Through 45 games just a year ago the Miami Heat were 32-13, a full 8.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks and were cruising towards another Southeastern Division title. They would eventually catch the Indiana Pacers for the best record in the East and return to the NBA Finals where they would lose to the San Antonio Spurs for the title. A year later, they are currently 20-25 with 14 of those losses coming at home. 11, 5, 4 and 9 were the number of Heat losses over the last 4 seasons.
Let’s start with the obvious. LeBron James’ departure has plenty, if not everything to do with the decline. James leaving revealed the typical "everyone has to slide up a ring" deal here. This means Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers we need more from you. D-Wade? Just fly to Germany sir like Kobe and Jermaine O'Neal and get some new parts for those legs. I was a fool for thinking that Chalmers was a top 10 guard, but that’s what LeBron does. He makes others look so much better than they really are. I’ll join in with the chorus and use Chalmers as an example. He’s averaged double figures this year, however only shooting 40%. Last year with LeBron he shot 48%.
If you stop and take a breath and actually look at this roster, the record shouldn’t be that surprising. Chris Bosh is currently your best player, but he’s over 30 and missed some time with injuries along with Wade. Luol Deng will be 30 this calendar year, but after those years with the Bulls his body may be the one of a 35 year old. Your other FA additions Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts haven’t panned out since McRoberts’ year ended early just after 17 games, acting as the only blue chip on the squad.
This Heat team has been blitzed with injuries; along with the improved squads in the Eastern Conference are just a few aspects of the current downturn of this season. Yet, on a team with Wade and Bosh, home losses to an equally damaged Pacer team, sorry ass Utah, Philly, or Orlando just won’t cut it. I always say good teams win the games at home over teams they’re supposed to beat. A 7th seed and a potential playoff series loom for the Heat. I could also see them finishing in 10th place, this alone should get LeBron a few extra MVP votes.
Born in Dayton, Ohio but raised in Dallas. D.A. is no pushover