The Heat is on Lebron

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June 10, 2013 by NowhereButPop

By Andrew Doscas

Now that the Heat have tied the series at one game apiece we can all breathe a sigh of relief for them as they averted certain doom in the form of being down 0-2 with three games in a row in San Antonio.  Don’t get me wrong though, the Heat are far from out of the woods just yet.  In fact, their very status as a fledgling dynasty, as well as the grand experiment of the big three is at jeopardy should they lose to the Spurs.

The Heat are really in a no win situation right now because if they win this year’s Finals they will merely be fulfilling expectations.[1]  If they lose however, this will be the second such time in three years, leading us to believe that maybe that one championship was a fluke.  If the Heat manage to lose, it would be to a more experienced team, but also to an older, less athletic, and slower team.  No one’s reputation would be hurt more than Lebron’s should the Heat lose.  He is the greatest player on the planet and if such a thing occurred he would be 1-3 in the Finals.  None of the greats have that poor a Finals record.  It would call into question his ability to lead, and to get the job done in crunch time.  Even now Lebron has been too reserved; in two games he has failed to score more than 20 points.  That’s not something you wanna see in your from your best player.  For the Heat to win, Lebron needs to score at least 25, as he can, as he should.

If the Heat lose this series, it would also illuminate a flaw the Heat have had since the beginning: too much Lebron, not enough anyone else.  I know it sounds contradictory, but Lebron has to score more, and everyone else to elevate their game, or else you get what you had in Cleveland where Lebron had to be the guy with no support around him.  He had to score 30+ points per game or they wouldn’t win.  Such is not the case now, but he should break 20 points night in and night out.  If Bosh and Wade don’t step up, then the point of having a big three is pointless.  The very idea of a big three was not only to amass talent, but to also alleviate the pressure of being the sole go to guy.  Well since Wade and Bosh have not been performing, who else but Lebron can pick up the slack?  Ray Allen is old, Mike Miller probably isn’t medically cleared to play, Norris Cole isn’t as good as he thinks he is, and Shane Battier is to one dimensional.

Granted, I wouldn’t be singing this tune if the Heat beat the Mavericks back in 2011, but they didn’t.  In fact they lost to an inferior team, honestly, for no good reason.  Yeah Dirk was on fire, but still the Heat were more talented, faster, athletic, and built for postseason success, unlike the rag-tag Mavericks.  The fact that they lost to an inferior team at their first go created a sense of doubt that maybe this team isn’t what it’s hyped up to be.  And for a dynasty to be forged, that doubt cannot exist.  Because teams that become dynasties don’t lose to worse teams.

Look at who they beat last year, and the veneer of a Heat being a dynasty in the making fades even more.  They defeated an inexperienced Thunder team that was probably a bit too excited for the Finals.  It’s almost like the fifth grader who picks on the fourth grader because he’s getting pick on by the sixth grader.  If they already repeated as champions their status would already be solidified and even in defeat to the Spurs we could say that the Heat have done enough already to warrant enough acclaim.  But they haven’t, and that’s why this is the swing series for them.  It could either make them and show everyone that the big three is for real, or it could break them and reveal them to be a team that couldn’t live up to their own hype.  Don’t get me wrong, the Heat are obviously a great team, but maybe they’re not as great as we think they are.


[1] I love Pat Riley’s face as Lebron is doing his “Not one, not two, not three” rant.

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