It’s too easy to look at the Miami Heat, who suffered a 105-94 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in game one, and figure out a way to blame Lebron James.
Don’t take this as me officially hopping on the Lebron James bandwagon. I am still under the belief that his lack of a mental game when it truly matters will always be a fault that will hinder his ability to truly get to the promised land without the “proper help.” However, there is one guy I look at in particular as the culprit of a lot of what’s wrong with the Miami Heat and their style of play and it’s time someone said it.
Dwayne Wade has been given a free pass for a long time because he has a championship. I think it’s time for that to stop.
Wade, who had 19-points, eight assists, and four rebounds game one, shot just 7-19 from the field, missed the only two three-point attempts he took (which at 29% for his career it confuses me why he’s shooting), and had it not been for a perfect 5-for-5 night shooting free throws it could have been a lot uglier.
I’ve gone on social media and spoken with friends a number of times stating the most important component for this Miami Heat team is Chris Bosh being healthy and allowing the others to play their roles properly. Yes, Lebron could cover every position on the floor, but that doesn’t mean he should.
During their series with Boston, the Heat struggled badly in games where Lebron was consistently out of position and compensating for a lack of a presence inside during the absence of Bosh. Many point out that they won two games without Chris Bosh to start the series but don’t understate just how much Philadelphia took out of them coming into that series to begin with and I wouldn’t call a four-point overtime victory at home against a team you are clearly more talented than at this point a solid win. They need Bosh, and that’s evident by their struggles against Boston and Indianapolis.
So what of Wade? Well, first we need to face the facts: Dwayne Wade isn’t what he once was. As sad as that might be for some, it’s a reality the Heat and their fan base must face.
Shaq isn’t around and Chris Bosh is no Shaquille O’Neal. Lebron, in my humble opinion, hasn’t proven mentally capable to take on the mantle of someone who can take his team to the finish line. So that leaves Wade to take that mantle and, at this particular juncture, he isn’t that player either which means he’s playing a role that should have been reserved for…well you get my point.
For all the talk of Lebron’s failures he has been great this postseason and continued that stellar play last night scoring 30 points and nine boards on 11-of-24 shooting (7-of-9 FT). If Miami is to stand a chance a strange occurrence needs to happen. Lebron needs to be a bit more stingy down the stretch and Wade needs to back off the throttle a bit.
Whether either is ready to do this will be the determining factor of how the Heat fare in these finals.