The whispers started on July 10. Sure, MJ was the greatest. But this team has the two best players in the league! Forget Dennis Rodman, Chris Bosh is a beast on the glass and will give you 20 a game. Toni Kukoc? Pshh, Mike Miller can play three positions and stretch the floor from each. Why won't the Heat surpass the Bulls '95-'96 record of 72-10?
The theory that the "big three" could bring the best record in NBA history to Miami wasn't just coming from the homer Heat faithful. There were Miami beat writers picking out games that the team could potentially lose (as if they could go 82-0). There was a coaching icon, Jeff Van Gundy, saying he would be surprised if Miami didn't win 72. Hell, there was LeBron standing on a Miami stage, days after leaving his hometown in Armageddon mode, proclaiming that his new team would win seven championships. What a joke.
Through ten games, the Heat are a whopping 6-4, good for third in the Southeast division. They've lost to a Boston team whose core is made up of guys receiving Social Security. They've lost to a New Orleans team who's point guard and best player demanded to be traded before the year because he thought his surrounding pieces were so bad. They've lost to a Utah team while giving up 46 points to the 6'7" Paul Millsap in the process.
These three losses highlight why Miami will not win a championship this year. They have zero size. Sure Chris Bosh is 6'11, but what good does that do if he's softer than a Four Seasons pillow? If your frontcourt gets abused by the hardworking undersized Millsap it's one thing. When it gets rocked by 60-year-old Kevin Garnett it's another. When Emeka Okafor lights up your bigs, warning flares should shoot up. What will happen when Miami faces the Bulls with their man-child power forward in Carlos Boozer and a 15-15 center in Joakim Noah? What about the Lakers with their championship winning twin-towers, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum? They will get pounded, that's what. Good teams are content to let the LeBron/Wade combo get their 50 points because they know there's nobody else on the Miami that can beat them.
The '95 Bulls started off their season 41-3. Forty-one and three. I know in the 2010 sports world of 24-hour NBA twitter coverage and nationally televised free agent decisions, it's easy to get caught up in the hype. The Miami Heat are a very good basketball team with two incredible players. These two aren't in the same stratosphere right now, even if the Heat has more reporters assigned to them than the White House.
This overexposure is a major reason why the Heat has struggled so far. Every loss is a catastrophe. Every mistake means somebody is overrated. The "super-group" can't go through the growing pains every other new team does. All the glitter from the summer is gone. Everything that happens from here on out will be decided on the court, not on fan sites. Lets just say the guys on South Beach won't start the season winning 41 of their first 44 games.
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