The Heat surprisingly surrendered home court advantage to the Pacers in game 2, failing to make the crucial plays down the stretch. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were most at fault for Miami’s late game failures, but the role players were completely to blame for letting the Heat get into the situation they found themselves in.
Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier co-led the complimenting players for points…with 5. Productivity like that is going to see the Heat go home early, regardless of whatever James and Wade muster.
The easiest thing for media and fans to say, and I too have been guilty of this, is that James, and to a lesser extent Wade, are in control of how far Miami do go. After game 2 I reassessed that. James could record a 40 point triple double, but if the rest of the team are scoring 5 points or less, it is going to be that much easier to defend him and his partner in crime.
The Heat have done a good job finding and surrounding their wing stars with some of the finer three point shooters in the league. But if Chalmers, Battier, Miller and Jones are contributing nothing, that means the opponents are able to stack the paint, double team James and Wade and virtually render the Heat unable to do anything on the offensive end.
People say ‘oh with the Heat’s talent they should be able to win easily every year’. Didn’t we all believe that when it first was put together. Then how quickly we all realised that you can have as much talent as you want through 2 or 3 positions, but if you can’t find contributions from at leads an 8 man rotation, you are not going to win the championship. The much deeper Dallas defeated Miami in the Finals largely because of this reason.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, like the Heat, have three players that are the obvious keys for their team and generate the majority of their scoring. But unlike the Heat, Oklahoma City have players like Ibaka, Collison, Mohammed, Fisher, Sefolusha and Cook that all can give them around 5 points per night. Add 30 points to the 70 that Durant, Westbrook and Harden give every night and you have 100 and a great chance of winning.
The Heat technically should get the same production out of their supporting cast, players like Haslem, Battier, Miller, Chalmers and Jones (when he gets minutes), but Battier and Haslem conveniently are having the worst offensive seasons of their careers, Mike Miller cannot shrug off the injuries plaguing his Heat career and Chalmers is well…Mario Chalmers.
Battier has openly admitted he is getting more open looks than he ever has in his career. Playing with Wade and James will do that. The same goes for Chalmers, Miller, Jones and Haslem. For whatever reason they are not knocking them down.
It’s time to take some of the blame away from James and Wade and put it on the lesser known. They can’t do it on their own.
This is beginning to look like Cleveland again.