You can call them the Super Friends, Miami Thrice, or even The Heatles, but no matter what you call the Miami Heat, you are referring to THE hottest team in the NBA.
Despite all the naysayers and pre-season speculation that claimed “LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh just could not coexist in South Beach,” they have done exactly that. This season, the three have formed the nucleus of one of the most unbeatable and feared teams in the NBA today. The threesome has risen above the heap and led the Heat to the top spot in the Southeastern Division and second place in the Eastern Conference with a commanding 30-10 record. Despite all the hate, King James is making believers out of everyone.
King of the Road
The Heat have been lights out at home, posting a 15-4 record playing at American Airlines Arena. But what has made them the scariest team in the NBA is a ridiculous road record of 15-6. The 15 road wins are the most in the NBA and include a streak of 13 wins on the road (second best in franchise history). Not only are the Heat a menace at home but they continue to light up scoreboards like pinball machines on the road as well.
The team is so good, in fact, that even when the L.A. Clippers finally broke their streak the otherwise simple story made national headlines. The Heat are a force to be reckoned with, and are THE hot story in the NBA right now. Miami continues to draw sellout crowds at arena after arena on the road across the country. Whether it’s to witness the Heat’s amazing play in person or simply to boo the biggest heals in the sport, everyone wants to watch this super team in action.
No More Mr. Nice Guy
James and his team have continued to draw (you guessed it) HEAT from the fallout of his high profile free agent signing with Miami and the team’s bold five championship projections. Certainly a lot of the ill will being aimed in his direction is generated from the greater Cleveland area, fans of other teams jilted in the James free agency courtship (e.g. the Knicks and Bulls), and NBA fans who just disliked the move in general have also done their fair share to vilify King James. While hating the most dominant goliath team in a particular sport is natural and is practically a pastime in itself, it is also very dangerous as it serves as motivation to the team it is directed at. As a Yankees fan I am well aware that sometimes the worst thing you can do to a giant is boo them because you are only going to make them mad. This is no doubt pushing James and company to be the dangerous force they are, and gives them justification to trounce a trash talking team when they come to town.
The situation around the NBA has fed into the image of LeBron and the Heat as the prominent villains of the NBA (they do often wear black, after all), a role which motivates James and his Miami teammates and makes them that much more dangerous. Commenting on the issue, James stated, “It’s not like I really feel like a villain. It’s just when I go into an opposing building, it’s nothing but venom thrown at us, so you know you embrace that.”
James has vented many of his frustrations on Twitter, but that has served to only stir the pot even more. After seeming to delight in the Cavs misery when they were decimated by the Lakers recently, LeBron tweeted, “Crazy, Karma is a b****. Gets you everytime. It’s not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!”
He is all but telling his former team owner, Dan Gilbert, that he is enjoying watching the man who claimed LeBron would carry a curse of betrayal with him to Miami suffer himself. While he has backpedaled about the comment since first posting it, it goes to show that he does indeed acknowledge the love loss he has with so many. But as the modern poet Kanye West proclaimed “that, that, that, that don’t kill me can only make me stronger” and I do believe these comment make for a stronger, James and in turn a more dangerous Miami Heat team.
His Airness, Michael Jordan, used to use any perceived slights to motivate him to be that much better, and I think the same thing is happening to LeBron this season. He and the Heat are starting to get into the groove they lacked at the beginning of the season and pretty soon they will be impossible to stop.
Pardon yet another temperature related pun, but the Heat are absolutely en fuego right now! They can beat you on their court, but they can also beat you on your court. Any boos or jeering will just make them that much better. The sky is the limit for this All-Star team, and the league should take them serious because the Heat are for real.