March was a cruel month for your Miami Heat. Just as they entered the All-Star break, looking like an unstoppable basketball force, they came out for the second half of the season looking like a horde of hung-over zombies. A wicked road trip saw them battered and bruised at the hands of powerhouses Chicago and Oklahoma City, as well as teams they usually dispatch with impunity, such as Indiana. Meanwhile, their play went from efficient to sloppy seemingly overnight — missing shots, turning the ball over at an insane clip, and letting fourth quarters turn into double-digit losses. LeBron James suffered an elbow injury, Dwyane Wade looked lost during crucial stretches in games, and both Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole were obviously abducted and replaced by aliens who suck at basketball. Throw in a Chris Bosh who tried to grab rebounds like his hands were hammers, an injured Mike Miller, and a supporting team that looked mentally and physically fatigued, and you have yourself a very shitty problem.
But the Heat has been in this kind of hole before. And one could argue they’re just mailing it in until the playoffs begin in June. Still, it wouldn’t kill them to at least give a crap every now and then. And maybe a home game against the hated Boston Celtics at the American Airlines Arena Tuesday is just the thing to get them going.
Tue., April 10, 7 p.m., 2012