Not one. Not two…
Wait. Yes, two.
Two wins in the NBA Finals.
Two series losses, it seems.
OK, so the Miami Heat haven’t actually lost yet to the San Antonio Spurs, who dizzied the Heat once again last night, in Miami no less, with a flurry of passes and shots from the left, right, inside, outside, and everywhere in between. For the series, San Antonio is shooting an absurd 54.2 percent from the field. The Spurs are shooting 46.7 percent from 3-point distance. From coach Erik Spoelstra and LeBron James to Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the freakish Birdman, the Miami Heat look like a cast of misfits who couldn’t distinguish between a basketball and a grapefruit.
“I mean, they smashed us,” James told reporters. “Two straight home games, got off to awful starts. They came in and were much better than us in these two games. It's just that simple.”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but heavens, I love this. When the Heat conspired to build their superteam years ago, it felt, well, cheap. James, Wade, and Bosh danced around like little girls on a Miami stage before they had even played a game together, promising a succession of championships as if it were all a forgone conclusion. Now the Heat are about to suffer a second Finals loss to offset their two series wins, and it is as if the Miami players have forgotten that they have to actually, you know, win the titles.
That’s the funny thing about championships, even in the NBA. You actually have to compete for them. James, Wade, and Bosh all but walked the sands in leopard-skin thongs when LeBron took his talents to South Beach, and they’re now getting their sandy bottoms kicked by a Spurs team – and team is the operative word here – that is playing downright brilliant, artistic, surgical, and awe-inspiring basketball.
The Heat? They run a few isolation plays, make an occasional 3, show some rare athleticism, and skill. But they are getting absolutely picked apart tactically, particularly on their defensive end of the floor, and they are being completely and utterly exposed in this series.
James? Oh, he is as good as ever, maybe better, a skilled and fine-tuned locomotive with considerable basketball intellect. But Bosh is a role player in this group and Wade looks more and more like an aging Paul Pierce looked two years ago, so much so that James has possibly been recruiting the NBA’s biggest loser, Carmelo Anthony, to join him.
Don’t you see, Dwyane? This is about you. LeBron doesn’t think you’re good enough anymore. And we can only wonder what he thinks of Spoelstra, whose exasperated looks in this series have him resembling Vinnie Del Negro far more than Pat Riley.
So fine, Miami fans, the Celtics stink. We know. Maybe it will be some time before the Celtics again win a championship. But James, Wade, and Bosh promised big things when they banded together four years ago, and they’re now getting ripped apart to the point where maybe we cannot call the Big Three of South Beach a failure, but we can call them something short of a success.
Things are so bad, in fact, that James might be eyeing a major change to the Miami DNA, assuming he decides to stick around at all.
Remember: he left someone else to love you in the first place.