May 18, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during game one of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Miami 107-96. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Playoffs: Much like "Money May," The Miami Heat Shouldn't Be Concerned


 

With every passing second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year, the Miami Heat are beginning to look, feel and play oh so human. Dwyane Wade looks mortal, Chris Bosh seems overwhelmed (at times) and LeBron James looks more and more like his old Cleveland Cavalier self with every passing game.

We’re in year four of the “Big Three” era in Miami and the great fall is coming — you can feel it. It’s happened to every great dynasty in NBA history — to Larry Bird‘s Celtics, Magic’s Lakers, the “Bad Boy” Pistons…and so on and so on. For the Heat, though, we just don’t know when it’ll come. It could be this year, it could not. That’s part of the beauty.

And after an Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 loss to the Indiana Pacers, many were already reading Heat fans their last rites. They looked old, over their heads and downright like the second best team on the floor — on that night. In Game 1.

But while watching the Heat look nothing like themselves, and appearing helpless against the enigma that is the Indiana Pacers, I was reminded of a similar great. One that at times looks destined for failure but somehow, someway always comes out on top.

Floyd Mayweather.

You don’t have to be a boxing expert, or even an avid fan to see the underlying similarities.

In Money Mayweather’s last three bouts, he’s looked human in each of them — against Robert Guerrero (May 2013), Saul Alvarez (September 2013) and most recently against Marcos Maidana (May 2014).

In all of those matches, Mayweather conceded — or was outfought — early and, at times, often. But in each of those matches, he recovered. And when it was winning time (late in the rounds), he got the job done. But he’s gotten close to losing with each passing bout — like the Heat.

The thing that they both do great is feel their way into their respective paths — whether it be a fight or a playoff series.

Apart from Miami’s early failure — their loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals — they’ve looked a little less and less unstoppable, if that makes sense. In other words, their dominance has lessened, even when their winning hasn’t.

But the one constant is the fact that they don’t look their best at the beginning of series’. They always look their best at the ends of them, though.

Much like Mayweather does in most of his fights.

In 2012, the Heat were down 2-1 to the Indiana Pacers in the second round. They ended up winning that series 4-2.

In the next round, they were down 3-2 to the Celtics (heading to Boston). Somehow they won that series too, 4-3.

Then, in the 2012 NBA Finals, they were down 1-0 to the OKC Thunder. As we know, they also won that series, 4-1.

In 2013, the Heat were down 1-0 to the Chicago Bulls in the second round. They won that series 4-1.

In last season’s NBA Finals, they were down 3-2 to the San Antonio Spurs. They, again, came back to win the series, 4-3.

What I’m trying to say is that this isn’t the first time the Heat have lost a Game 1 in a series. In fact, it’s happened four times. You know how many times they’ve bounced back to win said series? Four times.

So, yes. The Heat lost Game 1. They’re down 1-0 to the Indiana Pacers. This is a road that the Heat have to cross right now. Game 2 is in Indiana, and, sure, if they lose that game, then we can freak out.

But not now, after one Game 1 loss.

However, just how Twitter freaks out when Mayweather loses an early round or two in one of his matches, it’s only human nature to envision a great one’s failure. We assume ‘this is the one.’ This is when he’ll finally lose. Yet, he is still 46-0.

With that said, I’m not sure the Heat will bounce back, nor am I sure that the Pacers will finish them off. But just as I do when Mayweather fights, I’ll stay quiet and watch. I try not rush to judgment and try to be fair.

I’m not going to sit here and type a death sentence for the Miami Heat. I’ve seen this episode all too often with this team. In each circumstance, they’ve bounced back. Sooner or later they won’t, though. One of these times, it’s going to be the ‘real deal.’ And they’re going to lose. But I’m not sure it’s this time.

Just like Mayweather will eventually lose — and most believe that it’s sooner rather than later — so will the Heat. It could be this series, it could not.

But based on recent history, there’s nothing really for them to worry about.

Not yet.

 

 

 

Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs Indiana Pacers Miami Heat NBA

  • John Allen Reave

    Yep, just one game. Although, you have to admit. Two of those series wins (after losing game 1) came against Derek Rose-less Bulls who had a lot of emotion in game 1 and then had nothing left. Another win came against a young an inesperienced Thunder team who was just happy to be in the finals and had very little high level play under thier belt. So, of all 4 series wins, only the one vs. San Antonio really shows what the Heat can do against an evenly matched opponent when dropping game one. And if it were for a few lucky bounces, that series would have been over in game 6. And just remember, game 7 was in Miami, not SA.
    The Pacers do not have any major injuries. They are not inexperienced, though they are young. And they have homecourt advantage. So I ask, have the Heat ever won a 7 game series after dropping the first game against an equal, un-injured opponent that has homecourt advantage?

    • Michael Saenz

      Very good point, and concern. They did beat Chicago in 2010-11 after losing game 1 on the road– that was against a healthy Derrick Rose-led team.

      • John Allen Reave

        You are correct! I got my years mixed up. Easy to do when Rose has missed so many. That’s a really good parallel to draw to this series then. The Bulls were on their third trip to the playoffs and had played LeBron before at that point. Game 2 will be a tell-tale sign then. Have the Heat trailed off enough in 3 years to the point they can’t comeback like they did against the Bulls in ’11? Have to wait and see.

  • Daniel Anthony Villacis

    Mayweather dominated Robert and Canelo lol but yes he looked human vs Maidana.