Remember those many years ago when voices raised among the NBA congregation objecting to the Heat’s Big 3 marriage and declaring it would never work?
The marriage might have worked too well.
In explaining the Heat’s lack of “connection” during the first three games of the season — including a two-game losing streak that was snapped with Sunday’s win over the Washington Wizards — Heat guard Dwyane Wade cited an analogy of a long-term relationship that has gotten stagnant.
“If you’re in a relationship with a woman for a long time, you start getting comfortable. You stop doing the little things that you should do that you did in the beginning. That’s kind of it.
“We’ve been together for a while. We’ve gotten comfortable. We automatically think the guy’s going to be there when he’s not going to be there. We just didn’t communicate as much.”
Said LeBron James: “We’ve been together so long, you start to think maybe you can just go out and make it happen instead of talking through it. We got a handle on it [Sunday].”
James said players and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra brought up the issue earlier Sunday.
Spoelstra explained before Sunday’s game, “Connected basketball is doing it where all five guys are on the same page. Defensively, we know what we’re talking about. There are times in the last two games [losses to Philadelphia and Brooklyn] where we’ve played as well as we possibly can. Then there are other possessions where we are running into each other.”
Wade feels fine
Wade played 37 minutes, 35 seconds in Brooklyn on Friday night after sitting out against the Sixers on the Wednesday of back-to-back games that opened the season. Wade shot 5 of 13 against Chicago on Tuesday and 5 of 12 against Brooklyn.
Asked about his condition before the game, Wade said, “I’m playing [Sunday]. These weekly updates are getting old for me.”
Wade shot 6 of 10 in the first half Sunday and had 13 points.
He finished with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He also had five rebounds and five assists in 34:52.
This and that
• Guard Roger Mason Jr. and center Greg Oden were inactive for the Heat. Forward Chris Singleton and forward Otto Porter were inactive for the Wizards.
Nene, whom Washington coach Randy Wittman called a game-time decision, was not in uniform with a left calf strain.
• The Heat leaves Monday for Tuesday’s one-game road trip to Toronto before returning for a four-game homestand.
• The Heat-Wizards series has been one of streaks. Sunday was the Heat’s fourth consecutive win. Before that, Washington had run off three in a row.
That stopped a 12-of-13 run by the Heat that stretched from Nov. 14, 2008, through Feb. 10, 2012.
And, preceding that, the Wizards took four in a row.