Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Miami Heat Lacks Fire

It's always foolish to try to make too much out of one game- especially when it's just the opening game in an 82 game season. But, I've been a fool many times before, so why stop now? Here's what I learned about the NBA last night:

-It can be a savvy move to compile a team full of solid, aging veterans who have yet to win a championship. They can sense the clock winding down on their career and our hungry for a ring. However compiling a team full of satisfied, complacent veterans who just added a title to their resume and our now just feeding their retirement fund can have less than stellar results. Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, Alonzo Mourning, and Shaquille O'Neal (yes, he already had the ring, but he had the revenge factor going last year) look like guys that are more than happy to play at half speed during the regular season, and then try to turn it on one last time in the playoffs before riding off into the sunset. If the Heat are going to be better than a .500 team, they'll need younger, energetic guys like Dorrell Wright and Wayne Simien to lend some support to Dwyane Wade.

-The Miami Heat fans are horrible. During the pregame introductions of the 2005-06 champions, the crowd sat on their hands for all but a handful of players (Wade, O'Neal, Mourning). The players may have bought into "15 strong," but the fans just wanted superstars. Just an embarassing, disgraceful performance by the crowd. I'm sure you would have seen a much better sign of support in Detroit, Chicago, Boston, or even a Laker's crowd. Someone needs to let these people know that there's more to being a fan than wearing a white tshirt to a game.

-If Amare needs a "surgery killed my career" support group, Garrison Hearst and Eric Gagne are a phone call away. It pains me to say it, but Amare Stoudamire will never be Amare Stoudamire again. But with every death, there is a birth. For it looks like Tyrus Thomas might be the reincarnation of Amare.

-If the Lakers are going to be a team of consequence this season, Kobe Bryant needs to remember how Lamar Odom played in his absence. Maybe it's unfair to compare Bryant and Odom to Jordan and Pippen, but last night's game demonstrated why those comparisons are made. Odom looks focused this year, and if Bryant keeps him involved, the Lakers could be dangerous this year.

-ABC's Christmas present to us is a Lakers at Heat game. The pregame hype will be Shaq vs Kobe, but judging by what I saw last night, Shaq vs Bynum might be the most entertaining matchup of that game.

-I hope Sasha Vujacic has enjoyed his time as a starting point guard in the NBA. It's only a matter of time before Jordan Farmar gets comfortable with the Lakers' offense and knocks Vujacic out of the starting lineup. Jordan brings more quickness, vision, and the ability to drive to the basket. Vujacic's best attribute is his complete disinterest in looking for his own shot, which in a Kobe Bryant-led offense might just be enough to save his roster spot. The good news for Sasha is that once he does find himself out of the league in 2007, he'll be able to return to Slovenia and be the richest guy in all of Maribor.

-Lastly, it was reinforced that it doesn't matter how many years he spends in television, Magic Johnson will never, ever learn to conjugate a verb. Ever.


At Wed Nov 01, 11:34:00 PM PST , Anonymous twins15 said...

Gary Payton and Antoine Walker weren't that good at this point in their careers... take away their motivation, and well, things could get ugly, at least for the regular season.

And totally agreed about Farmar, although isn't Smush starting at PG for LA?


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