The road to a championship is a long and arduous journey filled with many pitfalls and obstacles along the way. Winning a championship is no easy task, winning two is even harder, and three titles in a row is damn near absurd to even fathom. However, when your franchise is led by three NBA All-Stars first winning three NBA championship is not as implausible as it may be for others.
After losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, led by Lebron James the Miami Heat have been on a mission to win titles, not one, not two, not three… The path to two championships was far from an easy one and certainly came with a few bumps and scrapes along the way. Two titles, 264 games, Lebron back spasms, and 35 missed games by Dwayne Wade later the Heat are far from a lock to win their third consecutive NBA Title and their bitter rivals the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls smell blood.
The Heat have lost seven of their last eleven and although they are not at risk of finishing worst that second in the Eastern Conference, the poor play has been unacceptable. James and Chris Bosh have vocalized their frustrations publicly and have addressed the team privately, but will that fix the problem? Since a playoff berth has already been secured, should there be reason to worry?
My belief is the Heat must figure out their line up, the Heat’s recent slide should make everyone realize how indispensable Mike Miller was to their team. Although Ray Allen is the NBA leader in 3 pointers made his age has begun to show and he has become a huge liability on the defensive side of the ball. The Greg Oden reclamation project has been a huge fail, and the Heat will again have a gaping hole in the paint.
Despite these glaring deficiencies the Heat title hopes will ultimately rest in the hands of the forgotten All-Star Chris Bosh, whose magnificent play has been largely overlooked and ignored and the chemistry of the Heat’s best and brightest. King James may go down as the greatest player of all time, but titles are not won alone. Although Wade has missed a plethora of regular season games, doubting him again would be a huge mistake.
Until James and Wade figure out their timing the Heat will remain vulnerable and the excuses and poor play will continue. Although the Heat certainly have problems now, only time will tell if they find the solutions in time for the playoffs and their quest for three. Stay tuned…I know I will – A. Denmark