“Why should there be a fear factor, it’s just basketball,” Miami Heat forward LeBron James said. “We’re not trying to win a war here, it’s just basketball.” (ESPN)
“Maybe the success we’ve had has been hindering us from getting to where we need to get to, as far as intensity is concerned,” Chris Bosh said. “Not everybody plays every game extremely hard.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Those quotes are just as responsible for the Brooklyn Nets only being down 2-1, as the constant three-point shots that Miami kept giving up. It’s all part of their “too cool for this” attitude that individual — and team — success has granted them.
The Heat sit back, relax, and block out all of the outside noise as coach Erik Spoelstra would say, unless the noise has to do with someone else.
They seem content with answering Kevin Durant questions and Sterling family updates, while the San Antonio Spurs crush the Portland Trail Blazers the way dominant championship teams are supposed to do. It’s the same narrative that plagued the team over the course of the year. They seem uninterested in playing up to their potential.
In the meantime, the Nets are steadily building confidence against the champs and the Indiana Pacers are getting back to their pre-All-Star game form.
Perhaps watching Brooklyn celebrate like they had just won Game 7 of the 2014 NBA Finals will slap a little spark into the Heat, but it’s more likely that they will continue to try sleepwalking their way into a third consecutive title.