Haters of the world, unite!
Or at least those haters of the performances the Miami Heat have given in the last two outings.
Experts, skeptics and innocent bystanders are starting to come together and pick on the Miami Heat for not being the team everyone thought they should be right out of the gate.
I was more than happy to give them a week or so — a week's enough, right? They do have three NBA superstars. But lack of chemistry certainly cannot excuse a lack of effort.
There were a number of moments during Thursday night's 112-107 loss to the Celtics — and if you're just reading the box score it was never in doubt despite the five-point margin — that seemed to define the short history of the Big Three through nine games.
First was the glaring fact that the defense just isn't there for Miami, be it through play design or just straight-up effort.
You only need to see Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo driving down the left side of the lane and posterizing power forward Chris Bosh — the clear third of the Big Three — with a nice dunk in the first half. Bosh just stood there. I'm surprised he didn't lock his fingers together, cup his hands and give Rondo — nine inches smaller — a boost up to the rim.
Backup PG Nate Robinson got into the act later when he took his 5-9 frame to the glass for an uncontested layup in the second half.
After watching New Orleans score 50 points in the paint on 49-percent shooting and then coming back to see the Jazz score 54 inside and erase a 22-point lead, it seemed logical that the Celtics' bigs would just dominate.
They didn't. They didn't need to.
Boston scored 38 inside — right around Miami's average allowed. The Celtics had no need to go in the paint as they dropped nine of 16 3-pointers. What's the point of getting banged up inside when you can get an extra point and be free and clear of the physicality with 3-pointers? And Miami didn't step out to stop that, either. See Ray Allen sinking his first six treys and not getting covered on his seventh as evidence of that.
The Celtics shot 54.4 percent from the field altogether and coughed up possession just 10 times. Boston put up 61 points on 67-percent shooting from the field in the first half alone.
Miami, meanwhile, stayed in the game with a 32-of-41 performance from the stripe to offset a 3-of-16 performance from beyond the arc. The Heat did manage to shoot 50 percent for the game despite Dwyane Wade's 2-of-12 (0-of-5 from 3).
LeBron James questioned coach Erik Spoelstra's strategy of whether the King should have played 44 minutes or Wade should have been out there 40. Well, LeBron, the back-ups certainly weren't going to get it done, and neither have the starters in many of the marquee games the Heat have played in this season. Save for a pasting of Orlando the third game of the season, Miami has not welcomed the role of being the team in the East others gears up to dismantle.
The theory that it will take time for the new Heat roster to mesh has run its course. These are three superstars we are talking about. Put the ball in LeBron's hands and have him run the offense instead of standing in the corner waiting for something to come to him.
This team needs to run, run, run. And when it gets back on the other end, the Heat need to realize the paint is the closest thing to the basket. Perhaps they should defend it.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter