Posted Jan 12 2011 1:28PM
It was 20-some games ago today,
That Sgts. Wade and James figured out how to play.
They've been going in and out of style,
But now their winning streaks stretch a mile.
OK, let's give them this: The Heatles is the perfect handle for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, combining their sheer talent and artistry on the court with the hullaballoo that surrounds their every step.
But don't kid yourself to think that any of them could pick the photos of John, Paul, George or Ringo out of a lineup with New Kids on the Block. And it's not likely you'd find a Fab Four playlist on their iPads.
So before embarking on another Day In The Life where they board the Yellow Submarine for a journey across Abbey Road to live with the Larry O'Brien Trophy in Strawberry Fields Forever, it's time for the Heatles to meet their namesakes -- and maybe even learn to hum a few bars that could get them to June:
Oh, please, say to me
You'll let me be your man.
And please, say to me
You'll let me hold your hand
Really, this is the song they should have been playing back on July 8 when LeBron said he was taking his talents to South Beach to stroll on the beach with D-Wade and Bosh.
Boy, you're gonna carry that weight,
Carry that weight a long time
Surely, Bosh knows the burden he is accepting when he arrives in Miami for that bombastic, presumptuous welcome celebration and declares: "We're not afraid to be great."
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
La-la how the life goes on
They don't fret when Mike Miller suffers a fractured thumb and torn ligaments on his shooting hand in the preseason and the guy who is supposed to stretch opposing defenses is lost for a couple of months. La-la, there's just too much talent to stop this bunch.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me?
The would-be dynasty begins with a 9-point first quarter on opening night in Boston and trails 45-30 at halftime. The dream of a perfect season goes out the window with a cacophony of sour notes. "Sorry if everyone thought we were going to go 82-0," said Wade. "It just ain't happening."
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
D-Wade scored 39 points. Bosh scored 17 with nine rebounds. LeBron had a triple-double. The Heatles tried to say goodbye to visiting Utah on Nov. 9 by building a 22-point lead and were still up by 11 with 28 seconds left in regulation . But the Jazz said hello again and passed them by to win in OT.
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps
Just to prove that the first time wasn't a fluke, the Celtics storm the beach in Miami on Nov. 11, Ray Allen drops in 35 points and the Heatles lose back-to-back for the first time.
It's been a hard day's night
And I've been working like a dog
The painful hits just keep on coming when Udonis Haslem tears ligaments in his left foot in a Nov. 20 loss at Memphis, taking away the South Beach version of George Harrison. He's the quiet Heatle whose talents often go unappreciated amid the screaming hysteria.
Oops, never mind. That's an Orlando connection.
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Wade makes just 1-for-13 -- the worst shooting night of his career when he's taken at least 10 attempts -- and scores only three points Nov. 22 as the Heatles are thoroughly whipped 93-77 at home for their largest loss of the season.
She's coming down fast
When Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith threw barbs are the Heatles over the summer, James delivered a message: "Orlando, it's on." But in the first meeting of the season with their Florida cousins, on Nov. 24, Miami is off and it adds up to the team's first three-game losing streak. Heatlemania is turning into a strangled cry for help. "If we had the answer right now, we wouldn't be sitting at one game over .500," says James.
You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
It's one thing when Dallas hands them the indignity of their fourth loss in five games. But the panic level rises to Code Red when video of LeBron bumping coach Erik Spoelstra goes viral on YouTube. With the record at 9-8 after the first month, suddenly everybody's looking around for Pete Best, Stu Sutcliffe or Pat Riley.
Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Who would have thought that the vitriolic atmosphere of his first trip back to Cleveland after abandoning the franchise would be the place where LeBron would turn back the clock to those MVP days? He puts up a 38-point effort on Dec. 2 -- including 24 in a virtuoso third quarter -- and light the Heatles' fuse.
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
So much for the talk that Bosh is too soft and unassertive. He drops 27 points and 10 rebounds on the Hawks on Dec. 4 as the Heatles stretch their longest win streak of the season to four and raise their record to five games over .500 for the first time.
Got to be good-looking cos he's so hard to see
Come together right now over me
In case the Knicks fans were feeling smug about Amar'e Stoudemire and were forgetting what they missed out on, LeBron rolls out a triple-double -- 32 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists -- at Madison Square Garden in a 113-91 thumping on Dec. 17 that wasn't that close. Now it's 11 in a row. Uh-oh.
Do you want to know a secret?
Do you promise not to tell, whoa oh, oh?
The Mavericks have the secret recipe on Dec. 20 -- an old-fashioned, locked-down zone defense -- ending the Heatles' 12-game winning streak and sweeping the season series just when everybody was starting to believe they'd never lose again.
Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer
Came down on his head
So much for the anticipated Christmas Day showdown with the two-time defending champions. The only thing more impressive than another triple-double by LeBron was the defensive hammer the Heatles dropped on Kobe Bryant (16 points) and the Lakers.
I am the eggman, I am the walrus,
Goo goo g'joob, g'goo goo g'joob
After clipping the Knicks and Rockets for 40 and 45 points in the space of 26 hours, D-Wade can be anybody he wants to be. Goo good, g'joob.
When I get older, losing my hair
Many years from now
Now that they have it all figured out, with another nine in a row, 21 wins in their last 22 games and a 13-game road winning streak that is closing in on the NBA record, the only question left for LeBron, Dwyane and Chris is: When will Heatlemania end?
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Anderson Varejao fights for the rebound and comes down awkwardly on his left leg and would sustain a leg injury.
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