Excuse the cursing, but this blog in uncensored right? *checks with main editor* It is? Cool. Well then, as any basketball fan may know, the Miami Heat have been in a slump recently. Before last night’s win against the Pacers, the Heat have lost 7 of the last 17 games, losing 4 of those 7 by double digits. Losing 7 out of 17 (.588 record in that span) may not sound too bad depending on your point of view (OH HEY MJ!), but if you’ve watched the Heat play in the past month you can notice a lack of urgency, passion, hustle… in other words, the team just hasn’t seemed to give a fuck.
Comparing team statistics from February to March, FG% has decreased from .491 to .468, rebounding has decreased from 44.6 per game to 38.8 per game (in their losses they’ve been a combined -76 on the boards) and points per game has gone down from 103.2 to 96.*
Whether these percentages mean anything to you or not, they do show that offensively the team isn’t clicking as well as it did before, they aren’t being aggressive on the boards, and, most importantly, the team just doesn’t seem to care. Players are taking errant shots, going back to the way the team played early on last season before anyone knew how to play with one another, and the defense (specifically in the paint) is slacking terribly, especially against teams with viable big men. Now after reading all of this, as a Heat (Wade) fan am I worried? Hell no. I can see why the team doesn’t give a
damn flying fuck about the regular season anymore, and here are a few reasons why and why you shouldn’t be worried:
- The lockout is wearing down on the team, causing injuries and lowering performance, and health is the most important thing going into the playoffs. Slowing the game down to stay healthy at this time of year makes sense (Celtics have done it the past 2 years, Bulls are keeping Rose off the court).
- The Heat are pretty much locked for the #2 seed in the East. The Heat have 14 games left in their season and are 7 games above the Magic for the division title. I am willing to bet all the money in the world that the Howard led (?) Magic will not move above the Heat nor will Indiana or Boston (division leaders and 6.5 and 8 games back respectively) pass the Heat in the standings.
- The Heat have Dwyane Wade, LeBron James & Chris Bawsh (
Rick RossRicky Rosay voice). As cocky as that sounds, they know they’re making the playoffs and getting at least to the 2nd round, at this point might as well rest until the real games count.
- It’s the regular season, not the playoffs, not the championship, but the regular season…c’mon son.
- Home court advantage isn’t a guarantee for a championship. The Bulls had home court advantage and lost to the Heat last year (I predict the same this year). The Heat had home court advantage in the Finals and lost to the Mavericks. Yes over the past 10 years, 8 out of the 10 teams with home court advantage have won the championship, but the past isn’t always an indicator of the future. A true champion can overcome adversity and the best team will win regardless of location (which I believe Heat to be).
- If you do find home court so important, the Heat aren’t out of question to have home court in the Finals. Most people believe the Oklahoma City Thunder will represent the West, and the Heat are only 1.5 games behind them in the win/loss columns.
- The Heat have 14 games left. If they surge through these and come out 11-3 or 12-2 from that with impressive wins, they’ll go into the playoffs hot and the hot teams tend to be the most successful. (See: 2012 New York Giants and 2011 St. Louis Cardinals)
- They’re bored. Every year we hear about players getting bored with the length of the season and just wanting to play in the playoffs for where it matters most. The intensity of the playoffs invigorates most teams who can reach that level and I believe that intensity will drive the Heat to play their best.
- Pat Riley to Erik Spoelstra: “Let us lose a couple games here. Make us look weak, I want people to underestimate us, we played better last year under all the scrutiny.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Pat Riley was born to mindfuck)
- Point blank, a lot of these games mean nothing right now.
*stats taken from ESPN