A few seconds after the Heat handed the 2nd game of their series to the Indiana Pacers through one of the most horrible examples of free throwing in the history of the playoffs (shades of Nick Anderson ’94???). With the Heat desperately needing free throws from LeBron and DWade to tie (and take the lead!) they failed to get them. LeBron bricked four to chants of “choke” around the world; DWade missed two. These are two of the best players in the world.
The team seemed to deflate completely behind the failing of their two stars and they never really had a chance from that point onward. Without Chris Bosh who in all truth probably tore a muscle doing a tomahawk dunk, the Heat desperately need Bron and Wade to step up. They did…sort of…but definitely not enough. LeBron cannot lay back and he cannot defer too much. The Miami Heat have to be his team if they are going to have a chance.
The loss of Bosh may however prove to be too crippling for the team to overcome. Can they beat Boston without Bosh? Can they beat Oklahoma? Can they beat Indiana? Since the Big Three came together a season ago the entire “8 Championship Plan” has rested solely upon the contingency of all three players staying healthy. Without Bosh this is not a great team, but merely a good one. Bosh can stretch the floor due to his 18 foot range and ability to put the ball on the floor. He opens lanes for LeBron and DWade and without him, even though they both went to the rim with reckless abandon it was occasionally misguided.
Wade even became so flustered at one point due to a non-call (on a clear foul) that he committed a very silly flagrant foul by bodychecking one of the Pacers from behind. It was simple frustration at being unable to put the game away but it cost the Heat a chance to go ahead – and ultimately win. The boys need to step up big time, there is no question this is Wade / LeBron’s team now. They will be playing huge minutes and will have to play huge to make up for Bosh’s absence. Already these “extra duties” seem to be causing tension, as LeBron is bemoaning having to play power forward as it is “taxing”.
You know what else is “taxing” LeBron? Not winning the freaking Championship…again!
Will Wade and LeBron be enough for the Heat to advance?
(Editors Note: They better be!)