Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thermostat Check

     For the 20,000+ of you following my blog religiously, I sincerely apologize for my erroneous prediction that the Heat would win 72 games and breeze through the playoffs en route to a championship. 
     Through 17 games, the Heat are 9-8, hovering around .500 in search of an identity as a team.  Last season, the James and Bosh-less Miami team was 10-7 at this point.  Drastic improvement, huh? 
     I previously made a foolish claim that LeBron and D Wade would be able to coexist and thrive together on the court.  Boy was I wrong on that one.  Whenever the two elite scorers are on the floor at the same time, incessant miscommunication ensues and turnovers pile up quickly.  The two combine for 7.5 turnovers per game and are each shooting under 45% on the season.
     In last night's loss to an experienced Mavs team, LeBron walked off the court and "inadvertently" bumped shoulders with Head Coach Erik Spoelstra.  NBA analysts often overreact and go into a frenzy following the slightest feud between a player and coach.  Most of these feuds end up being trivial, yet this one clearly has deeper implications.
     The Heat look outmatched on both ends of the court.  Coming in at 22nd in the league in both points and rebounds per game, it's clear that this team has two pressing weaknesses.  Carlos Arroyo is simply not skilled enough to be a starting point guard in the NBA.  Big Z is about as much of an inside threat as Hasheem Thabeet (with inferior shot blocking ability, I might add). 
     Looking to rectify their issue of lack of size, the Heat acquired Erick Dampier.  Frankly, Dampier is not the answer to anyone's problems.  Last night, he posted one rebound in eight minutes, committing one foul. Sick!  Unbelievable!  The Messiah has come!  Heat fans, (if they hypothetically existed) bow down to your savior, Erick Dampier. 
     The acquisition of Erick Dampier evidently does absolutely nothing to enhance the interior presence of the Heat.  The ridiculously potent trio of big men in Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard, and Dampier cumulatively amasses to 104 years of living on this Earth.  104 years of missed layups and unnecessary fouls all packed into one massive package of merely taking up space on the court.
     There is a recurring theme in the box score of the Heat.  LeBron, D Wade, and Bosh all hover in the vicinity of 20-25 points, while no one else even reaches double figures.  Occasionally Mario Chalmers, James Jones, or Joel Anthony provides a tad of spark, but for the most part, there is simply no supporting cast whatsoever.
     It will certainly be intriguing to watch this drama unfold.  At least LeBron has some practice acting in his obnoxious, ego-centric commercial.  What should he do?  How about win games, LeBron?  I now change my prediction from 72-10 to 10-72.  Just kidding.  But seriously, the Heat will be lucky to get past the first round of the playoffs if they keep playing in such a discombobulated, erratic fashion.  Dwyane keeps saying it will just take time for this team to gel.  Well Dwyane, I'm pretty sure the time is now.  You might want to consider stepping it up a notch, because quite frankly, the Thermostat is plummeting into oblivion.

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