Friday, March 11, 2011

Resilient Heat on the right track

Maybe, just maybe, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Heat fans
Listen, I hate them as much as you. I especially hate LeBron. But what the Heat showed last night in their thrilling win over the Lake Show was remarkable. They showed heart, they showed grit, and they showed the ability to not only take the punches, but punch back. The Heat gave the world a glimpse of a bright future while making a statement- don't count us out quite yet.

With LeBron and Wade somewhat struggling, Chris Bosh and the Heat bench picked up the slack (I honestly never thought I would write those ten words. Ever.) and provided viewers with some great basketball. After being ripped on by everyone for not being clutch, and for not being able to win tight games against elite teams, the Heat played their most impressive game of the season.

Bron, Wade and Bosh's corpse...
Was it their best game? No.

But if someone told you that the Heat won a game against the hottest team in the NBA, the back to back champion Lakers (kill me now) with LeBron and Wade combining to go 16-40 from the field (just 1-7 on threes) and hit just 6 free throws, you would probably die of laughter. But with Chris "like a Bosh" leading the way, and with some help from the two Mikes (Bibby and Miller), the Heat prevailed.

They finally played a game with some cohesion. They played like a team. They didn't beat the Lakers because of the Big Two and a Half, rather, they won because the "other" guys stepped up to the challenge (for once) and played with a purpose. Guys did their jobs. All Miami wanted from Mike Bibby and Mike Miller is that they drain their open treys, and that they not be completely pathetic on the defensive end.

It finally happened, and it was magical.

Wade took a page out of the Greg Jennings playbook
It's amazing what happens when you play a game with five guys instead of three. If Erik Spoelstra had a brain inside of his head (totally debatable at this point), he would set up games the same way that this one was set up: let LeBron and Bosh dominate the first three quarters and then hand the reigns over to Wade in the fourth. This is clearly the best way for Coach Spo' to deploy his soldiers. If the Heat can get anything (literally, ANYTHING) from the bench, they are going to be the team that everyone thought they would be when the Three Clowns came together during last summer's circus. LeBron and Bosh can do what they do best- wreak havoc for three quarters (note: an NBA game is four quarters) and Wade can do what he does best- put the team on his shoulders for the all-important fourth quarter. Spoelstra mistakenly believed that LeBron shows up at the end of games. In the past week, I think he finally got fed up with the LeBrick show.
 Breaking News: LeBron is building a new brick house in South Beach

Now, it's Wade's turn. His steal against Kobe last night in the closing minutes was simply phenomenal. Wade's ensuing dive and pass to LeBron for the slam was a mesmerizing show of effort, skill and determination.

He wasn't done- 30 seconds later, he broke Kobe's ankles with a gorgeous crossover and then finished an extremely difficult lay-in over seven footer Pau Gasol to put the nail in the coffin.

Wade is everything that LeBron and Bosh are not, and for Miami Heat fans, that is a good thing.