The Big 3-era Heat have always seemed to do best when hated, doubted or angry, and I believe it might be time to sow some of that controversy and discontent for the good of the team. It seems added motivation might be needed.
Miami already had lost five games — including two in a row entering the weekend — all five to teams with losing records. Narrow escapes against dregs like Orlando and Charlotte have hardly instilled confidence in a three-peat, either.
Now the team reportedly is shopping for a trade for backcourt help as Dwyane Wade continues to battle creaky knees.
Genuine panic is a ways off. Actually, Tuesday, if the Heat lose at Indiana. Until then, let’s manufacture some to give this team a spark. Here’s a six-pack:
1. Hey, Heat, you’re distracted. Wade is involved in a Fox sitcom based on his life as a single dad. LeBron James and comedian Kevin Hart are making a basketball bro-film called “Ballers.” You may need a new agent, Chris Bosh. What, no movie scripts? Dear Fellas, feel free to concentrate on basketball and treat it like a fulltime bleepin’ job!
2. Did I mention that Wade has a new line of designer men’s socks and that LeBron is in talks to join David Beckham and bring pro soccer to Miami? Be thankful at least the guys aren’t carrying cell phones and taking business calls during games. Yet.
3. Hey, Heat, how lazy or disinterested does a team have to be for its starters to get out-rebounded by the other team, 37-9? Rhetorical question. It happened to Miami on Thursday against Chicago.
4. Hey, D-Wade, you’re a month from turning 32. Although the ways things are going with taking nights off to rest your knees, I’m not sure if 32 is an age or a projected number of regular-season games played.
5. Hey, I thought I just saw Pat Riley discreetly remove his old coaching whistle from mothballs and caress it lovingly.
6. Heat, your reserves say they could make the playoffs — that Miami in effect has two playoff teams. How ‘bout you go show us Tuesday at Indiana that you still have one team that can win another championship?
OK, hopefully we’ve annoyed or angered Heat players a bit, as a public service.
You’re welcome.Nick Saban’s Jim Larranaga’s Shane Larkin