Dominance versus competition; it’s a topic that has been the yin and the yang tugging at the feelings of true Miami Heat fans. You know, the ones who stayed with the team despite the loss of an almost guaranteed spot in the NBA Finals. But that’s a lot of talk for another time.
As a group, the challenge will be adjusting to the concept that it takes all of the players on the roster to win, not just one who can bail you out when the shot clock winds down or the offense isn’t moving.
Instead of leaning on hero ball to save possessions, the mindset has to resemble that of the 2006 championship squad where they believed in the power of 15 strong — although they may not even be 15 deep. The trick for Erik Spoelstra is to convince the Heat that regardless of whom Pat Riley sticks on the roster, the commitment will be to ball movement with all hands on deck.
It may be considered a mind game, but basketball by committee has to be the new theme of things around South Beach. Why? Because each one of us has seen the deterioration of Dwyane Wade‘s knees; and until he proves that the weight loss and days off have made things less detrimental, he has to allow everyone else to get involved.
We’ve also been witness to Chris Bosh fading so far to the back that no one realized he had been running up and down the court for almost a full 48 minutes. That was the catch 22 of being on the floor with the current king of James Naismith’s game.
As Bosh told FM 104.3 The Ticket in Miami back in July that the changes give the Heat “an opportunity to play with a chip on our shoulder.” Which means no more chances to coast through the Eastern Conference as have been discussed before. They have to do it as a collective. Hence why Wade took time off to head to Indiana and workout with Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers and new teammate Josh McRoberts.
This season’s version of “Miami Heat Basketball” should be entertaining — in its own way — but it will be interesting to see if fans will convince themselves that team ball is enjoyable after being spoiled by dominance.