True Hoops

True Hoops

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hi Hater

You see me...

This win doesn’t really prove anything for the Heat. They still can’t beat a good team.

I mean how good are the Lakers really? 
Weren't we just saying before the all-star break how old they looked and how much trouble they were in? Who cares if they beat the Spurs by thirty, now that they lost to the reeling Heat (again), we see the Lakers for what they really are.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the reaction today in the wake of Miami’s win last night.
Because if there is one thing that has been consistent this season, it’s been the hate the Heat have faced.

I went onto the Blogtable yesterday before the game to read the responses of their seven contributing writers when asked who would win last night’s match-up.
ALL of them said the Lakers.
Really? Everyone?
Not at least one of them could have said there is no way the Heat lose 6 in a row?
Not at least one of them could have said that the Heat would respond to all the vitriol they have been facing and use this game as a statement of their own?

I call that kicking a team when it’s down.

And yes, the Miami Heat were down after losing 5 in a row. Something was wrong and I’m not sure what it was. But that doesn’t mean armageddon is coming just yet.

The amount of hating the Heat have faced this season, both team wise as well as individual players, is - to borrow a Kobe IV catch phrase - venonomenal. 

Let me inject a dose of reality into some of these haters.

The Heat have been playing “horrible” lately …and they still have the 6th best record in the NBA. They had lost 5 in a row, and still only have one more lose than the Lakers, three more loses than the Bulls and Mavs.

Dwayne Wade
Has faced the least amount of criticism of everyone. And why not? He has already one a chip on his own and he did nothing wrong in the off-season. After all, there is a sense that this is still really his team, and that he is the best clutch performer on it.

His numbers have been fabulous. Why wouldn't they be? He is one of the top three players in the world. Not much really to hate here, but I’ll use his stats in comparison to LeBron’s in a little bit.

Chris Bosh
Boy has this guy has received a lot of hate.
I’ve heard people call him a "bum" ad nauseam.
A bum? Really?
This guy is giving the Heat great production - averaging around 18 points and 8 rebounds while shooting close to 50% from the field. 

To me that is amazing.

Why you ask?
For basketball players, its pretty hard to play with someone who jacks you out of the game (for those not familiar with the term ‘jack’ it means to jack up shots. Someone who jacks or is a jacker shoots excessively without any conscience and has no idea of what the word ‘pass’ means). It is really hard to find your rhythm playing with a jacker, mostly because of how incensed they make you by their audacity to take horrible shots in copious amounts.

It’s hard enough to play with one jacker, now imagine playing with TWO.
And that is what Chris Bosh has to do. 
Now of course I am joking when I refer to LeBron and Wade as jackers, but the truth is they have the ball in their hands a majority of the time and are both taking a lot of shots. By being the best players on their team, let alone in the world, that is something they SHOULD be doing. But it doesn't mean it's easy for someone like Chris Bosh to adjust to, especially when he is used to having the ball in his hands.

In truth, Bosh complements either Wade or LeBron well, but perhaps it's tough for him to complement BOTH at the same time. It would be great if the Heat had more of a beast that doesn't need the ball to be effective but rather just finishes around the rim and hits the boards to get double-doubles - kind of like a Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Kevin Garnett, Amar'e or even David Lee.

But those guys are rare to come by and they'll probably pick up someone in the off-season to fill their beast void anyway.

In the mean time, Don't act like Chris Bosh can't play or doesn't have skills.
He was just as good as Dwight Howard on the olympic team.
The other day he demanded the ball more and guess what, he dropped 24 points on the Lakers on 10-17 shooting with 9 rebounds,  a performance highlighted by the Hang Time Blog at 

Hold that.

LeBron James
Let's cut to the chase, this is the real reason so many people hate the Heat right?
He went from the 'chosen one' to the 'evil one' just by one 'Decision'

It's time for everyone to wrap that up and let it go.
What do you want me to say? 
At that time LeBron was a 25 year old kid who never left home, was tired of bearing the burden of an entire state on his shoulders, and wanted to go to Miami to play with his friends. 
Is that so hard to understand?

Of course he could have handled it a little better, but that's what made him a 25 year old kid.

What was worse, in my eyes, was the celebration the Heat threw for the big three upon  their introduction, without them having played even one game yet. That was a little ridiculous. 

But let me tell you, I felt like doing freakin' cart wheels in the middle of the street when I heard the Knicks got Carmelo Anthony. So I can only imagine what it felt like to get LeBron, with Bosh, while resigning Wade. We would have done the same thing in New York.

What, you think LeBron is not a winner?
Well it's not like he took a team with the worst record in the NBA and made them the team with the best record in the NBA two years in a row, single handedly.
Oh wait a minute...

What, he's not good in pressure situations?
How about game 6 last year against the Celtics, when he had 27, 19, and 10 assists? Not enough right? He still had 9 turnovers right?

How about game 7 against the Celtics in '08, when he had 45, 5, and 6 assists? Not enough?

What about this year when he had to go back into Cleveland with the whole world watching and the whole city hating - and had 38 through 3 quarters. And when he went to New York to face the hate and dropped a triple-double. Or when he went into L.A. on christmas and dropped a triple-double?

