The Miami Heat Should Win the NBA Title (or not)

Posted by By at 25 March, at 22 : 41 PM Print

Let’s face it, when last summer’s free agent poker game saw Pat Riley go all in with a royal flush after hitting a King on the river, the championship was a foregone conclusion. To that end, the Heat organization held a celebration that rivals the victory parades of any of Miami’s recent championship teams. The AAA was a ball of mass hysteria that resembled that ten minute rave scene in the Matrix: Reloaded. It was good to be a Miami Heat fan. We were the Yankees, the Patriots, Duke, Usain Bolt, Zenyatta and the UConn Women all rolled into one, an unstoppable machine that would be fueled by boos and the career remnants of Jason Collins and Jeff Foster.

Then the unexpected happened. Miami didn’t start the season 17-0. They started 9-8. The other big three beat the new big three, Paul Milsap went bananas and an ugly loss in Dallas was punctuated with LeBron James and Coach Spoelstra having the bump seen round the world (besides Kim Kardashian’s)

Since then, they had a stretch of 22 games where they only lost once and a homestand where they lost five in a row. It has not been the dominant show everybody expected but I would venture to say that they are still the best team in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls sit atop the standing and are playing the best basketball in the league right now. The Celtics are a spot above the Heat, but it seems that when they traded Kendrick Perkins they traded away their soul. The Magic are lingering at four, but they have more cracks than Stan Van Gundy’s voice during a 20 second time out. I think to really break down who the best team is, you don’t only look at how they are winning (Chicago dismantling Sacramento and Atlanta on back to back nights is impressive) but in a league where the great teams lose less than 30% of their games, you have to look at who the teams lose to and how.

The truth is, the Miami Heat is the only team in the Eastern Conference who beat the teams they are supposed to beat on a consistent basis. For all the talk of their record against the elite teams (before they avenged the Spurs 30 point loss with a 30 spot of their own) they have not lost to a bad team in a long time.

The only games the Heat have lost this year against teams not currently in the playoff picture are against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 12th and a very different Utah team on November 9th that saw Paul Milsap channel Michael Jordan for a short period to close out the game.

Obviously, being in the playoff picture doesn’t mean you are good (I’m looking at you Indiana) and for the sake of comparison, we will look at how the other teams have fared since January 1st (a nice arbitrary date)

As impressive as the Bulls have looked, they do have losses to Toronto, Golden State, Charlotte and New Jersey on their schedule. Boston is a week removed from being crushed by a mediocre Houston team. They also have losses against the Clippers, Bobcats, Phoenix, Washington, and the Rockets again. Orlando hasn’t lost as many bad games as the other two, but Golden State and Sacramento are not teams you should lose to if you want to hang with the big boys.

For the sake of argument, the more competitive Western Conference has seen the good teams crush the bad teams with the exception of the Lakers, who have ugly back to back losses against the Bobcats and Cleveland Cavaliers (a team they beat 112-57 a few weeks earlier).

The Heat should breeze by their first round opponent, and then the real challenge begins. As it stands right now it will be Boston then Chicago and whoever comes out of the west. It will be a tough road, but maybe, just maybe Erik Spoelstra’s assertion that the team can gel during the 82 game preseason and turn it on in time for the playoffs will come true and Miami will be celebrating their 2nd title in franchise history.

Keep a look out for this blog for all updates related to the Miami Heat and their quest for the NBA Championship.

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  1. hdub84, 9 years ago Reply

    I cudnt agree wit yu more. As long as we have d3 & da king we cant eva b over looked. LETZ GO HEAT!!!

  2. PATTI, 9 years ago Reply

    Just want to say love this writer – more cracks than SVG’s voice!!!

    Heat can win any game they want to. And they want the ring!

  3. Patrick Sicher, 9 years ago Reply

    Forgot to add that you can follow me on Twitter @psicher for more Heat insight

  4. Anthony, 9 years ago Reply

    I for one want to see the Heat do well..They are pretty scary when they are clicking….not sure if they are deep enough to make a serious run this year…but they will be relevant for many years to come…thats for damn sure !!!

  5. DarrenP, 9 years ago Reply

    The Heat have talent and the star power to make a deep run, but I doubt they’re going to win it all. WHo knows, maybe when Haslem returns they’ll have the inside presence they so desperately need. Bosh just isn;t cutting it.

    • Patrick Sicher, 9 years ago Reply

      Funny you should mention Udonis. The next piece I am working on is whether he would help the team coming back. Stay tuned, it should be out in the next couple of days and look forward to the feedback.

      Thanks to all who have read and commented!

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