Has The Time Come?
Last night was the much-awaited night as LeBron James entered the Quicken Loans Arena for the 1st time as a member of the Miami Heat. He was booed. He was heckled. He was even told by the crowd that his hometown hates him. But, within all these negative things that happened, one thing happened that not a lot of people saw: the Heat may have come together as a team.
During the first few minutes, LeBron seemed tentative as he adjusted to the atmosphere. He passed on a couple open 3’s as he nervously started to dribble between his legs and pass the ball away. Then, as the game went on, you saw LeBron settle in. And once he settled in, it was like he never left Cleveland, minus the booing of course. LeBron finally began to embrace the point forward position as he sliced through the lane and delivered pinpoint passes to Carlos Arroyo, Chris Bosh and James Jones. But, LeBron wasn’t the only one making adjustments.
Another thing that I noticed during the game was that the Heat began to utilize the strengths of Chris Bosh. Bosh is more of a jump shooter than a post up big man, so what the Heat did was invert their offense at times. They would put LeBron in the post and let Bosh set up at the free throw line. And as he has been his whole career, Bosh was automatic from there.
But, above all the adjustments that were made, the biggest adjustment would be that the Heat are now starting to use LeBron and D Wade on pick-and-roll situations together. Using this combination, opposition cannot double the ball-handler because they have to worry about the threat of the screener.
It is true that the Cavaliers aren’t a great team and that the Heat haven’t proved much by beating them. But, what you can say about last night is that a moment that was supposed to be a big roast of LeBron James turned out to be a coming out party for what the Heat could look like the rest of the year.