Friday, June 10, 2011

Is This It for the Heat?

Who remembers that Celtics season opener where chants of "Overrated!" surrounded the stadium as we lost? Or that Philly game where we won our very 1st game with this unit? How about the home opener against Orlando where we won in convincing fashion? That Nets road game which ended up as our first blow-out win? That heartbreaking loss at N'Awlins? That bounce back highlight filled-win against the Nets? That stunning loss against the Jazz where Milsap went apeshit? That 2nd loss to the Celtics at home where people started to panic? That blow-out win against the Suns highlighted by Joel's airball dunk? That heartbreaking loss at the buzzer in the hands of Rudy Gay at Memphis? That terrible blow-out loss vs. Indiana at the AAA? The bumpgate at Dallas? The ass whooping King James delivered as he returned to Cleveland? Our first visit at MSG? That spectacular miracle win in Washington?

Who could also forget that Lakers Christmas ass whooping? That Bucks OT win where Chris Douglas-Roberts went nuts? That "F**k you" win at Portland? That Clippers loss which started a 4-game losing streak? That Raptors game where Mike Miller went into god mode? The Thunder game where we saw Eddie House do the big balls dance? LeBron's 50+ point game at Orlando? Our 3rd consecutive loss vs. the Celtics? That Pacers game where Wade and Bron connected on that 92 ft alley-oop? That Bulls game where Wade almost single-handedly won it for us? That Knicks game which was the beginning of doubts on our team? That Orlando choke game? That brutal blow-out loss at San Antonio? Heartbreaking loss at home vs. Chicago? The statement win against the Lakers? That historic Rockets game where the big 3 all had 30-10's? That terrible loss at Cleveland? That Raptors game where Eddie House and Jamaal Magloire secured us homecourt against Dallas right now?

How bout that gritty first round against the Sixers? That clutch-filled Boston series? That spectacular ECF ass whooping showing Chicago who's boss? The collapse against Dallas in Game 2? The LeBron 8 pt game in Game 4? And now this game tonight?

All of those gone and now comes this moment. Is this Miami Heat team truly ready for their biggest challenge amongst all? Can they put together one last run to prove all the haters wrong? Can they win 2 straight pressure packed games to win it all and avoid crumbling against pressure? Can they?!?

All of this coming to a waste just because of an epic collapse back in Game 2? All of this coming to a waste just because of another choke job and a disappointing game by LeBron? All of this coming to a waste just because of  terrible defense in Game 5? Blame the refs all you want, but I shit you not. If anything, the Miami Heat can only blame themselves for this hole they're standing at right now. It's up to them to dig theirselves out of it and come out on top when it's all said and done.

I've stayed optimistic all season long. All playoffs long. All Finals long, yet this just feels different man. You could tell this is not the Miami Heat. They can do better. We know that and they certainly know it too. They have 2 final chances -- with no room for mistakes. If you want to get crowned as champion, you need to play like it. All is not done for Miami. Win both home games and they win the title, if they can't, then they don't deserve to be NBA champions. Simple as that. The thought of Dallas holding the trophy at the Heat's house absolutely sickens my stomach. Anything but that. ANYTHING, I tell you.

I still want to believe but the Heat's latest play really discourages me to do so. There's been too many let downs so far but that doesn't stop me from having faith. It ain't over til it's over. Here's hoping we'll still witness a parade down in Biscayne BLVD when it's all said and done. Let's go Heat!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Settling The Wade vs. LeBron Debate

Let me start by saying im not a Wade nor Bron fanboy but I've seen this debate a lot in many places and I wanna share my thoughts about it......some people will agree and im sure others will also disagree with me.

As much as I really hate naming accomplishments behind a single individual completely ignoring the rest of the team, here's how I see it:

LeBron's slightly better and more talented than D-Wade, but D-Wade in my opinion has the better killer instinct and leadership DNA. LeBron can still kill you with heartbreaking daggers of his own (just like the BOS/CHI series) but I just really prefer D-Wade's killer mentality more. This is nothing against LeBron since either way, they're both great in their own right. Oh, and they play for the same team, too, mind you what. Personally, I root for the Miami Heat. I don't root for LeBron or Wade. I support the whole team and judge them fairly as much as I can.

