The Miami Heat’s underwhelming record after a month shouldn’t be a huge concern, unless they were truly trying to trump the 72-win Chicago squad, as a slow start is nothing that can’t be overcome by finding midseason stride. The way in which the team has looked in their early losses (and even in some wins) is however cause for concern. Some early season struggles were expected, as you can’t just toss talent together and expect immediate results, but not many expected them to get off to this slow of a start. Back-to-back losses to Memphis and Indiana are something you would expect out of the struggling Sixers, not the already-anointed mighty Miami.
The slow start isn’t completely surprising, the real shock comes when you see how out of sync the team as a whole, and especially the superstars, look on the floor. Rather than the fluidity that was expected to stem from two of the game’s smoothest players, the Heat offense often looks unsure and tentative, with Wade and LeBron alternating playing virtual one on one, or force-feeding the ball into Bosh in an attempt to wake him from his statistical slumber. The offense even appears Cavalier-esque at times, with a myriad of players using minimal motion while waiting for LeBron to make a play. But for once, even LeBron looks unsure.
Maybe he was so blinded by the South Beach Sunset that he hadn’t even considered the possibility of losing. It’s possible that the hype of playing with two other superstars was so promising that success was assumed. Whatever the case, success is certainly not promised, and LeBron and the Heat are learning that the hard way, and early altercations between Coach Spoelstra and his core superstars are not promising signs for the future of the season. The pressure pushing against this team looks like it has already begun to take a toll, with growing speculation about the security of Coach Spoelstra’s position, and an obvious lack of leadership, LeBron finds himself surrounded by a crowd that, outside of Wade, is largely comparable, and in some spots even inferior, to the Cavalier cast he jettisoned last summer for seemingly sunnier pastures.
The picture is not pretty right now, and each accumulating loss adds pressure. Swirling rumors about coaching changes and discontent add further fuel to the already flaming fire, and with all of Miami’s money tied up with the Big Three, they have no room to make any major moves; an enormous concern for a team that desperately needs additional frontcourt depth. The year is still young, and there is plenty of time to right the ship, but the start of the season has taught us one thing for certain; a union of two of the games biggest stars doesn’t automatically generate success.