Friday, February 12, 2010
The view from behind: Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself?????
Here the Miami heat stand, under .500, lost, seemingly at a crossroads and looking for a 2 game resurgence to turn things around. Fine, nobody expected great things out of this team right? Nobody expected the Grizz or OKC to play as well as they have, but that's a little off my point. The Cavs? Did anybody expect THIS? I must admit I did somewhat, even tho they got off to a rocky start, I stood behind the Shaq deal 100%. Seems like its paying dividends. The Lakers & Celtics? Ehh, about right especially with the Boston season so dependent on health, probably more than any other team. The Magic? The Carter deal I said would be hit big or miss horribly, the verdict has yet to be rendered.
The point I want to make is look at where the Heat stand, now look at whats in front of them. There are more teams in front of them but these are their main concerns when it comes to the future. So I ask you.....who's afraid of the big bad wolf? And exactly who is the wolf anyway? All of these teams the Heat has played....well. In some instances, very well. Yet and still, I hear so much chatter of how hard it will be to dethrone these teams, even tho the team that wears the crown, LA, was a few missed fts, layups, and bonehead decisions from being ran over in the title game by an upstart Magic team who's 2nd best player was coming back from injury. Lets examine exactly what we are dealing with here....
CLEVELAND: Lebron James is playing out of his mind. Fine and dandy, he won MVP LAST YEAR, so all this is nothing new. Let him sing and dance to another number 1 seed. No 1 person can win a ring. That should take the fear out of that one. Yes he has Shaq now, and that's some serious help even at this age, but what about the rest of his team? What makes his team so good is BALANCE, not talent. There's no real glut of talent there, but it is very well balanced. They have plenty of big men, shooters, scorers, facilitators and defenders. So wheres the weakness? Well, talent is one. If Mo "Scottie Pippen" Williams (as he seems to think he is), has to be depended on heavily, can he come thru? I doubt it. What about the bench vs the starters? Again, solid role players, but not much real talent. Cleveland's problem will be when it becomes a game of matchups. Will Lebron play pf? Can Moon actually do it? I ask these questions because the 4 spot is what will hurt them. Odom, KG, Shard, Sheed are all matchup nightmares. KG to a lesser extent because of his knee, but there's nobody u can double off of with a healthy Boston. If hes right, they have no matchup for him there. With Shard and Odom, unless LBJ comes to the rescue, it will be a nightmare. Aside from there, their starting back court is much to small, and their backups are much too limited on offense. Plus Mike Brown is retarded. I have never seen an NBA coach admit he doesn't run an offense.
BOSTON: This team is balanced and talented. Problem is, they are old. Absurdly old. Not by number, but the bodies are falling left and right. These guys have a very short window and wont be the Heats concern next season.
ORLANDO: EXTREMELY talented and deep team.....just as equally stupid and almost as equally unbalanced. They have everything you want talent wise. Size, shooting, penetration(no not that way Slledge),defense, depth, big men who shoot from outside, big men who score inside, big men who rebound, you name it. Two areas they needed improvement in, they went and got it. In JWill they added a player with a high bball IQ, and in Carter they got a deadly one on one scorer/finisher. The problem was, in the process they lost their only facilitator. They picked up one in Jwill, but there's only so much he, as your backup, can do. And at this stage, all he is , is a backup. If Jameer was having that magical season again, maybe they overcome it, but hes not having that. As it stands, they miss Turk even way more than I expected. Turk was a matchup problem and extremely underrated defender. He wasn't important stat wise, but he is what made that engine run. A passer and ball handler that could see over the top of anybody who was in front of him. Lets not underestimate his pension for taking and making the big step back three.
LAKERS: On to the big boys. This is the team everybody is gunning for....and they are extremly overhyped. Really good team, but not in the least bit unbeatable. The lakers have one clear advantage over whoever they play thats not named a healthy Boston team. And that's length to go with talent and athleticism. Bynum Gasol, and Odom coming at u is hard to handle. Boston is built to handle that team, and would do so with no doubt in my mind if they met in the finals. Gasol is a great player in today's nba, extremely smart, skilled, and scores in the paint. The problem is he is still very soft and plays no d. He makes up for it with his length and smarts. Get KG and Perkins to bitch him around, and he will disappear . How many teams can present that tho? CLV has, possibly what it takes to do that, but with Varajeo in the game, it makes it easier for PAU to be unexposed to any fouls, which allows him to help Bynum with Shaq, or be a deterrent at the rim. When Odom comes in, the ONLY answer is LBJ. Thats too much thinking for Mike brown. No need to even discuss what Odom did to Rashard, altho, with Bass they should be able to help Howard on the glass when Shard turns into a bitch. Wheres the Lakers weakness? Simple, its DEFENSE. They play very solid and smart, but Artest is the only defender that makes a difference. Fisher and Farmar can be abused and if u can get 2 productive bigs against that front court, that will leave Gasol exposed as the crappy defender he is.
All of this as it concerns the Heat is to show how flawed each "contender" is, and how any of them could take out the other. That being said, y is anyone afraid that we cant build a team to knock these guys out the box? Aside from Orlando, these teams have extremely weak benches when it comes to talent. What they do have tho is versatility. That's what makes a bench. LA Being able to have either Gasol or Bynum at center at all times, makes it easier to roll out Farmar and Sasha. Same thing with having Artest and Gasol both then being backed up by Odom. Clv has 4 guys that can be used at pg and sg, 3 guys that can be used at sg/sf, and 3 guys that can play center....all within its 8 man rotation. Boston pretty much has the same except with a deeper rotation at pf.
So while we are all concerned with what these teams have NOW ,what WE(the Heat) could do, even without adding Bosh or Amare, could sh*t on any lineup these teams will have next year. Bring us Joe Johnson, Camby, Kirk and Nate Robinson to what we have now. Bring us Kaman, Gay, and Felton. Bring us Haywood, Prince, and Baron. The possibilities are out there and are endless. Add any of those guys to the team we already have, in any combination thru free agency, trade or whatever, and watch how "deep" this team suddenly becomes to the basketball nation. Lead by a rejuvenated Wade, a more experienced Beasley, and hopefully a coach who likes offense, and I like our odds against ANY of these contenders next year.....I have spoken.