Assuming it comes to that point, I dont really care who wins Finals MVP  if/when the Heat win. I wouldn't give a flying f--- if they give the award to Juwan Howard or say, Dexter Pittman. I just want the team to win and take home the trophy, but as much as I like both Bron and Wade equally, there's no doubt that if/when we do win it all by the way things are looking so far, Wade seems to be the leading candidate for Finals MVP unless LeBron errupts in the next few games and Wade performs average/below average, which is certainly possible. I have a feeling that LeBron would explode pretty much soon since it's been really average games so far by his standard, I just hope it doesn't ruin our flow and he plays it smart within the system. But like I said, I dont even wanna go to that first since this series is still not over and I still view Dallas as a serious threat.

To dig things deeper, Wade wont be killing Dallas right now if it wasn't for Bron killing the past few rounds as well, you could throw in Mr. Boshtrich in there too since he's made some terrific timely clutch plays himself. The media will do everything to make it look like Shaq/Kobe 2.0 and form an imaginary feud between the two of them but truth be told, everyone deserves credit and all 3 wouldn't even have teamed up in the first place if they only prioritize theirselves before the team as a whole. But im sure the haters would still fail to see the truth and instead, just go on with the typical "Lolz LePippen sucks, he's a Robin hehe. " type of posts. Completely foolish, retarded and stupid. Like what I previously said, im also sure the media will try their best dividing the team attempting to make a rift. In fact, that already has begun -- you could see an example on what im talking about in A-Woj's latest article in Yahoo! Sports pinpointing who's the real alpha dog. All I can do is just shake my head.

It definitely seems that Wade does have the upper edge over LeBron at the moment - but did we really easily forget how LeBron was the Heat's best player in the regular season and in the post-season before the Finals came? Are 3 Finals games enough to convince you to turn around 360 degrees and say Wade is the sole reason why Miami's winning and inching closer to a title or why LeBron's a Pippen? No disrespect to Dwyane - and I understand why some people see it that way since he's been Miami's hero since 2003 and is no doubt one of South Florida's best sportsman of all time, but this is just unfair to LeBron to some sort of extent. Again, I have no agenda here. I love Dwyane Wade just as I love LeBron James and Chris Bosh, but I feel LeBron is completely being underrated here and has been the target of foolish and undeserved cheap shots. Did you see that reporter getting owned by LeBron last night for trolling him? I guess LBJ really does have an amazing defensive game, on and off the court. He could definitely still play better since he's been really average so far, and while I feel it's more of him struggling than what Dallas is doing, I do give some credit to Shawn Marion and the Mavs. We have yet to see that "WOW" game from LeBron, but I got a feeling that's coming pretty soon. He still has 4 games to catch up and elevate his game higher to another notch. We all know LeBron doesn't plan to stay quiet for the whole series and will dominate soon, but again, I just hope he plays it wisely and smartly. Hopefully, he does it in the proper structure of the Heat's system and not force things way too much just like Game 2.

And to add one last thing to the "If we do win, the Finals MVP goes to........." debate, I feel this is why things are going the way we're seeing so far: Dwyane Wade has a better match-up than LeBron has. You know Dwyane will go absolutely apeshit anytime the likes of Jason Kidd, (with all due respect, is too old) Jason Terry, and DeShawn Stevenson goes up against him. LeBron on the other hand, has a tougher match-up even though he's the better player. Miami's just playing it correctly by riding with the flow. Since Dwyane has the better and easier match-up, why not exploit and abuse it as much as possible? Hats off to Dwyane for doing so, so far. Same for LeBron and Chris for playing it smart by understanding this is not about Dwyane, but rather for the betterment of the team as a whole by stepping back and putting in solid contributions since this isn't the Bulls series anymore where Wade struggled mightily bad while LeBron and Chris had their way against Chicago's defenders. Wade clearly has the best chance of dominating among all three so you go with it the most, no question. Also, one thing. I've noticed that LeBron's average/off-night games are way better than Dwyane's average/off-night games. Miami's blueprint of winning game 3 featured a lot of LeBron on other sides of the floor - be it defending, playmaking, and so on.

