I’m from the NBA era when fans and players alike were dead serious in their viewing and playing styles. This was true for fans whether at home in front of the TV or at the arena screaming like an idiot for Larry Bird to pour in another two points. The players’ faces, and those of their fans, were stretched, strained and wet with perspiration waiting for the next remarkable shot.
Fast forward to today, and the players and fans enjoy a much more diverse, freewheeling, and entertaining brand of basketball, where the arena erupts when LaBron crunches another dunk after taking off from the free throw line. And, there’s no more entertaining group than the bunch wearing the logo of the Miami Heat.
The team is favored with a great deal of talent and not even injuries to key players have been able to stymie their progress. They have proven shooters in Butler, Dragic, Winslow, Nunn, and Herro; lanky and tough inside players with Olynyk, Leonard, Robin-son, and Johnson backed by the exciting Jones, Jr. and the streaky Silva; an athletic future All Star center in Adebayo; and able back-ups in Macon and Okpala. And, we never forget the soul of the team, Mr. Haslem. One name conspicuous by its absence is that of Waiters. I don’t know what he is trying to accomplish this season, but it’s not working at the time of this writing. And, unless something in his demeanor changes drastically, and quickly, he probably won’t end the year as a Miami Heat team member.
Coach Spoelstra has done a brilliant job in defining the roles of this cast and is obviously trying out many combinations before settling on designated starters and those next up. My guess is those decisions may not happen until late in the season, if then. The talent he has been dealt has the ability to play many roles depending on the opponent.
One threat looming down the road is whether the young talent will play too many minutes and eventually “hit the wall” later in the season. This may or may not happen but, even if it does, Spo has such a depth of talent that he should be able to hold the team together until they weather the much-maligned wall.