Miami Heat Get the Easy Route

Maybe the road is as easy as they thought it would be

The big 3 took the low road to winning a championship. Public reaction to Lebron’s dreadful 1 hour decision special could have been mistaken for the King selling his soul to the devil for a championship.

The highway to hell looks pretty good right about now.

Prior to the beginning of the playoffs it was almost inconceivable that the Miami Heat could be staring at a title after two rounds without Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in their way. The Lakers were supposed to be the final obstacle but an inevitable meeting with the Boston Celtics meant that the team built to win 5 championships might not even get out of the second round.

Screw logic.

The Heat ousted a Celtic team that probably needed a M.A.S.H unit on site more than anything else. L.A. was swept in convincing fashion by a Maverick squad desperate to remove the dreaded choke label that has surrounded the Dirk Nowitzki era.

It wasn’t unimaginable in any sense to see the Heat overcome the Celtics. However, taking down a Boston team that has been able to turn their game on with the flip of a switch was undeniably impressive.

The Heat are now the favourites to win the 2011 NBA championship and there isn’t any reasonable logic that should suggest otherwise. Everyone knows their two biggest hurdles have been overcome, with a little help from the Dallas Mavericks.

Due to a bit of an Oprah mishap, the Heat and Bulls are forced to start their series a day earlier than expected at the United Centre on Sunday. Wait, the Chicago Bulls?

Oh yeah, the number 1 seed out of the Eastern conference.

My personal favourite writer, Jason Whitlock, recently wrote a column on FoxSports saying that the Heat are no match for the Bulls. It may be plausible but it sounds like Mr. Whitlock just wanted to turn some heads and add some extra page views for Fox’s website.

He says that “the popular narrative is the Bulls look terrible, particularly on offense, against an IQ-challenged Atlanta squad.”

Really? I think the story goes more along the lines of a number 1 seeded team struggling against a 37-win Pacer team absent of any serious firepower. The Bulls are a one man show. Carlos Boozer has been a sorry excuse for a sidekick and the absence of consistency on his part isn’t going to change under the bright lights of the Conference Finals.

The emotional high of overcoming the Celtics is nothing like the Jets advancing over New England contrary to what Whitlock attempts to point out. The Jets weren’t nearly as good a team in relative terms compared to the Heat. It’s as simple as that.

Related: Miami is Wade Country

Miami is clicking as a team and the fact that the wins came easier because of the dislocated elbow of Rondo and lack of a healthy Shaquille O’Neal shouldn’t overshadow the evidence right in front of us. More importantly, the Heat have now proved that they can win meaningful and challenging playoff games.

The popular narrative coming from the Heat players is that the 3 losses to the Bulls during the regular season don’t indicate anything. They’re saying that this is a different Heat team that we are seeing.

As much as I hate clichés, they’re exactly right. Despite the brutal play of supporting cast members like Bibby and Miller, the Heat have found a rotation that works. Starting Joel Anthony at centre instead of Big Z has injected some real life into the front court.

Rose has shot 42% from the field and a sad 25% from beyond the arc in the playoffs. If Derrick Rose is off for the Bulls it’s game over. That’s not the case for the Miami Heat.

The Heat have been blessed with a ridiculously straightforward path to a championship compared to what they could have faced. It was supposed to get harder, not easier.

It’s almost as if we are handing the Heat a championship on a silver platter. No one is doing that. Not yet. Winning a championship is never easy and I’m sure the Heat have learned that by now.

Any of the 4 other remaining teams in the playoffs can and most likely will give the Heat trouble. It’s just not the magnitude of trouble that we expected.

If the regular season has told us anything, it’s that we should have believed a lot of what we saw. There are no dominant teams and seeing last year’s NBA finalists knocked out of the second round clarified that.

Anyone would be a fool not to believe that the Miami Heat are the team to beat. Two pre-season favourites are gone and the Heat have suddenly transformed from the bunch who took the low road to the team with the easy road.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

28 Responses to Miami Heat Get the Easy Route

  1. Once again Chris, great read, you’re right on. The Heat have to be considered overwhelming favorites at this point in time. Although I’m’ not sure. If Derrick Rose doesn’t go all MJ on the Heat, then Miami should win. Other than that, I don’t know. Although I will say this, should the Heat “upset” (that’s a terrible way to describe it) the Bulls, then they have a pretty easy matchup in the Finals. I mean, if the Heat beat Dallas in the Finals without James, Bosh, and just really Dwyane Wade and Shaq, then they should be able to crush Dallas, or OKC/Memphis, whoever they play.

  2. Mike says:

    U didn’t point out negatives for the Heat. They can’t run halfcourt offense well when stopped in the transition game, they can’t rebound well and they don’t have a bench. The Bulls play defense better than Miami, rebound way better and they also have a bench. And another thing, Deng is the sidekick, not Boozer this year. Deng has been the 2nd leading scorer all year. All the people just dismissing the Bulls aren’t looking at the stats. Sure, they struggled against the Pacers, but if u look at how the Pacers played them all year, they struggled every game with the Pacers. And as far as the Hawks, they did play up and down and the Hawks, when clicking, can put up points. So, this series will not be an easy series that the Heat can just do whatever they want and win. In fact, I believe the Heat will LOSE this series. As much as Boozer may have been missing in action, Bosh has too the last few playoff games. And the Bulls have proved that Derrick Rose isn’t the only capable weapon they have. He is the tone-setter. I agree there. But who else has the potential to really hurt the Bulls besides LeBron and D Wade? Bulls have Deng and potentially Boozer and a top flight bench to turn to. I think LeBron shoots more jumpers this series than in the previous two because of the defense of the Bulls. And we all know that LeBron’s jump shot is like the weather, unpredictable.

  3. Christian says:

    I agree that Chicago is a one man show, but I think home court advantage will help Chicago overcome Miami. I think the Bulls are going to grind it out in this series and D.Rose will, singlehandedly, lead the Bulls to the finals. I believe Rose will show up big time and takeover the series against the Heat guards. James, Wade, and Bosh will all play well every game and they are the entire offense, but Rose is the entire Bulls offense so it sort of balances out. So, this series is about great defensive teams who leave something to be desired on the offensive end of the floor.

  4. Joseph D. Champey says:

    The aging and failing legacy of the Mavs mean nothing? Joe Thornton and the Sharks are showing new light against Hockeytown and the Mavs are coming off a SWEEP of the second best franchise in NBA history, and the “team to beat” in the Lakers. Does that mean nothing? The Heat have prevailed against a broken and aging Celtics squad, and a Sixers squad that is honestly questionable for the playoffs (IMO). The Bulls have a lack a solid bench to about a 3 or 4 spot, but lack the void between Rose and the 2 spot (maybe even the 3 spot). I hate the Heat, I hate the publicity, I hate the hype, I hate that these guys are bringing in Bibby and Howard at steal prices to play for rings. Earn your rings, don’t just latch onto a hot-topic project. As I said in my blog, if the Bulls play they way they did in game 6 against the Hawks, this series will be awesome. If not, the series will be short and sweet.

    Lets Hope Z-bo can play spoiler all the way through. If ever someone deserved it, it would be him.

  5. On paper, it would seem as if Miami has smooth sailing from here on out, but I still wouldn’t count out Dallas giving them a good series. They looked really good against the Lakers. That is assuming of course they get past Memphis or OKC.

  6. D.B. says:

    Good read, but I don’t completely agree. The competition they have faced up until now has been second rate, not to take anything away from Boston but they didn’t come to play in the fourth quarter of any game. The Bulls will be by far their toughest challenge thus far, they depend on Rose to go off but they also get solid contributions from their 7th and 8th players whereas Miami will have four guys that show up at the most at any given night. By no means is it Miami’s championship, they are going to have to work extremely hard to get it.

  7. nbainmyeyes says:

    I agree. The Heat have faced little competition to really give them a hard time this postseason. Maybe because this team was built for the playoffs and not the regular season. They have three stars who produce well under pressure which is what the playoffs are. Pressure. They have hard working, gritty, big men to guard the middle. Since they have Lebron, Wade and Bosh who are all very versatile players, they can matchup well with almost every team. All three of them can adjust to other positions and guard different players. I think the road to the championship has been easy for Miami, but the Bulls will definitely put up a fight.

  8. Steve Abrusci says:

    I completely agree with this article. The heat have made it look so easy in the playoffs. They have had no trouble with the sixers and much to everyones suprise blew past the celtics. Meanwhile the bulls struggled against the paces and barely got past hawks. As I stated in my article the derrick rose show is eventually gonna come to an end if he doesn’t get more help and the heat will cruise right into the finals. Great article bro very solid points

  9. Urban Daddy says:

    Still trying to come to grips with the fact that the Heat, and specifically 3rd wheel, Chris Bosh, may get a championshio. Makes me very sad…

  10. tophatal says:

    Chris

    A lot of things will come into play concerning this series but I think it even more when it comes to the coaching acumen of both Brooks and Spoelstra ! Whomever has the better coaching discipline of the two will prevail in the end .

    tophatal …………

  11. jgome says:

    I think its the Heat’s year. The big 3 on Miami is the best big 3 to every team up, imo. The talent of those three alone can carry them to a title. With Wade and LeBron on the court at the same time, it creates 2 mismatches. That fact that the Bulls have to rely on Rose too damn much, will be the reason why they falter here. I would like to see Miami double Rose to see how his other teammates respond to the challenge.

  12. Paul says:

    Great read brother. Chicago can cause serious trouble to the Heat, they can start 2-0 and thats always trouble, they can defend both lebron and wade and they are a tough team. They wont go soft on lebron or wade and that makes a difference as in Lebron not taking it all the way to the rim in game 3 afraid of bumping into the Diesel. But other than the Bulls, in a possible Finals scenario I dont think Dallas stands a chance cause no one can guard wade on that team and they would also have to deal with the best player in the world. OKC could give em trouble though, they are athletic as hell. It will be interesting for sure and I’ll be following what you have to say about it.

  13. Judas Pato says:

    Sports analysis canon states that one must always keep a short memory and jump to conclusions. How many times has it been said that “you can throw out all the regular season records”? Yet, what happened in Game 1? The Bulls played great D and were boosted by their depth, just as they did all season long. With that said, and the canon being what it is, everyone will jump to hit the panic button and declare that the Heat cannot rebound and figure out the Bulls’ defensive schemes. It is all a load. Each NBA post season series is its own beast and is a grind, y’all. Game 1 saw a smoke show by the Bulls, and it means nothing. Should be a great series.

  14. Whitlock got more grief from his blurb about Wade-James being better than Jordan-Pippen than he did for not giving the Heat a chance in this series.

    Kind of contradictory, don’t you think? If Wade-James were better than Jordan-Pippen as he suggests, then shouldn’t they be able to win this series?

  15. tophatal says:

    Not only did the Bulls play ” great d” bu they unleashed a can of whup ass when it came to rebounding ( 47_35) and that played a part in the Bulls’ victory as well as the support that came from Brewer and Gibson !

    Can you imagine the blowblack and fallout there’d be should Miami lose this series ?

    Not since the Lakers lost to the Pistons in the NBA Finals in that lopsided win would there have been such a sesimic meltdown .

    tophatal ……….

  16. Pingback: Miami Heat Get the Easy Route « Painting the Black | | The Heat StoreThe Heat Store

  17. Michael Wohl says:

    I’m aware I waited until after game one had been played to respond but whatever. I feel that it is very dangerous to think the Heat have the easy route. From what I’ve seen Miami hasn’t been playing a different style of basketball in the postseason, and as I stated over at http://sixthroundpicks.wordpress.com/ they got kind of lucky with their opponents. The Sixers are a team to watch out for next year, but right now are just a younger, less talented version of the Heat and it showed.The Celtics were/are a team without a real identity that is aging rapidly without youth at center. While I think the Heat could turn things around, what I saw in the second half of game 1 was exactly what I had expected from the Bulls, and I have a gut feeling this could be a very short series if Miami loses tonight as well.

  18. dallinjoseph says:

    I think the combat effectiveness of the Big 3 can‘t be ignored in the playoffs, even though they were young and inexperienced.

  19. nbainmyveins says:

    How many views do you get a day on your blog?

  20. Max. W says:

    Also, I disagree the Bulls are a one man show. Sure their offense revolves around Rose, but it doesn’t mean they’re a one man show. You don’t win 60 games with a one man show. Unless your name is Michael Jordan. If you watch the Bulls play, you’ll notice their offense isn’t smooth but their ball movement sure is. All 5 players on the court at a time touch the ball usually before every shot. Also, defense is the Bulls forte. They take advantage of teams by locking them down on the defensive end. As I said before their offense isn’t great, but it’s their defense that wins them games. Their hustle plays, their offensive rebounds. Not their scoring.Are you telling me that Derrick Rose single handedly shuts downs teams with his defense. No. It’s a team game. Especially when it’s a defensive minded team, it’s impossible for them to be a one man show.

    • Chris Ross says:

      You say you don’t win 60 games with a one man show but what about Lebron and the Cavs. Noah and Deng are solid role players but they can’t take the ball at the end of the game. It was evident that Rose needed help cuz he couldn’t take on a 6″8 Lebron James by himself. He had no one to defer to. Their roster isn’t terrible like the Cavs but their lack of scoring was pretty apparent in their 5 game exit from the playoffs.

      Also, with regards to getting more views I think getting a high of 60 in your first month is a pretty good start. Keep interacting with people on wordpress, like you’re doing with me. Twitter and facebook are pretty standard things. Use family and friends to help spread the word. Also, I think use sites like Digg, Reddit and BallHyped because they are good sources to add views. Lastly, I would say that just googling for advice such as “How to get more blog views” is a great way to get tips from guys who really know what they are talking about.

      Your blog is very solid so keep up the good work and continue expanding!

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