The thoughts and views of the Miami Heat have varied so much over the past couple of days that something was bound to go wrong.
One minute commentators were telling you that coach Erik Spoelstra would like to see his team face adversity before they move on in the playoffs (“Miami needs to be tested”). The next, they were telling you that the Heat left their smiles at home so that they could finish off the Brooklyn Nets. And LeBron James sure looked like he was ready to make the tail end a reality.
He finished off rebounds by smacking the ball as if he was trying to pop it, yelled after and once stared at the crowd and threw it down on dead balls — all to draw the boo birds.
A little antagonizing never hurt, but it was nothing more than antics for Miami with no follow through, especially from behind the line. Heat forward Chris Bosh confirmed as much during his postgame interview.
“They’re looking to shoot threes. We know that’s what they want; they’re hunting for them. We have to do a better job.”
That statement is something that the team has been preaching for months, as their three-point defense has been a constant momentum killer — 45-points of momentum killer, including refusing to acknowledge that Mirza Teletovic can’t be stopped once he gets hot (again).
“But it wasn’t just the threes,” Spoelstra said via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “They were getting drives, cuts, baskets in transition. They were getting whatever they wanted.”
And that was the problem. Miami had the same disinterested demeanor that they’ve made famous throughout the year, followed by complaining and the inability of individuals to stay in front of their own penetrating men.
There was also no ball movement, while giving up 53 percent from the field.
It was a steady slip into their spoiled athlete act on a day when Deron Williams no-showed — again — and they could have buried the Nets under a 3-0 lead.
Now everyone wants to acknowledge the Heat’s flaws. Luckily for them, neither team has actually done more than hold home court.