To sum it up - if you're a true team fan or a logical outsider, you wouldn't care who's gonna end up better between LeBron and Wade. Like me, you should only care about the Miami Heat winning the championship as a whole. That's been our goal since July and we're not gonna sit here and be dissatisfied just because of fighting who's better. LeBron and Dwyane respect each other way too much, I can tell you that. They're like true brothers, and I guarantee you they won't care who's better than who or who gets what, the only thing they care about is winning and they'll focus in doing so in the upcoming 8 days. That's all what matters to them and that's all what should matter to us too, well of course -- unless you're a LeBron/Wade fanboy or a Heat hater, then all of this really doesn't matter to you. Some Heat fans still fail to see and understand this, but soon enough all of you will realize how blessed all of us Heat fans are right now seeing both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James play in the same freaking team willing our team to wins and championships. Having a third guy like Chris Bosh doesn't hurt too, you know.  This is just the beginning of something special. Both Wade and LeBron are the undisputed the leaders of the team. This "Who's team is it?" argument really needs to die. And if you want an answer from me regarding that question, it's Micky Arison's team. After all, he owns the Heat franchise, right?

Friday, June 3, 2011

State of Emergency to Heat Fans

Alright yall. It's yo boy beastleyBLVD here, and I just wanna make this quick.

People thinking this series is already over are crazy. I know, last night was a horrible chokejob but trust me on this one -- this Heat team has been against adversity all season long. I got no doubt we'll bounce back from all of this.

I'll admit that i'm one of those who overreacted after the game but it was more of me needing to cool off. Im sure everyone last night was pissed off.

Now speaking of us fans pissed off, could you only imagine how LeBron and D-Wade's feeling right now? They'll get their revenge pretty soon. I dont view Chris Bosh's mentality as tough as Wade's and LeBron's, but I do think the big guy is due for a big game. Either way, I have a feeling they'll absolutely go apeshit in Game 3 and for the rest of the series. Keep in mind, Miami hasn't lost consecutively thus far in the playoffs. You could argue that this stat means nothing since we were also undefeated before last night's collapse at home - but to me, this shows more of our character that we're more than capable of bouncing back mightily whether we're on the road or at home.

The Heat outplayed the Mavericks for 89 consecutive minutes before a 7-minute meltdown. Some of you would actually think those 89 minutes doesn't mean jack since the series is tied 1-1 anyways, but that sample size actually means something. We know Miami has already shown they are capable of outplaying the Mavs. There's NO saying they can't again in the upcoming days. So to rule them out this early is foolish. The Heat simply need to focus, move on, and be more mentally tough. More on that in the upcoming paragraphs.

You could say im only making an excuse but Game 2 might end up being a blessing in disguise and the final wake-up call we need moving on forward. I know it sucks thinking about what happened in that game right now but hey, look at the big picture. IF we still end up winning it all, looking back into this game will make victory even better and sweeter. We saw a glimpse of the old unorganized Heat last night and I can guarantee you it's the last time we'll see that lazy and careless version of the team. I give 100% credit to Dallas and tip my hat to them. They came in to our house and stole one. Now we have our chance to do the same to them.

And call me crazy - but what if Miami steals all 3 games in Dallas and win it all in 5? Okay, maybe i'm reaching way too far but you never know. Imma tell you this: if there's one team that can do it, it's the Heat. As much as they can disappoint and surprise us with negative showings, they can leave us drooling in amazement of accomplishing things beyond our basic imagination. Be honest, if I told you after getting blown out by Chicago back in Game 1 that the Bulls will never sniff a win again and the Heat will win 4 straight, you'd call me crazy. But the Heat did accomplish such thing. Granted, Chicago's different to Dallas - but to be honest, I think Miami's losses so far had to do more of them beating themselves than the opponent outplaying us. I feel no one else can prevent the Heat winning a title other than themselves and their egos. That's how good this team is. Unfortunately, egos cost the Heat game 2. LeBron tried too hard being a hero. The Heat needs to limit all the "hero balls" and avoid that at all costs. Now it's a matter of focusing, grinding, and staying humble and hungry. We need to stay mentally focused whether we're up or down. You can't win easily. You don't win championships without experiencing obstacles. Like what coach Spoey keeps saying, it's always gonna be a grind every game.

