Tag: Miami cries

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat

Are the Miami Heat the NBA’s Green Bay Packers?


It’s national “Pile on the Miami Heat Week” after Sunday’s loss to Bulls. Somehow, one of the NBA’s best teams has become seen as a crying, soft collection of overpaid talent that can’t win when it matters.

They’re doomed once the playoffs start, right?

Just like the Green Bay Packers were doomed, Matt Scribbins of Hoop Data reminds us.

Do you remember the story of the 2010-2011 Green Bay Packers? They were the trendy pre-season pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. After six weeks, their record stood at 3-3, and no one was predicting they would make the title game. They had to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 17 to even make the playoffs….

Green Bay was 2-6 in games decided by five points or less during the regular season. In the playoffs, they won three straight road games to capture the NFC Title. In the Super Bowl, they beat a team with an affinity for winning close games. Three of their playoff victories were by seven points or less. Mike McCarthy is not complaining right now about his team’s inability to win close games during the regular season. He is sitting at home reliving the moment he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy as the winning coach of Super Bowl XLV.

The tale of the Miami Heat resembles the story about Green Bay. NBA fans can’t stop talking about Miami’s record in close games and declaring them down for the count. Anyone who follows the Association knows they are 5-13 (that’s a better winning percentage than Green Bay’s 2-6 for those who are counting) in games decided by five points or less. But did you know Miami is 3-1 in games decided by six points? 3-0 in games decided by seven points? How about 4-1 in games decided by eight points?

The Heat keep losing close games — but those are close games. We’re talking about a made shot or two, one more stop and the outcome is different. Small fixes, little tweaks in execution.

LeBron James is taking the brunt of this, but as our own John Krolik points out over at ESPN, what LeBron does in the regular season and what happens in the playoffs don’t often correspond. His best playoff performances have come after sub-par regular seasons.

This is still a contending team, a team that is 43-20 despite some injuries to important role players. They are being compared against unrealistic expectations (granted, expectations they helped bring on themselves). This team is not the disaster they seem to be painted as; they are a team that is close.

And like the Packers, those close regular season losses could be meaningless when it really matters.

Spoelstra makes mistake in saying Heat players cry after loss

Miami Heat

There is no crying in basketball.

Well, there is, but we don’t really talk about it. Basketball is an emotional game. Well, it is if you care. So not for Andray Blatche most nights. But if you are invested — as any professional player should be — there will be wild emotional highs (we all remember Michael Jordan hugging the trophy in tears). The flip side of that is devastating emotional lows. For all the talk of keeping an even keel, there are times the game takes an emotional toll.

But players don’t want to be seen that way. They need a swagger. They think of themselves as invincible. They like that image.

What Erik Spoelstra told the media in Miami after the Heat suffered another difficult loss to an elite team shattered that image. They should be down, the Heat blew another big first half lead. They have lost four in a row. They lost a game a lot of people were pointing to as big for this team. They missed another shot at the end of the game.

But Spoelstra told the press — as reported by our own Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel on twitter — that some of the players were in tears after the loss.

I can understand some players were crying after a loss. Maybe it’s a little immature, but at least they are invested. At least they care. That matters.

But telling the press? Oh, that was your mistake, Spoelstra. This was a regular season game. Say they were in tears after being eliminated from the playoffs is one thing, but to spill that after a regular season loss is a mistake. You may have been trying to pass along the message that they cared, but that will not be the perception. Tweens crying over not getting Justin Bieber concert tickets will be the perception. Your heat will look soft. Which, on top of playing soft makes them look, well, soft. Like a Nerf ball soft.

And, it keeps the Heat soap opera going.