Around the NBA: 01/07/11

January 7, 2011
Nick Matkovich



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  • You're nitpicking now. What's next? Jersey un-tucked or head band on crooked to raise your ire? Based on the latest societal reactions it appears that those snafus might be all that is needed to incite the riotous defenders of professional basketball who have taken up the duty to protect the innocent basketball fan from the mean, maniacal, ill-intentioned group of cutthroats from Miami.

    The latest installment of overreacting came after the Heat thumped the Bobcats earlier this week. Being interviewed after the game, LeBron James compared his team to the Beatles in the way that the Heat fill opposing arenas. He coined his team, the "Heatles."

    While the nickname might be lame, non-applicable, and a blog from boston.comsuggests that James might have stolen the moniker from Kevin Garnett upon his arrival to the Celtics, is this nickname reason enough to strike up a fruitless campaign against James and the rest of the team?

    The name has given fodder to those who need to find another reason to despise the Heat. How dare James even think of comparing his team (one that he and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh ruthlessly semi-assembled by signing where they damn well-pleased) to the greatest rock and roll band of all time? Was all the anger directed at the naming, or the fact that James spoke out and gave a nickname to his team?

    The nerve, the ignorance, the lack of class!

    Enough.

    The majority of basketball fans have wanted multiple five-game losing streaks and team dissent from the start of the season for the Miami contingent. The angst created by the team was unparallel and early results showed the majority might rule out.

    Ah, but then it really was a long December for those pining for a collapse from the Heat. The team won 15 of 16. The Christmas Day win over the Lakers finally woke most up to the fact that the Heat can play with anyone in the league.

    The defensive spurs the offense, in transition James and Wade cannot be beat, and no team has ever been able to rattle off points at such an expedited clip. Sounds like a sure-fire way to win, right?

    Not for those still burdened with an unnecessary hatred for the team.

    The familiar qualifier's to the team's success has coincided with an almost back-handed complimentary tone. Those so anxious to see the team fail are already qualifying their success with "oh well that style of basketball will never work in the playoffs. A half court set will beat the team to death."

    While that does hold true to a certain extent in the fact that teams that push the ball in transition usually sputter out of control in the playoffs, the Heat's brand of defense has been supreme this year, highlighted by Wade and James, two of the top five players in the league. If the defensive energy can stay sharp through the season and into June there should be little doubt about the team's success later on.

    Then exists the problem of playing James and Wade in the half court at the same time. Who is taking the shot at the end of games? Who will commandeer the offense in the midst of a 8-0 run by the opposition? The rest of the team now looks comfortable playing alongside James. Wade has borne the brunt of the scoring for a healthy part of the season and Chris Bosh has even risen from the ashes of overrated to contribute this year.

    More than anything else, isn't the public dissent enough to force the Heat to band together to stick it to the people who wanted nothing more than for them to fail? There's nothing greater than seeing the largest group of people disappointed over a sporting outcome and the Heat have the capability to pull off such a feat.

    The hatred, unbridled and ridiculous as it may be, has fueled this team to make it work, to find ways to win. Animosity has been the driving force for the team to succeed seeing as most of the catcalls early in the season were enough to expedite changes in team philosophy.

    Isn't it a touch strange that with two of the best three players in the world playing on the same team, one whom took less money to take his talents to...you know, wouldn't be able to figure it out? Eighty-two games supposedly is nowhere near enough time to figure out how to acquaint two players into an offense? The playoffs will be the ultimate test, but to constantly search for reasons to be upset with the Heat is very foolish. Let the season play out. If the team doesn't win the NBA Championship gawk and gloat like Merton Hanks. Until then, enjoy the brand of basketball the Heatles are playing. It's been a revolution, you know.

    Note: These are the views of the 6th Fan Blogger. Thoughts and opinions expressed in this articles are not necessarily the views of the Milwaukee Bucks.