As NBA History indicates, whenever teams split the first two games in the current Finals format, the winner of game 3 goes on to win the championship 100% of the time. But seeing this year's playoffs, I don't think anything's safe. Anything crazy can happen anytime.

Personally, I would be happy if we can get one or two out of three from the Dallas trip. Winning only one will mean the series shifts back to Miami with the Mavs holding a 3-2 lead, so the Heat need to sweep the remaining two games at South Beach in order to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Meanwhile, stealing two on the road will give Miami a 3-2 lead and two chances of finishing them off in the triple A. Winning all three, as previously stated, will give Miami the championship.

I just find it funny how people hate on the Heat like they're a group of ex-convicts or something. Even funnier, most of these people are fans of teams who were already eliminated and are only watching the Finals in their couches at home. To see Miami win it all will be great to shut these haters up.

This is Miami's final test. If you look at it, people are acting like Dallas is up 3-0 but we're actually tied 1-1. I'll be captain obvious here for a minute: There's only 5 more games and the first team to 3 wins will win the championship. Both Miami and Dallas can only afford to lose 2 games maximum in the next five. So the 7-game series shrinks to a 5-game series. Only difference is, Dallas has homecourt advantage this time. But im sure we all know by now how great of a road team Miami is. Let's not count the Heat out yet.

Michael Jordan won his first title about 20 years ago. The Bulls had homecourt advantage but split the first two games with the Lakers. Heading to Los Angeles in a 2-3-2 format, Chicago won all 3 road games and won the championship 4-1. Did they panic after the first two games? No.

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers also had Finals homecourt advantage last year against the Celtics. Boston came in and stole a game in LA, resulting to a 1-1 tie as the series went east to Boston. The Lakers responded by taking Game 3, but the Celtics managed to win Games 4 and 5, thus holding a 3-2 lead going back to LA. Down 3-2, the Lakers eventually overcame adversity and won the final two games on their way to the championship. Did they panic? No.

When it's all said and done, Dwyane Wade has taught me how to never ever give up on a Heat team as long as he's here at full strength. 2006 was definitely much more different than the current time right now, and you'll expect Dirk will actually be hungrier seeking for revenge, but to me - Wade will always have one edge few NBA players possess; and it's having a steel heart of a champion. He'll never let his team go out like this. Trust me.

Miami needs to erase everything in regards to game 2 with the exception of learning how the players need to keep pushing until the final buzzer sounds avoiding complacency and look on to the future battles ahead. They can't afford to look back at the side view mirror and say "Damn, wish we won Game 2 since it's easier" and express regret. Instead, they need to look at the windshield and say "Fuck Game 2. We've learned our mistakes. We're still winnin' this series!" and act like true warriors who don't dwell on the past and remain confident. No pain, no gain. Hopefully, that collapse was the final learning experience the Heat needs before reaching ultimate success. We can't afford to have any more of that. This is the Finals where you play in a grown man's league. There's little room for errors and mistakes. Dallas is way too dangerous for the Heat (or any team for that matter) to sleep on. Again, respect to the Mavs. Hopefully all of these will only make Miami stronger in the long run and help them reach the promised land.

The only negative thing is, Dallas now has all the confidence in the world after that brutal Heat loss and know that if they win all of their home games, they win the championship. They stole momentum and it will definitely help boost their mindsets.

There are plenty of great comebacks in the history of the NBA, but I really believe that the verdict on Game 2 is yet to be determined. If Dallas ends up winning, it'll be acknowledged as one, if not, the best momentum-shifting game in NBA Finals history since they did it against a team featuring LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Meanwhile, if Miami ends up winning, all of this will be forgotten quickly and Heatles nation will rejoice in joy. It would only be considered as a fluke game and will be quickly erased from all of our minds. Here's hoping the second scenario ends up happening.

To sum up everything I wrote, I still have faith and I still believe when it's all said and done, we'll witness a parade down in Biscayne BLVD, and there's no reason you can't think the same way as I am right now. The Heat started the season interacting with soldiers who display hard work and dedication in fighting for victory in a military base, and I have absolutely no doubt that the Heat, just like a soldier who displays hard work and dedication in fighting for victory in a military base, will end their season and come out on top. Never stop believing Heat fam. Let's go Heat!