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Are the Miami Heat a Failure Without a Title This Season?

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LBJ Arms Out

Unless hell freezes over between now and next week, the Miami Heat will be in the NBA Finals next Thursday, June 5th.

We’ll save the Finals preview for next week. For now, we can say there’s a real possibility the Heat could lose the championship. Neither Oklahoma City nor San Antonio could be considered walk overs, especially since either of them would have homecourt advantage.

So let’s say Miami loses the championship in the next few weeks…

Would Miami’s Big 3 be a failure?

Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks

My snap reaction was a resounding “no.” Even with a loss, this team would have two championships in four years, having played in four straight Finals. The latter hasn’t been done since the mid-80’s.

On top of that, LeBron’s Decision immediately made the Heat the league’s most scrutinized franchise. James responded with two MVP’s, establishing himself as the league’s best player. Head Coach Eric Spoelstra reinvented the team’s offense. Pairing it with a tenacious (when it needs) to be defense that was amazing to watch.

Most importantly, I considered the bottom line: would LeBron have been better off in Cleveland? My bias toward that city aside, it’s safe to say LeBron is not regretting The Decision.

So individual success culminating in team success, seems like the opposite of a “failure.”

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Then I considered one of my favorite quotes, apparently from author Jodi Picoult:

“Happiness is reality divided by expectations. There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.”

Substituting success for happiness (allow me some creative license), I had to reconsider. Starting with this moment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhq1qieske4

The Heat’s expectations were astronomical.

Let’s go back to 2010. Here are some of the most ridiculous quotes from this video:

“…having an opportunity to team up with arguably the best trio to ever play the game of basketball is amazing.” – Dwyane Wade

“…once the game starts, it’s gonna be easy…Pat [Riley] could come back and play like in his Kentucky days.” – LeBron James

“RRRRRRAAAAAAWWWWWWRRRRI’M JUST HAPPY TO BE INCLUDED!!!!” – Chris Bosh

miami 3

Now I’m sure it’s easy to get carried away when you’re in front of thousands of fans at an impromptu pep rally in your honor. But those comments are indicative of the general attitude surrounding this team. Several media members looked down on LeBron around this time, thinking he was taking the easy way out to a championship.

That’s the thing: it was supposed to be easy. The bar was set really, really, ridiculously high.

Add in the lukewarm-ness of the Eastern Conference the past few years, and I wonder if you have to judge these last four years at a different standard.

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With a loss int he finals, is this reality enough to overcome mile-high expectations?

I think so, but the answer isn’t as clear as I thought at first.

What do you think? Are the Miami Heat a success, with or without a championship this season? Do you judge them with a higher standard because of how the team came together?

Let me know in the comments below!

Comment(6)

  1. Wade won a chip. Lebron came here and they won two together. They can win chips, we know that. They can win back to back… but can they three-peat? That’s the only question to be answered. I think it’s not a failure but it’s a deflating outcome.

  2. I don’t think it’ll be a failure like you said they’ve been to 3 straight Finals already. Now I do think they should have lost last year and this year the East has been abysmal so the lack of competition in their conference is somewhat of a stain on this season despite having one of the best records in the league.

  3. We take for granted how hard a 3 peat is to do. The Celtics, Lakers and Pistons all took each other out in the 80s. Kobe/Pau won 2 of 3 and no one looks at their run as failures, Kobe/Shaq lost a finals and should’ve been taken out by the Kings one year. Jordan made his 6 look effortless and suddenly people don’t expect the biggest star to lose.

  4. Yes, the Miami Heat are a success this season whether they win or lose. They are champions and no one can take that away from them.

    No, I don’t judge them with a higher standard because of how the team came together. They are a good team with extremely talented players. Winning is expected with that type of combination.

    However, no one wins it all…all of the time.

  5. The Heat are a success whether they win or not this year. It seems like more than any other team, the Heat front office have been able to bring other role players in because they know they’ll have a sure shot at a ring (Mike Miller, Ray Allen, and Shane Battier namely) playing alongside the big 3. The Spurs want revenge and if the Thunder can activate their bench, they could take Miami to a game 7.

    The 1 thing I do wonder about is how the home court advantage will come into play. With the 2-3-2 format, the Heat got to play 3 straight at home after stealing 1 at OKC in ’12. Last year, it worked to their advantage too w/ a game 7 at home. But with both of the WCF teams having the better record, it’ll be interesting to see what happens on a 2-2 split

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