Somebody get Tubbs and Crockett on the case. The Miami Thrice (their nickname, not mine) and the rest of the basketball team from South Florida are 6-4 and sitting in third place in the Southeast Division. We were promised that the Miami Heat would go undefeated this season, or at least match the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' win total of 72. We were promised that the trio of Wade, James, and Bosh would be impossible to stop, that they would win games so easily it would change the sport forever. So what happened? Why are the Heat losing? Before I explain, let me point out two things: First, I know very little about basketball. Second, with that limited knowledge, I predicted the Heat would not be higher than a five seed in the playoffs.
I'll compare the Heat to the Celtics since they seem to have a similar roster. Where is Miami's supporting cast? I know, I know, they have their own version of the Big Three, but who is playing the role of Rajon Rondo? Where's Big Baby's character? Oh, that's right, Miami's other two starters in that first loss in Boston were Carlos Arroyo at the point and Joel Anthony playing center. Don't worry, I wasn't sure who they were either, so I checked. Arroyo is in his 8th season out of mighty Florida International University, playing for the 6th team of his career, a career in which he averages 13 minutes and 7 points per game. At some point, once his ankle is healthy, Mario Chalmers will probably be starting at point guard in SoFla, but until then it looks like that position will be platooned by Arroyo and Eddie House. Joel Anthony, in his third year out of UNLV, played 17 minutes, scoring 2 and pulling down 7 boards in the season opener. Not bad, seeing as he was playing against the Big Diesel (who had 9 and 7 in 18 minutes). Zydrunas Ilgauskas also checked in for 11 minutes and tallied one point to go along with 3 rebounds, but for the other 20 minutes, the Heat went without a true center.
A lot of people want to compare the Heat to the Yankees and as both a Yankee fan and a Heat hater, I strongly disagree. First of all, the Yankees win and win consistently. When this Heat squad wins a few titles, then I'll accept the comparison. Until then, they are just a team who thought that by pairing up Dwyane Wade and LeBron Lames and pretending that Chris Bosh is the greatest forward in the league, they'd win some games because the other teams would just give up. Well, that's not happening. The Heat are 1-4 against teams likely to make the playoffs and 5-0 against the bottom feeders. If the playoffs started today, the Heat would be the five seed. Oh, and by the way, the Cavaliers who were supposed to be nothing without the King, would be the six seed in the East.
Just to be clear though, we are still saying that Miami is the team to beat this year, right? Not the defending champion Lakers (who started the season 8-0 and are now 9-2) or the Celtics (who have already beaten the Heat twice)? I'm just checking. As much as I hate hype, I love when it goes nowhere. Remember when Michelle Wie was going to be the female Tiger Woods? Or when Freddy Adu was going to be the next Pele? Or when Darko Milicic was going to take the NBA by storm? Yeah, I remember too. Hopefully at the end of the season, I'll be able to say, “Remember when the Miami Heat were supposed to win the 2010-11 NBA Championship? What happened to that?”