Coming to grips with the Heat being really good this year

by Andrew Kennedy

The Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls Sunday night to take a 2-1 advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals and seem to be in prime position to win the title this year.

This is a hard thing for me to admit. Not really that they are probably going to win the title because I have thought all year that if I had to bet on one team to win it all, it would be them but I still would of bet on the field instead. It’s because they have plenty of weaknesses and holes in their team and such holes that you usually don’t find in championship teams. Combine that with the rooting against them all season because of the “LeBron Decision.”

Then my biggest problem with LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh coming together which was that they were doing it at the perfect time and so sudden that the league wouldn’t be ready for it and that’s what happened. Every other contender was either too old or too young and that means that the margin for error is far smaller. The Big Three for the Heat are all in their primes and can simply make up for less perfect basketball with overpowering talent and skill.

I care a ton about NBA history and the legacy of players. I felt like LeBron could be taking advantage of the time to get a ring without earning it as much because he joined Wade. Also not to mention that Wade could be getting a second after he was gift wrapped his first in 2006.

But as a fan and for me you can’t forget that things like this happen all the time in sports. I wasn’t alive in the 1980’s but I’m sure if I was I would have been arguing that the Boston Celtics should have won the NBA title every year because they were the best team. And how did the Suns come up empty this past decade?

But all year long it seemed too good to be true for the anti-Heat fans. They stumbled time and again in the regular season and the good teams that were left in the league – Boston, Dallas, Chicago – all dominated the Heat. This team couldn’t win with no offensive inside presence. They don’t defend consistently enough and they haven’t figured out who the alpha dog is either.

Well, they’re figuring it out and while I know I’m still right about this being the perfect time for the Heat to form, at least for me I can say they’re starting to play the best basketball and remind me of the Bulls in the 90’s.

The way that LeBron and Wade cover so much ground on defense is the sole reason why they are this good these playoffs. That’s a fact. They don’t run too much on offense but that’s okay because Wade and LeBron still do their thing. Bosh will always get looks because of them and so will the three-point shooters because of the respect they get from their defenders. So even though they aren’t as overwhelming in the halfcourt set as one might have thought or hoped, it doesn’t matter because they get it done on defense.

It’s also helping that Joel Anthony has emerged as this amazing defensive presence. Talk about star treatment, Anthony never gets called for fouls and I know he’s a really good defender and usually goes straight up but it’s still surprising the respect from the officials he gets.

Combine all this and how could you beat the Heat? The Bulls play great defense and good enough defense to beat Miami but there offense isn’t where it needs to be. They obviously rely too much on Derrick Rose and it’s starting to be exposed in this series.

Boston was really the best hope to beat Miami. Their offense at times this season was unfair with the open looks they got and when Rajon Rondo was running wild but by the time they had to face Miami in the playoffs they looked too old and weren’t hitting their open looks anymore.

Now there’s just one little man standing in the way of the Heat and yes, I’m talking about J.J. Barea. He gets some help from Dirk Nowitzki but I feel like Dallas is going to need some insane performances from Barea to win the series. Is this going to happen? In the NBA Finals? It’s hard to imagine.

The Heat aren’t one of the great teams in NBA history this year even though they might win the title. That doesn’t mean they won’t become one in a couple of years after building a better all-around team. They still have to get six to catch the Bulls and even then I’m always going to bring up that M.J. retired for two seasons in the middle of that run. I don’t think they’ll get six though, Wade’s window as an elite player has to be like three years from now.

All I really know is there can’t be a God out there if the Heat beat Dallas in the Finals. Dirk was robbed once five years ago and imagine the kind of hell he’d have to be living in to have a second chance now in 2011 only LeBron is now standing by Wade’s side.

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