Miami Heat Basketball: A New Wave


As the countdown to the 2015 NBA Playoffs has very much begun, the Miami Heat are steadily holding their place in the Eastern Conference with the seventh seed. However, this has been far from easy; seemingly each and every game has been a fight for their lives.

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On Sunday afternoon, the Heat won 109-102 over the twelfth seed Detroit Pistons, at home. After uncertainty surrounding the state of his bad knee spread across the internet, fans were thrilled when they saw Dwyane Wade was in the starting lineup. And this enthusiasm only grew once it was announced that he had gotten the fluid from his knee drained after all. For once, Heat Nation could breathe easy and sit back to enjoy an easy win. Or, what should have been.

At some point during the second quarter, it was realized that Luol Deng was missing from the bench. Concern quickly flooded the Twittersphere, Deng having recently become a key asset for the team after it was determined that Chris Bosh would miss the rest of the season. Word then came from the locker room that he would not come back due to a knee contusion, and panic yet again set in.

But it did not end there. Moments later it became apparent that Michael Beasley too was nowhere to be found. It was then discovered that he had suffered a bruised elbow and would too, be taken out for the rest of the game.

And just like that, the curse of this season reared its ugly head.

Remember the Big Three? Who even played alongside the likes of Ray Allen? When it was assumed from day one that they would come out at the top of their conference? And even more so, would dominate the postseason?

This season it seems as though more often than not, fans are surprised when something does not go wrong for Miami. All year it has been “one step forward and ten steps back.” Just when you think you can get excited over something, or that the team has finally overcome a hurdle, another disaster has been set into motion. There is just no escaping the tumultuous nature of the current Heat era.

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But I am here to offer a light at the end of the tunnel. A glimpse at the bigger picture.

It does not matter who you talk to. Absolutely no one can deny that Miami has shown unimaginable strength this season. That they have never given up, and have always remained looking at the positive side of things. That they have done what they can, with what they have. Somehow, through it all, they are still standing.

Reliance like that simply cannot be taught. Nor can it be faked. The Heat are where they are now because of a unique combination of personalities and talent who are committed to one another, and to the organization. And sometimes, that matters more than records, or statistics.

Another thing to keep in mind is that young potential often turns out to be more than what anyone bargained for. Miami currently houses players like Shabazz Napier and Tyler Johnson, who can easily be shaped into the type of talent the Heat will want moving forward; while Napier is already under contract through next year, Johnson is currently under a partially guaranteed agreement with an August 1 deadline.

Similarly, guys like Hassan Whiteside, Henry Walker and Michael Beasley could certainly turn into Heat staples.

Although Whiteside has revealed a hotheaded side that will need to be toned down in the future (he is currently under a non-guarenteed contract for next season), his talent is undeniable; giving him a chance was absolutely the right decision.

Walker, who is in a similar situation to Johnson, has not had his breakout moment quite yet, but is certainly a stable rock in the current roster. Every team needs bench players they can count on, and I see Walker fitting that role nicely.

Obviously due to his past, Beasley is a bit of a wildcard, but so far so good on looking to be a changed man. He excelled in China, and was a key member of the Heat during his initial run with them, so as long as he stays out of trouble, there is no reason Beasley cannot continue on to become a go-to guy for Miami. The team has until June 29 to exercise his guaranteed team option for next year.

Right now, things may be tough for the Miami Mafia. Although it looks as though they will probably make the playoffs, the postseason will undoubtedly bring about a whole new set of issues; due to the already existing abundance of injuries, resting players until the first round begins is out of the question. But moving forward, the glass does appear to be half full.

The Big Three era was fun while it lasted, but we have entered a new wave of Miami Heat basketball now. And since the squad is doing everything they can to hang in there, fans need to mirror their tenacity too.

Next: RTD: The Heat's Amazing Race