The Kings Speech…on Heat-Celtics

by Jeff Horowitz, NBA Wunderkind

THE KING’S SPEECH

May 1, 2011. Here. We. Are. Basketball studs LeBron James, Chris Bosh did the unbelievable, and took their talents to South Beach to team up with their 2008 Gold Medal-Winning ‘Redeem Team’ superstar teammate, Dwyane Wade. The ‘Big 3’ Superfriends wanted to play together so badly, they signed less-than-max contracts, and left tens of millions of dollars on the table (which also left room for the team to re-sign HEAT ‘Lifer’ Udonis Haslem, and bring Mike Miller on board to cheer-lead).  Jeff Van Gundy (why does anyone listen to that gasbag?) cried that this stacked HEAT squad would run the table, win more than 72 games, and even break the LA Lakers record of 33 consecutive wins. He assumed what many did: 3 “Superstars” equals dominance.

October 26, 2010: The first time the Miami HEAT’s ‘Big 3’ played together in a regular season game, and their opponent: The Boston Celtics. This was the very team that embarrassed them in the playoffs the year before, so if there was ever a game to show-off the power of the new-look HEAT, it was against the hated Celts. Unfortunately, the HEAT could only score 9 points in the 1st Quarter, and by halftime, Doc Rivers was lighting up a cigar with the Celtics up 45-30. Chants of “OVERRATTED!! (clap-clap-clap-clap-clap!)” echoed throughout the TD Garden. The Celtics were clearly the better “team”. The final score was 88-80 in favor of the Celtics, but the game was never close.

So THAT happened....

After the game, an obviously frustrated Dwyane Wade said,”This is one of 82…Sorry if everyone thought we were going to go 82-0. It just ain’t happening.” Wade was only 4 of 16 in the game, so later that night he definitely took his frustrations (and talents) out on Fountainbleu bottle-rats at Club LIV back in Miami (sorry Gabrielle Union, your man likes slutty, 22 year old white chicks a little bit more than he likes being faithful to you). LeBron James scored 31, but also coughed up 8 turnovers. Chris Bosh played like “Priss” Bosh, got dominated by Kevin Garnett, shot only 3-11, and finished with 8 measly points. Fortunately, Priss didn’t cry after that game, but his happy-go-lucky dinosaur faces were few and far between.

It definitely was not the grand debut that Miami’s BIG THREE dreamt up.

The next day LeBron, D Wade, and their entourages got their beards faded, and Chris Bosh found a neat ice-cream shop in Philadelphia that made him happy and feel nice inside. That night the HEAT beat up on the 76ers, and looked more like the team we thought we’d see after the Kiss concert-like introduction a couple months before. The Heat would go on to to win their next four games, including a 96-70 pounding of the Orlando Magic in the home opener. I. Was. There. So. Was. Ryno. So was Jerry Stackhouse for his weekend stint as a member of the HEAT. Things were great, the team was “jelling”. That Celtics game on opening night? Ancient History. Or was it?

Fast forward to ‘LeBump Heard Round The World’ : November 27, 2010 – Dallas, Texas. The HEAT’s record going into that night: 9-7. Yep, the team that was supposed to win 70 games, was basically a .500 team. LeBron sulked for weeks and his on-court body language was horrible. He looked as if he just found out his mom Gloria had a threesome with Delonte West AND Delonte West’s probation officer. (Oh wait, they did? Oops. Sorry, LeBron). The Mavericks pulled away to a double-digit lead, so the Heat called a timeout. On his way to the bench, Lebron James literally walked through ‘Coach Spo’, sticking out his shoulder and almost knocking Spoelstra’s jacket off. It was the ultimate lack of respect to your head coach.

What happens when an immovable object meets an expendable coach?

I know Spo is eight or nine inches shorter than LeBron, but there is no chance LeBron didn’t see him. He was sick of his coach, sick of losing, and was wondering why his mother bought 10 bottles of Grey Goose at SET (as appeared on his credit card bill). Do you think James would’ve bumped Pat Riley? No effing way. It looked like Coach Spo was a goner. He had lost the team, and the team’s superstar shat on him in front of 20,000 people. Reports out of Miami Beach had Pat Riley getting fitted for 20 custom Armani suits at Bal Harbour Shops. Time for Daddy to take the key’s to the Lambo back from Erik.

