Will the real Miami Heat please stand up? Being in the NBA Finals is probably not the most opportune time to have an identity crisis, but that didn’t stop Miami from developing one. Now on the brink of elimination they must find out who they truly are before the spend the offseason wondering what if.
The regular season Miami Heat was a juggernaut steam rolling opponents and amassing 66 wins with the help of an amazing 27 game winning streak. The NBA Finals Heat has shown glimpses of that juggernaut but more often are looking like a team who doesn’t know how to go over the top on a pick and roll defense or know where Danny Green is on the court. I mean he is only the guy who is shooting lights our from beyond the arc and now owns the record for most 3 pointers made in Finals history.
It’s no secret the Heat were the best team in the NBA this season and they know this. That is why I think they’re playing with a certain arrogance where they think they can “just turn it on” and win a la the New England Patriots of the 2000’s. Could this arrogance be the reason for the lack of effort on offense or the lackadaisical play on defense? Only the Heat know, but which Heat team is the question.
Who is to blame for the Heat’s current identity crisis? As much as some would love to pile on Coach Spoelstra’s ability as a coach, he takes a small slice of the blame. The majority of the blame falls squarely on the players. They’re not executing on the floor on either end. How can the best player on the planet wear jersey like a cape around his neck like Superman at practice after Game 4 but put up a Lois Lane effort in Game 5? How can you have 2 younger point guards get eaten alive by basically a one legged French man? Why are the Spurs role players outshining and out playing the Heat’s Big 3?
Sure fans can point to the fact that the Heat haven’t lost 2 games in a row this postseason and have won the next game after a loss by double digits but being down 1-0 in the NBA Finals is different than being down 3-2. The Heat always have been quoted saying they respond better to adversity and there is no more of an adverse time than being 1 game away from elimination. If the Heat wanted a dramatic come from behind series win filled with dramatic overtones, they have it now. Question is which team shows up?