Miami Heat: Sitting At the Crossroads
The second act for the Miami Heat looks like it’s going to have a lot of drama.
Right now in the first half, the rising action of this team is building because now there’s a huge sense of urgency. The time is so urgent for this franchise that the injured 34-year-old shooting guard, and the best player to ever wear a Heat jersey, Dwayne Wade has been playing with a bum shoulder. Wade was originally going to sit out a few games and why not?
It makes all of the sense in the world to rest Wade because the Heat will make the playoffs but the way that this year has played out, you couldn’t have scripted the season much more drama filled than before. Wade ended up playing in the nationally televised game against the Toronto Raptors but it didn’t matter because Miami ended up losing the game 101-81.
“At this point I don’t think I’ve got time to wait around to feel great,” he said. “We’ve got so many bodies down, you want to get out there and help our team when you can.”
– Dwyane Wade
In fact, the loss also marked the eighth loss out of the last ten games for Miami. That’s why the Heat are at a crossroads in their season because they’re in the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Proof in the Pudding
Firstly, the Heat came into the year with one of the deepest teams in franchise history and then they started to back up their talk. In spite of the analytics, Miami was ranked within the top three in the Eastern Conference with wins. Secondly, again picking on analytics, we’ve got to see the benching of Hassan Whiteside and how his “analytical” numbers don’t translate into wins.
If there’s one thing to remember, in life the only numbers that matter, are wins.
Which is why Whiteside dismissed that premise with his All-Star caliber play. Putting up gargantuan numbers are what he does and Miami needs to find a gameplan around his game that will make them better. When Whiteside wasn’t putting up these numbers no one heard of him and he became an NBA nomad. Now people have seen him play and what he’s capable of, why would you ever want to change that?
That’s why it’s very important to start to rack up wins, especially against Eastern Conference opponents because it not only gets you up the ladder, it also pushes another down at the same time. Whoever has the best chance of survival during postseason tournaments are usually the team who’s best rested near the end of the year.
With the injuries to Wade, Whiteside, and Goran Dragic, Miami has had to go deep in their rotation to see if the team can hold the ship down. Right now the Heat are ranked No. 8 in the playoff race and could stay in the hunt as long as they continue to get contributions from Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Josh Richardson.
“When you’re undermanned on the road, it’s only natural. We’re playing very good teams. You know that. You have to be realistic. I’ve got 13 years in the league. You know what’s going to happen. You just try to win a couple games and pay more attention to execution and just keep going. Don’t let things get you down. Don’t let those reasons affect your play, which is easier said than done. It’s a good test for mental toughness.”
– Chris Bosh
The crossroads in life is where we determine which path we really are going to take for our future, for this Heat team they’re facing a crossroads during the season because the next few weeks before the All-Star break is where we’ll find out if we should get ready for a playoff run, or a playoff crash. The new age has to happen right before the All-Star game.
The schedule is tough, and not having everyone healthy is tougher.
The season is a marathon, not a sprint and who knows what could happen?
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.