Terry Pluto, on LeBron and the Heat:
After Sunday’s game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said there were guys “crying in the locker room.” That kind of remark can eventually help get a coach fired. He meant it as a sign that his players care. But it is raw meat for a media starving to talk about how the Heat are spoiled and soft.
As K. Vinson emailed: “Miami has to finish at 12-7 just to win 55 games.”
At the start of the season, 55 victories was a given, 60 were expected.
Spoelstra added that, “It’s not a matter of want [to win].”
Coach, yes it is … and you know it. Yes, these guys want to win — but win their way.
Any person with basic basketball knowledge realizes Miami could fix its late-game misery with a simple play. Wade dribbles the ball at the top of the key — and James sets a pick. Then James rolls to the basket, which will cause any defense major problems. Wade either has an open jumper, or James can catch a pass for a layup.
But as Cavs fans know, James rarely set picks. He loathes the pick-and-roll unless he has the ball. Over the years, he often waived off a pick and preferred to play 1-on-1 with four teammates watching in clutch situations.
He does the same with the Heat.
Until this past winter, I played in a church league with roughly the same team for the past 3-4 years.
Oh, there were guys on the team that were good players, but we had no cohesion and we routinely got beat by less athletic (re: older) teams.
What was frustrating was that during these games, many of my teammates scoffed at these older guys. Short, fat, bald… these guys would’ve been picked last if we were playing pickup (while many of my teammates would’ve gone early).
Needless to say, it was frustrating. My teammates seemed to think that just because they could take these guys in one-on-one, that their team sucked and we should have no problem. Then we’d lose by 20-40 points because somehow taking quick threes and driving into the teeth of the defense didn’t produce good shots.
It’s really too bad we were playing a team sport rather than a one-on-one tournament. You need to play together and compliment each others skill sets. That’s why Pierce, Allen and KG work so well together. They all have a different style of game and they don’t get in each other’s way.
This is something that Miami is still figuring out. But they’ll get it. This is the first year of a six year experiment. They got time. This is still a really good basketball team.
It’ll take actual sacrifices (time to set some picks Bron-Bron!) but if they really want it, they have all talent to get there.
But it is fun watching them struggle. Won’t lie about that.