I am mad at the Miami Heat.
I should be clearer about that. There is the standard sports-fan mad, where Team X upends your favored Team Y. That is the likely outcome of the Celtics-Heat series, which is very likely to come to an end tonight, with Miami leading 3-1 and playing game 5 on their home court. These things happen and they are not what I’m writing about.
What steams me is the manner in which this Heat team has progressed through the post-season. This Heat team was supposed to be a revolution. It paired two and a half superstars with supposedly competent if not spectacular role players. It was supposed to be Wade throwing 15 alley-oops to LeBron every game while Bosh is drilling long 2-pointers. I was promised stellar fast breaks and unbelievable dunks and my eyes literally turning into stars and a motherfucking unicorn.
Shockingly, almost none of that has materialized. Sure, there were some blowout wins against decent opposition during the regular season, but pasting the Kings is pretty much what you expect out of any decent playoff team. This team was supposed to be an unstoppable juggernaut and the impression I came away with after watching game 4 of its series against the Celtics is that of two prize fighters beating each other with foam sticks. Someone is going to wear down eventually and lose (and in this case that ended up being the Celtics, a result which seems largely based on the fact that they’re just older and more tired). The game itself was nigh-unwatchable with horrible offense on both ends. Sure, credit the defense for making that happen, but how is it possible for a Miami team loaded with this much talent to not even attempt to run plays? Every second-half possession for Miami was basically dependent on either low-percentage shots going in or one of LeBron or Wade driving to the basket and getting fouled.
People slagged Mike Brown a lot during his Cleveland tenure for failing to run a real offense, but is this Miami team doing anything better? The only difference to me is that there’s just more talent on the floor, so more of those bad shots and desperate drives end up succeeding. I don’t know if Spoelstra is even coaching this team or if he just throws them out there and lets them do whatever they want, but whatever the cause, the results are frustrating and downright dull. I could live with a transcendent Heat destroying everyone on their way to a title, but watching them grind out aesthetically unbearable, sloppy wins is the very antithesis of the fireworks I was promised.