Hidden Playbook

Are the Miami Heat as Good as Predicted Since LeBron Left?

As soon as LeBron James announced that he was leaving the Miami Heat and rejoining his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, it seemed as if every angry Heat fan had a reason as to why the team would be better now that he was gone.

Many said that it was James’ fault that the Heat lost to the Spurs in the NBA Finals last year. Some said that it became the “LeBron show” on the court. Angry fans talked about how the Heat were no longer a team and had become a one-man show. Or how James didn’t allow Chris Bosh to be more versatile on the floor.

Some even said that the Heat only were only successful the past few seasons when Dwyane Wade was healthy. That is probably an accurate statement because they were called the “Big Three” after all. If one of them went down with injury or wasn’t playing well, the entire team suffered. But to suggest that Wade was more pivotal to the team’s success than James seems almost laughable.

Yes, we all remember that Wade did indeed win a championship with the Heat way before James arrived in South Beach but that was in 2006. And when the Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks that season, they did it mostly as a one-man show. Wade literally carried the Heat on his back on the way to winning the championship. Yes, he had good pieces around him but it was basically him and a good group of role players.


Photo source: Instagram

That type of roster would not win in today’s NBA. So for the Heat to think that they would be just as good, if not better than they were the past few season with James, that was wishful thinking.

Through 26 games this season, the Heat have posted a record of 12-14 and currently sit in the No. 7 position in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Perhaps the most disappointing statistic thus far this season is their home record of 4-8.

Wade has taken over once again as the scoring leader on the team averaging 22.5 points per game while shooting over 52 percent from the field. Bosh’s numbers are better as well. He is averaging 21.6 points at 48 percent.

But after Wade and Bosh, there is a significant dropoff on a roster with a bunch of average veterans like Luol Deng, Mario Chalmers, Josh McRoberts, Danny Granger, Chris Anderson and Udonis Haslem. In fact, things are starting to look like 2007 through 2009 back in Miami where Wade would score a ton and get no help from his teammates. In their most recent 105-87 loss to Utah at home, Wade scored 42 points while the rest of the team scored 45.

Ouch.

Oh, and what about the prediction that we would truly find out how great a coach Erik Spoelstra is? Now that James is gone, we can really start to find out what a boy-genius he really is. Still waiting…

For Miami Heat fans who didn’t think they would miss LeBron James, it’s time to stop kidding yourselves.


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