With a 1-0 advantage in the NBA Finals and a comfortable lead over the Dallas Mavericks heading into the 4th quarter, the whole world outside of Miami: stopped, stared, and panicked. Was LeBron right all along? Were the overly talented Miami Heat really going to start their string of eight championships starting this year? I mean let’s face it, most of the doubters thought that the Heat would be knocked out by either the Boston Celtics or the Chicago Bulls. They didn’t know which one, but they insisted that the Heat would not make it to the NBA finals. When LeBron and Wade closed the series out against the Celtics in a convincingly clutch fashion, some were a little worried. When LeBron and Wade closed out the Bulls in one of the most epic comebacks in NBA playoff history, many were worried. When everyone finally came to their senses and realized that the only team left between the Heat and an NBA championship trophy was an older, less talented, and widely unfavored Dallas Mavericks team, everyone thought that this would be the beginning of a Miami Heat dynasty.
Unfortunately, most of the viewing public, including many Heat fans, put talent and athleticism on a golden pedastool and put depth, experience, and CHEMISTRY on a copper platter. You probably know how the rest of the story goes: the Heat lose a huge lead in a game that would have put them up 2 games to 0, the series gets tied up, Dallas gains momentum, and the Mavericks go on to win their first NBA championship by a means of 4 games to 2. So what really happened in Miami’s monumental collapse? Was it LeBron’s passiveness in the 4th quarter? Was it Erik Spoelstra’s lack of play calling? Or maybe it was Wade’s unnecessary willingness to defer to LeBron? Well actually, D-Wade was asked this exact question last summer after the Heat’s loss in the finals and he responded with this, “One thing that Dallas beat us at – they had more chemistry than us. They had a game plan and we were still figuring ours out in our first year together.” It all makes sense now. D. Wade and LeBron “acted” as if they were on the same page, yet they clearly weren’t. Isolation plays for Lebron and Wade, while the other stood in the corner, no ball movement, Wade yelling at LeBron during games. This was not exactly what President Pat Riley envisioned when he formed this “super” team.
On the contrary, this year’s Heat duo is a much different animal and a much scarier beast. D. Wade has always been comfortable on the Heat, but the problem was getting LeBron to be comfortable. Having one of the best starts of his career, LBJ is averaging 29.7 points, 7 assists, 8.3 rebounds, and nearly two steals a contest. I would say he’s starting to get pretty darn comfortable. Haven’t you noticed? Not as many isolation plays, actual play calling, both LeBron and D. Wade playing off the ball, and let’s not forget about the one of the most exhilirating fastbreak duos in NBA history. LeBron seemed to agree when he stated, “We’re two of the fastest guys in the league when it comes to a break and it is kind of pick-your-poison with the defender, either allow me to get a dunk or allow D-Wade to get a dunk. We are two unselfish players. If a guy is open, we pass it.” And as far as their chemistry clicking on all cylinders? James says that the chemistry between he and D-Wade “is at an all time high right now.” So, the depth, inexperience, and chemistry that Wade and James lacked last year, are the exact aspects that have improved drastically this year. Add that to their gargantuan talent and astounding athleticism and you have one of the greatest duo’s in NBA history.