This article isn’t about the plight of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, it’s the opposite. This is a look at the other end of the spectrum; LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Because, as we all know, we are still linked with LBJ for at least this season, and probably many more to come.
It’s a shame Cleveland went on that terrible 26-game losing streak, because a much deeper phenomenon has been overlooked. The 2010 Cleveland Cavaliers, at this time last year, were better than the Miami Heat are this year. Don’t believe it? Let me tell you something, and this is fact: After 60 games the 2010 Cleveland Cavaliers were 46-14 with a 12-5 records against the top 8 teams in the league (Boston, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas, Los Angeles and Denver). The 2011 Miami Heat are 43-17 with a 6-10 record against those same teams.
One more time, 6-10 against those same teams!
Sure, people have brought light to the fact that they aren’t beating the top tier teams like everyone expected them too. It gets more attention on the Twitter boards then it does ESPN, because let’s face it, The Heat Index doesn’t want to admit that their team might not be one of the elite in the NBA.
The bigger issue here is not only are they losing to these teams, but they don’t seem to have an answer for how to beat them. Sometimes when you lose a game there’s a lot that factors into it. E.g. injuries, players having off games, poor lighting in the garden, but that’s expected. What’s unique about the games the Heat are losing is they just don’t seem to be as good. They’re giving their best shot and coming up short. Go ahead and add Mike Bibby, see if he brings you into the promise land. And, oh yeah, forgot to mention Boston just signed Troy Murphy…Stretch four that will give the Heat trouble…YIKES!
But wait a minute, you say, the Heat have the second best record in the East! Sure do, just as the Cavs had the best record in the league for the past two seasons. But as we all know only 16 teams make the NBA finals, and your record against them counts a lot more than your record against Minnesota, the Clips and Sacramento.
Still not convinced? Still want to go with the same “he didn’t have enough pieces to win in Cleveland” argument? How bout this for a stat. The 2010 Cavaliers scored 102.1 ppg and let up 95.6 to their opponents. Ranked 9th and 6th in the league, respectively. This year’s Miami Heat score 102 ppg and allow 94.4 to their opponents. Ranked 9th and 6th in the league, respectively. WAIT A MINUTE! That’s right, both teams are ranked the same in offense and defense. Seems odd to switch teams to become better, and then put up almost identical numbers as a team.
But how could that be? The Miami Heat have the big 3! (by the way, are we still calling them that? By now it should be Wade, Wade’s lap dog, and a really tall guy who used to have dreads but now seems as out of place as Nicole Richie shopping at Lane Bryant). The answer is simple, they’re still just three people. The next highest scorer on their team is Udonis Haslem, at a whopping 8.0 ppg. Mike Miller, the guy who was supposedly a huge piece to their puzzle, is dominating the floor with 6 ppg. And big Z, remember him, is absolutely killing it with 5 points and 3 boards a game. Hope it was worth it, Z.
I try not to devote too much attention to the Heat, because after all I love the Cleveland Cavaliers. I worry about my team and our future, and could really care less about the Heat. But when I have people coming up to me telling me how this year is so telling because look at the Cavs and look at the Heat, it upsets me. This year’s Cavs team is an entirely different story, one that has a lot more to do than with the departure of the Queen. So next time someone gets up in your grill (because I’m sure just like me your lunch breaks are filled with talking people’s ears off about NBA basketball) just tell them to compare the 10 cavs vs the 11 Heat…and then punch them in the face.