Next you'll say to me: "LeBron James is 2-9 this season when the game is 3 points or less in the final minutes." Guess what homie, Dwayne Wade is also 2-9 this season in similar situations. But yet we all all agree Wade is much better in those situations right? We can all listen to Charles Barkley and other analysts say that Wade is better at closing.

Well how about comparing LeBron's and Wade's performance against the celtics this year.
In three games against Boston:
LeBron is averaging 29 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists a game while shooting 46% from the floor.
Wade is averaging 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists a game while shooting 27% (!) from the floor.

Are you kidding me!?
That's not even close.

And that my friends is the very essence of hating on someone: the stats and facts tell you one thing, but  you ignore them because of some visceral feeling you have.

Let me tell you how nice LeBron is. 
Last night Wade played great, period. He played lock down defense on Kobe, had 8 points in the 4th, finishing with 20 points (even though it was on 9-23 shooting), 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He won them the game right?
Well without you even noticing, LeBron finished with 19 points (1 less than Wade), 8 rebounds, and 9 assists. Light. 

A quiet near-triple double.

I'm not saying that we can't be critical of LeBron. I certainly was in a recent post. He certainly has flaws in his game -  EVERYONE does. But anyone who doesn't think this guy is AT LEAST the 3rd best player in the world (but probably the best) is both crazy and ludicrous. Period.

Maybe you don't like him because you think he is a jerk off the court. And maybe he is. But you probably won't like a lot of great players based on that premise. 

The Heat
Okay, so they're not going to win 73 games this year (they'll probably do that in two years when both the Lakers and Celtics are gone). It's very hard to live up to that kind of hype. In fact the only person I can think of in recent memory to do so is LeBron James coming out of high school - who was actually better than the hype.

People say that LeBron and Wade playing together won't/doesn't work, they play the same style and they don't complement each other well.

Well if 26, 8 & 7 for LeBron to go along with 26, 7 & 4 for Wade isn't working or complementing...
please tell me what your definition of it is.

And you mean to tell me that you think the Bulls, Magic, or Knicks will beat them in the playoffs?
I'll take that bet.

The Heat beat the Magic by around 20 points twice this year and lost twice after squandering 20 point leads. It was a similar scenario against the knicks. They also gave up double digit leads in two losses to the bulls. You think that means they can't beat these teams?

I would say it means they have the ability to dominate, not beat, these teams if they play for four quarters.

Finally you'll say they can't beat Boston because the Celtics have a better team.
Yeah, no kidding the Celtics have a better team!

That's usually the case when you have four future Hall of Famers plus one of the best point guards/assists leader in the NBA. Don't hate the Heat for that.

I said from the moment LeBron made his decision that I still think the Lakers will win the championship this year. Maybe at the time we all looked past the Celtics, but we all did that last year as well. The Lakers will probably face the Celtics again in the Finals this year. After all, that would probably be the best match-up anyway and the grudge/rubber match that we as fans deserve.

But more importantly, it will probably be the last chance for both teams.

The Heat are built for the next five years, in which they will add more pieces, get better, and win multiple championships when the Lakers and Celtics are done. But I wouldn't still wouldn't be surprised if they make a run to the finals this year as well. Normally at the end of games you want the best player on the floor on your side.
The Heat will have the TWO best players on the floor come playoff time.

Keep hating.
None of this matters in the playoffs.
We'll see what happens.

Till then...



  2. I can't believe you mentioned that Cavs/Celts game 6 in your defense of Lebron... 10 turnovers and he played like he was throwing the game, that was very apparent no matter how many pts and rebounds he had. Give Wade the ball and see how much better your team plays.
    As far as Both I don't think he's a bum at all but he's just overrated and over paid, in the summer cats were talking crazy saying he's top 5, yeah effin right. And beyond that all these commentators that are now "hating" on the Heat are the same ppl who said in the summer that the Heat are the best team in the NBA, smh, disgusture.

  3. It's amazing how many people felt that this post was directed towards them specifically. Which just reinforces my point about how many people hate on the Heat.

    Same for Treasure's comment: "he played like he was throwing the game, that was very apparent no matter how many pts and rebounds he had."
    A TRIPLE-DOUBLE with 19 REBOUNDS. That's Dwight Howard numbers.
    But we can go back and forth all day long......

    I will say, the Heat have won three in a row against L.A., Memphis, and San Antonio (by 30). It seems in those games, Wade and Bosh are scoring more while LeBron is stepping back and playing more of an all-around Magic/Oscar Robinson type game. If that is ultimately what makes them there best then so be it. He can take over when those two are off.

    I would say Bosh is a top 15-20 player, he is an all-star. He may be a top 5-6 power forward. He had 24 and 9 against L.A. and then 30 and 12 against San Antonio. Not bad to go along with the top 2 players on his team.

    In reality, there are probably only a few guys in the NBA that are "max" players. But that doesn't mean teams aren't going to give "max" money to other players, especially if if means not losing their best player and trying to stay competitive. This is one of the things that may lead to a lockout.