It may be a hard pill for Miami Heat fans to swallow, but they need to come to the realization that their team is in its weakest form since LeBron James made “The Decision.” This team has flown through some turbulence, but a crash landing may be sight. James has continued his high level of play, but it seems like he just is not the game-changer he once was.
Teams may have finally found a way to let James have his way and still minimize the damage. James’ field-goal percentages are off the charts, but his numbers are down in key areas including rebounds and assists. It may not be the time to panic yet, but it could be soon. Their recent 114-97 loss to the Washington Wizards shows just how easily they can be pushed around on any given night. James and Chris Bosh both had good games by NBA standards, but Dwyane Wade showed that he might be the team’s biggest weakness going forward. Wade finished the game with only eight points while looking completely out of place the entire game.
The Heat has struggled to find consistency even though they sit at 27-11 on the season. Everyone except for LeBron has been spotty at times. Bosh has been good but not great. They do not seem to ever gel as a unit as they did when they were in their prime. The younger teams are outrunning and outsmarting the veteran Heat squad. The Wizards were not the better team; they were just faster and hungrier.
After winning back-to-back championships, the Heat may have lost their killer instinct as many teams have in the past. Age is a factor, but hunger is a more important aspect in some cases. LeBron seems to be the only player on the Heat willing to put his body and mind on the line for a chance at a three-peat as NBA Champions. Still, he has not been the same player either. The turmoil may have come just in time as James will have the option to test free agency in the offseason. He has jumped ship before, and this ride is beginning to sink deeper and deeper. If a change does not come soon then Heat fans may be better off beginning the healing process now.