"Oh mini-me, where did we go wrong?"

The HEAT lost that game 106-95, and afterwards they held a players-only meeting. HEAT coaches paced the hallways outside the locker room, wondering when they could board the plane and return to Miami. Whatever transpired in that players-only meeting WORKED, because after that game the HEAT went on a 12 Game tear and upped their record from a pedestrian 9-8 to a respectable 21-8. Spoelstra and LeBron were now laughing together on the sidelines. The Big 3 were GREAT, their record had them near the top of the East and everything was happy again in South Beach. Behind the smiles were some deceptive numbers: the HEAT wins all came against mostly sub-par teams…the truth was this Heat Super-squad couldn’t beat any of the NBA’s elite teams.

The HEAT took on the rival Celtics once again on February 13th, and for Valentines Day, the HEAT gave their adoring fans a 3 point loss. The HEAT were now 0-3 against the Celtics. During timeouts, ESPN would go “inside the huddle” and you could hear HEAT coach Erik Spoelstra screaming, “TRUST YOUR BROTHER! TRUST YOUR BROTHER!” mixed in with a little “WE CANNOT BE COMPLACENT!” and then some more “LEBRON! TRUST YOUR BROTHER!! JOEL ANTHONY IS YOUR BROTHER! TRUST!” It was as if Spo had read his mentor, Pat Riley’s The Winner Within backwards or something!  I personally have read The Winner Within several times, (those who know me understand I worship Pat Riley) so I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing out of our head coach during those timeouts. “Trust your effing Brother??” Was that all you got, Spo?

"Cliche, Cliche, Trite Saying, Cliche!"

I immediately started to think how great the HEAT would be with Doc Rivers as our head coach. Rivers is always cool, calm, and collected, in total control of his team. Oh yeah, Doc had another win against the HEAT, another game his Celts were clearly better prepared. The “Big 3” are all in their 8th NBA seasons, they only have about 2-3 years left in their primes together. Are we going to waste it with “TRUST YOUR BROTHER” or get a real coach?

April 10, 2011 – it was clearly the biggest game of the year. It was the HEAT’s fourth and final meeting with the Celtics. Miami needed to finally beat their rivals; there was no way this team could have any semblance of confidence against the Celtics in the playoffs if they got swept in the regular season.  Home court advantage for the playoffs was on the line, and both teams knew it. The animosity was evident…Boston and Miami do not like each other.

"Hey LBJ, I just crop-dusted, and KG's about to walk right into it."

Most HEAT players cannot stand Rajon Rondo, they think he’s creepy and is said to have halitosis. Kevin Garnett runs his mouth the entire game, and easily gets into the head of Chris Bosh. Shaquille O’Neal is a 400lb benchwarmer, but still finds way to insult his former organization. Jermaine O’Neal somehow convinced the Celtics that he can still play baskeball, which is insulting for the HEAT because his 0-for-the-series last year was the main reason they lost to Boston. So this last game brought fights, technicals, and hard, flagrant fouls. It was a true ‘Playoff Atmosphere’ in game # 80 of 82. The HEAT exploded on the Celts, and finally won: 100-77. They got the #2 seed, entitling them to home court advantage for their eventual playoff collision against the #3 seeded Boston Celtics.

Here we are today, May 1, 2011. Its our first time advancing past the 1st Round of the NBA Playoffs since 2006, the year we won it all. The October 26th shellacking back in Beantown was 6 long months ago. LeBron and Coach Spo are all buddy-buddy. Now when Coach Spo puts a motivational message on the team’s whiteboard inside the locker room – players take it in instead of snickering at him like he’s the toolish UPS guy.

"What can brown do for you? Wait...is that racist?"

But the 2010-2011 Miami HEAT still have many question marks. Is our bench good enough? Who will take the final shot at the end of a close game? Is Mike Bibby black, or white? These things we do not know. The series is slated to go from May 1 to May 16 (if necessary); I for one feel it IS NECESSARY.

Two full weeks of battle.

Two teams that truly do not like each other.

Two coaches: ‘Spo’ vs ‘Doc’. One just trying to prove he belongs. The other trying for one last championship run with his aging superstars.

Here we are.

Let’s. Do. This.

 

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like me...Ok, again...I'm good enough..."