Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Heatles No More : Hey, Hey, They're the Heatees
Here They Come
Crying Down The Street
Shooting Plenty Of Commercials
While They Steadily Get Beat
The only surprise going on in the city of Miami is finding those sheep who actually once believed the team Pat Riley bought could win. As these fair weathered fans hide for cover, it is apparent Heat owner Micky Arison allowed Riley to purchase the "Marx Brothers of Basketball".
Desperation is flying over the franchise like a vulture who thrives off the scraps of hot air and pop references. Ready to swoop when the inevitable conclusion appears much faster than expected.
This vulture has been around since day one, knowing a steady meal will always be readily available unless the team wakes up and humanely kills this Frankenstein they created.
While at Riley has enjoyed success as a coach, his general manager skills need to be questioned. Putting three ball hogs who abhor defense and rebounding on one team is recipe for disaster. Never before in the history of the NBA has this formula worked.
Some teams have tried. The Philadelphia 76ers found this out in the 1970's when George McGinnis and World B. Free fought for shots, while Julius Erving was doing what Dwayne Wade is doing now in trying to make it work by sacrificing parts of his own game for the sake of teamwork.
Instead of whining for help last year, perhaps Wade should have packed up his talents and gone home. Though Chicago has less women in bikinis running around their streets than Miami, the duo of Wade and Derrick Rose probably would have worked much better than things are now with Wade and LeBron James.
Arison and Riley wanted Wade happy for good reason. He is the leader of the team who pours his heart and soul into the game. He has been beat up throwing his body in the paint, but it did help the Heat win a title in 2006.
Some critics think those aches and pains have caught up to the 29-year old, but Wade has adjusted his game to appease two newcomers who were missing the key phrase "winner" on their resumes. This strategy may pay off down the road, but the holes the team has widens each time Wade takes a back seat.
When James pompously stated he was "taking his talents to Miami" in an overblown production number thrown by paparazzi instead of journalists, this group of media immediately anointed the Heat champions and went as far to predict the team would set records yearly for wins in a season.
This noise increased because Chris Bosh had gotten on board the day before James right as Wade committed to staying in Miami. Yet through all the blustering hype, no one chose to look at the obvious weaknesses.
Not the weaknesses of the rest of the roster, though some paparazzi liked to say it didn't matter who filled those roles for the new unstoppable force in the NBA, but the deficiencies on their three highly paid players. Especially meshed together.
The problem with the signings is that Miami basically hired three shooting guards. Though Wade and James, who love to caress the ball for long periods of time, can do an average job in short spurts at the point, both are at their best crashing the paint off the wing.
Bosh might be near seven foot tall, but his game is far away from the rim to avoid contact to his slight frame. He can help rebound on defenses in inconsistent stretches, but he is not the guy a team wants posting up in the blocks.
While Bosh probably has the best jump shot, none of the three are exactly good shooters. James and Wade thought they would spend this year crashing into the rim, but the good teams just pack the defense in and wait.
The desperation mode in Miami has gotten so bad that Mike Bibby was recently brought in. He can join Juwan Howard, Erick Dampier, Eddie House, Zydrunas Ilgaukas, Jamaal Magloire, and Mike Miller on the long list of Heat players who best days were long, long ago. If this was 2001, instead of 2011, the Heat would have quite a team.
While the fair weathered fans point the blame at the helpless Erik Spoelstra, no head coach could get these three to mesh without at least a season under their belts together. Though a strong return by injured power forward Udonis Haslem would be a big help for Heat rebounds, it may not be enough.
Yet Haslem may end up being the real leader of the Heat. He was a free agent before this season, being offered upwards to $10 million more by other teams, yet he decided to remain in Miami in hopes of winning a championship.
Meanwhile the media will keep calling them the "Heatles", an obvious reference to the legendary musical band The Beatles. But the Beatles were fresh, creative, flexible, and ever changing. They always sought new avenues despite reaching a level of stardom never seen before or since.
Miami has the "Heatees", which is in reference to Beatles rip off band The Monkees. A quartet that late comedian Sam Kinison liked to say,"wasn't even a real group!"
The Heatees aren't even a real team. They are swimming in fluff and unearned hype concocted by a few greedy P.R. men. While not everyone was buying into the image day one, more jump off the rickety band wagon by the day.
The best thing for the Heatees is for their season soon so the superstars can go look in the mirror and decide to dedicate themselves to winning a title by working on their weaknesses in the offseason so they can be at their best and fulfill all expectations next year, including their own.