LeBron James has started voicing his frustrations over the Miami Heat’s lackadaisical approach and finger-pointing to the media. The Heat are 4-7 in their last 11 games which really stings since the no.1 Eastern Conference seed Indiana Pacers are only 5-6 during the same stretch. James’ recent back soreness and sprained ankle do not help the situation. He is stressing the need for accountability and urgency before the postseason hits. Everyone keeps saying the Heat are not in trouble because they have James. The fact is that he is not healthy right now. It’s not serious now but it has a higher chance of becoming a huge problem if he’s the only guy playing with high intensity. Here are some of James’ comments after Saturday night’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
“It’s too many excuses; everything is an excuse,” James bristled as he rushed through his postgame session with reporters before fleeing the locker-room scene as other Miami players were still showering. “We do something wrong, it’s an excuse. We don’t get a stop, it’s an excuse. We turn the ball over, it’s an excuse. What we’re doing right now ain’t good enough.”
“We’ve always had lineup changes,” James said of the Heat, which went through 15 different sets of starters during last season’s 66-win campaign. “Guys who are on the floor need to produce. It’s that simple. It’s very frustrating. We’re all frustrated. We just got to all get on the same page. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ve got to figure it out.”
Bosh reiterated James’ comments and gave additional insight.
“I haven’t heard nothing, just nothing,” said Bosh, who took his routinely constructive criticism to a new depth Saturday. “We just show up and do whatever. [After] a loss, nobody’s upset. [After] a win, nobody’s happy. There’s no passion. There’s nothing. If you’re frustrated, say you’re frustrated. Give reasons for that. We just need some dialogue around here. We’ve been keeping things in for a whole season now. And we’re running out of time. We need to let it out and have some urgency.”
Bosh responded to his own challenge.
“We’re going to have to draw the line in the sand somewhere,” he said. “We don’t talk about it. We’re not expressing ourselves in the locker room or on the court. So I figure I’ll be the first one to say it. We suck. And if we don’t play better, we’ll be watching the championship at home.”
Historically, teams attempting to go for four Finals appearances in a row have a few stretches during the regular season of messing around too much. This is potentially no big deal at all but Rick Fox actually addressed this issue on March 10, 2014’s B.S. Report. The 2004 Los Angeles Lakers had reached their fourth Finals in as many years, but were not a cohesive unit by the team they reached the Finals to face the Detroit Pistons. Fox recalled a tape session gone awry after a blowout loss in Game 3 of the 2004 Finals. Everyone pointed fingers at each other and no one would take blame for their blown assignments. The Pistons shocked the world and took the next two games convincingly.
James is attempting to wake his teammates up while the games still don’t matter. For the sake of great basketball, let’s hope they listen. – AL