes you have been plagued w/ injuries (like OKC), lost 2/3 of your starting superpower lineup, and failed to make the playoffs. But the REAL reason you can’t make 50 wins this season, s simply because you don’t have LeBron James. Have a good summer guys.

    • joanvonnegut says:

      I am not sure if you are mature enough to remember 2006…? How about Cavs 7 years with James no title. You think James will get another title? Injuries are excuses if you have this much injuries that none of the team out there had it..

  29. deutztony says:

    I’d rather see the Miami Heat eliminated from the playoffs than to see them being swept by the Hawks or being tortured by the Cavs in the 1st round. There is always room for next time. The team will be better next year and the injured guys will come back and be healthy. The ball is always round. Miami Heat forever!

  30. Clarence0023 says:

    I’m a pinoy and i want spo out next season.

  31. Chi1313 says:

    Whistling!!!

  32. john b says:

    the point was not using henry walker, and favoring johnson, and beasley. inconsistent

  33. Keder says:

    Spo has to go… Please! Hope I don’t see him next season, hope I don’t see him coaching any other team in the nba. however, I did win $600, a bit with my friend, I told him that Miami wouldn’t make it to the playoffs this year. Love Miami but I hate the coach hopefully they get rid of spo.. Love you pat but spo has to gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  34. allaroundballer says:

    1993 when jordan left the bulls, they’re still made it to the 94 nba semifinals. This is far worst, i was so stupid thinking that heat could still be the top 5 on east.

  35. BIG-GAME-JAMES-23 says:

    Spo is the one of the main reasons why LeBron left, spot got exposed in the finals last year, and this year without LeBron proves he is not a good coach. The heat still had a decent roster and Spo couldn’t even get them into the playoffs in the East LOL. Im so glad LeBron went to cleveland, as much as i love Wade his time is up soon, he after his contract ends next year he will most likely retire, his knees can’t last much longer.

  36. JR Giddens says:

    Shaun Powell hates the Celtics. 21-12 since All Star Weekend. Weak conference or not, that says something.

  37. jackbeasleybubba says:

    Love the Heat, but spo has to go. This year without lebron proves he can’t coach. Too may come from behind wins from the opposition and too many loses at the buzzer to mediocre teams.

  38. en. says:

    Spo is exposed

  39. Juan Salamanca says:

    HEAT ALL THE WAY… LET’S GO HEAT!!!

  40. Juan Salamanca says:

    damn right we’re upset, but we’re not disappointed… we still got tomorrow to look at…

  41. secanes02 says:

    Spo is the reason why LeBron left is my opinion. The finals showed Spo can’t coach.Did not make any adjustment. Just like this year. He played with the same player’s even though they played terrible most of the time

  42. secanes02 says:

    I’m tired of excuses for losing, They we’re losing when Bosh was playing. Terrible coaching, bad LINE ups. What coach says he has a positionless team. It shows because he can’t coach a center. Do the history , since Spo been the coach and he’s not good at developing talent. I understand the injuries but not competing hard every game and constantly losing by 20 is a sign of player’s not playing for coach. The last 2 games let me know the heat or not worrying about winning to make the playoffs but getting ready for the draft. Watch them lose the next to games and finish in the bottom 10, which the they get to keep

  43. Linette says:

    OK we’ll miss the playoffs this year but that’s okay we had a lot of injuries will be back next year go heat Heat fan forever

  44. Johnathan says:

    Best wishes to Wade!!!