The Miami Heat are drowning. Their recent implosion against the Magic is just another reminder of how far this team is from truly competing for a championship. While they have been able to look impressive against opponents with sub .500 records, their ability to utilize their strengths against better teams has been nullified.
Their issues start and end with LeBron James. He is their catalyst, most athletic player and regardless of who they say is their point guard, the primary ball handler. Much of this team’s failure starts and ends with him. Exactly how it should be. His much ballyhooed “Decision” propelled him into a realm of accountability that he just isn’t able to handle and the Heat are suffering.
Interestingly enough, the Heat find themselves in the most trouble in the 4th quarter. This is where games are won or lost and this is the moment where the Heat have no answers. They have the best player in the NBA in James along with one of the best closers the game has seen in Wade and not one of them is “the guy.” This is a horrible mistake, every team has a hierarchy.
This team needs to know who their closer is. Most argue that due to James’ physical abilities, strength and court vision he is the most likely candidate to take the final shot. The one player who in all respects should have the ball in his hand when the clock is ticking down. In most cases, this is the right call. Unfortunately, in this case, James with the ball at the end of the game has been a recipe for mediocrity.
The ball should be in Wade’s hands and the final shot should be his. I know this seems to upset the logical balance of things but Spoelstra needs to vocalize to the team exactly who’s team this is. He needs to put the word out that when the game is on the line, as nice as it is to have a weapon like James, the Heat are Wade’s team and he will lead them when the game needs winning.
Dwayne Wade is not only one of the best closers in the game but he also wants the pressure associated with being the number 1 guy. Much like great finishers of the past, Johnson, Jordan, Bird and most recently Bryant, Wade brings an X-factor that James doesn’t have. The aforementioned all have a desire to be the best and win at all costs. James is more like the guy who would love to win, but he doesn’t define himself with regard to wins and losses, only natural talent.
We have all “Witnessed” the “Chosen One” and his ability. We have all been amazed by the things he can do. But we would all be even more amazed if someone told him the truth. “LeBron, you are not going to win a championship by yourself, you gave that up when you left Cleveland. It is time for you to accept that and give that ball to Wade. He is the assassin who will get you a ring, use him. It’s the smart thing to do.”
When the Miami Heat realize that LeBron James is their starter and D-Wade their closer, the quicker they will solve the biggest issue they face. Who will get the final shot? No doubt the ball needs to be in #3’s hands and once that is accomplished it is far more likely that LeBron James will leave the arena with a win. He brought his talents to South Beach, now let Wade get him the championship he went there for.