The month of March has been anything but impressive for the Miami Heat. Around the time that many expected the defending champs to clamp down and take control of the NBA East, they did the opposite.They rolled over against the San Antonio Spurs, let the Brooklyn Nets claim bragging rights and gave Joakim Noah a reason to pound his chest. Basically, March has been nothing short of a letdown for the Heat and its fans.
Before I say anything too crazy, I would like to mention the words of the great Doug Collins, who just so happened to be covering the New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers Wednesday night. In between the neverending Phil Jackson hysteria, Collins made an interesting point. He talked about how both Miami and Indiana were in funks and having a rough month, but why only one team should panic. According to Collins, the team that should be very concerned is Indiana.
Collins’ reasoning is that the Heat have been there and done that. They have won the East, been to the finals for three straight seasons and won the last two titles, so it doesn’t matter if they finish second or first in the standings — what matters is the championship.
The Pacers are different, however. They are a group of young, emerging stars, who are just beginning to see tremendous success. They have been stuck in the spotlight of Miami and continue to remain there. Winning the East would be a big weight lifted off their shoulders.
I couldn’t agree more. The Heat know exactly where they stand and when they really need to turn it on. Winning the East would be great, but it isn’t necessary for Miami. What is necessary is a healthy roster and a championship. For Indiana, being kings of the East should be a goal since those players haven’t done it. It is a matter of confidence for the Pacers, as it is with many young players and teams.
The Heat is composed of veterans who have been there before and really only want on thing, another ring. They don’t need the No. 1 seed to boost their confidence because they have plenty of it. Miami might be losing questionable games, but it is a long season and they might just be picking their battles.
No need for anyone to panic yet. Just enjoy the beautiful weather of South Beach.