Blog Entry

Heat are all business as team develops

Posted on: October 11, 2010 4:16 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2010 4:21 pm
 
Heat locker room far from playful, players speak of "sacrifice" often as preseason ramps up towards regular season start.
Posted by Matt Moore


It's preseason. Which means that anything that occurs needs to be taken with a grain of salt the size of softball. But there was an overriding feeling you could take from the Heat locker room last Friday, their second preseason game in Kansas City against the Oklahoma City Thunder. If what we're seeing in preseason is any indication, things will not be the same as they were in Cleveland.

Oh, James will still be there. He'll still be torching defenses that are literally powerless to stop him, whipping passes to teammates who now might actually catch and finish off of them. And the egocentricity will still be there. Of that you can be sure. In Kansas City, James' locker room was closest to the door at the furthest edge, not atypical for an NBA starter. Dwyane Wade, out with a hamstring injury, occupied the other end of the bracket. But it was James, only speaking to reporters for a precious few minutes (it is just a preseason game in KC, after all) who loomed. His gear spread out, occasionally shouting rap lyrics as he listened to those gold Dre headphones.

The biggest difference between this Heat locker room and what we saw in Cleveland, though, may be in attitude. The Cavs were consistently discussed as being very loose, very easy going, always joking. The bench famously danced to their opponents' misfortune . Many found it disrespectful, some found it unprofessional. It's possible that the Heat could turn into the same happy go-lucky bunch when they get to know one another better, when there aren't kids scrapping for a final roster spot on a team that could net them a championship their first year in. But there was a very clear sense of the tone of the Heat both in the locker room and on the floor, best summed up by Udonis Haslem before the game.

"From Day 1," Haslem said, "when everyone started to make sacrifices to be a part of this, we understood what it's all about. It's all about business, and everyone coming together for a common goal, to try and win a championship."

That much was clear, even in a preseason game in a non-NBA city. The players aren't robots, it's not a taciturn feel to them when they're on the floor or in the back. Dwyane Wade hung Udonis Haslem's shirt and jeans from a ceiling fan after the game for crying out loud (another indication it is still very much Wade's locker room, despite LeBron's looming presence). Business is probably the most outstanding theme from the sense you take away from this team. Despite the distractions, despite the egos, despite "The Decision," this team focused on executing business. It may have been all fun and games over the summer or in previous years, but the backlash has forged in this team a determination mentally that's been apparent in their brief time on the court. Chris Bosh, after the Heat victory in which he scored 23 points, primarily from the attention drawn by LeBron, also spoke to the level of intensity that's already present with the Heat.

"It is all business," Bosh said. "Everything we do is professional. We handle everything in a professional manner. We practice extremely hard. We work hard in the weight room, in the training room, to prepare us the right way to play. That's the nature of the Heat organization. I think everyone has accepted it and we have that in the back of our minds every time, that we have a lot of expectations on us. And in order to fulfill those expectations we're going to have to work hard and be professional and make sure we get something done and make progress every day."

Bosh said he got over the excitement of playing with Wade and James in training camp. "Once it was business as usual" it was "natural." You have to wonder that in the middle of all the rumored "glorification" of the free agents, if this was the real secret of Pat Riley's success, explaining that his approach is to be professional and reach your goals. Instead of discussions about earning a billion dollars, or playing in this or that city, Riley's approach paid off and so far, it seems to have taken hold. The word sacrifice is spoken often by the Heat, from role players all the way up to the superstars. It's odd to hear it from them after a summer of so many people calling them selfish for leaving their respective teams. But they're very much dedicated to at least talking about it. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said that all three of the Triad superstars came in knowing the sacrifice they were going to have to make. Whether that will translate to the floor and locker room is another question that can only be answered by the grind of the regular season, but it can't be denied that the idea is on their mind. And for now, the team itself hasn't allowed many outside influences to start creeping in.

Two people I talked to close to the situation said that as of yet, James' entourage haven't become integrated with the Heat's organization. They are present, but not overt as some feared they would be. Then again, this is October 11th, not February or April, and things are very much different now than how they will be then. The challenge for the Heat will be to keep themselves invested in that business approach, in the intensity Haslem spoke of, while not grinding themselves into nothing. Maybe simply pulling pranks on teammates like Wade's tilt-a-whirl of Haslem's jeans will keep the team loose enough while it focuses on taking its energy out on the critics who doubt them.

One way or another, this season is setting itself up to reveal a lot not only about LeBron James and his legacy, but about this group of professionals the Heat have surrounded the Triad with. One thing's for sure, with all the hype, talent, attention, criticism and expectations they'll face this year, and despite what they may tell reporters, it won't be business as usual.


Comments

Since: Feb 10, 2010
Posted on: October 13, 2010 11:09 am
 

Heat are all business as team develops

Hey Lebron...oops I mean Vanther...you don't have to defend yourself anymore.  Let it go.



Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 11:03 am
 

Heat are all business as team develops

I just have one question for all those who are just ripping LBJ up - if you had a chance to do something with 2 of your best/closest people in world - knowing one of them has the experience to handle it and the other is very capable, would you do it with them or would you stay with the same people you've been with for a few years or go with other people you're not sure about? 
And please don't lie to yourself.......

I can't believe how bitter people still are.  The only thing the man might be guilty of his receiving bad advice.  We've all done things that were self-serving to a degree and rubbed others wrong.  So just relax, it'll be alright. 

Maybe Boston and Orlando and LA can keep up this year.  But one things for sure, nobody would have anything to say about the Heat if they weren't concerned. 



Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 10:46 am
 

Heat are all business as team develops

Check 'your' stats again, man. the heat were top 5 in defense last year without Lebron.  Plus He'll have better teammates to run with. See how well you would do if you were at work and you had to cover for 4 of your co-workers who didn't do their part on a project.
 It's unbelievable how bitter people still are.  If LeBron would have chosen your team, you'd have a totally different outlook.  Take it easy, relax...it'll be alright.

the same teams/people dragging on LBJ are the same people who were waiting for their turn to pitch him in the summer.  so get off it, HYPOCRITES!



Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 10:41 am
 

Heat are all business as team develops

Yeah, those were with different teammates with lesser skills. Man, I can't believe how bitter people still are.  If LeBron would have chosen your team, you'd have a totally different outlook.  Take it easy, relax...it'll be alright. 



Since: Jul 16, 2010
Posted on: October 13, 2010 2:26 am
 

Heat are all business as team develops

Don't forget the insane amount of turnovers LeBron had in that series either. He had 9 in the last game alone to almost complete the quadruple double.



Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 12:06 am
 

Heat are all business as team develops

drpo:  I don't think the Heat scare either Boston or LA fans.  The two teams have a combined 33 championships.  Championships are won with defense, rebounding, and heart.  Something the Heat lack severely (minus Wade.)  Everyone is tired of LBJ's excuses.  The last two seasons he led his team to the best record in basketball, just to fold under the pressure of playoff basketball.  This year the pressure will be more intense and LeBum will quit once again.



Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 12:05 am
 

Heat are all business as team develops

drpo:  I don't think the Heat scare either Boston or LA fans.  The two teams have a combined 33 championships.  Championships are won with defense, rebounding, and heart.  Something the Heat lack severely (minus Wade.)  Everyone is tired of LBJ's excuses.  The last two seasons he led his team to the best record in basketball, just to fold under the pressure of playoff basketball.  This year the pressure will be more intense and LeBum will quit once again.



Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:32 pm
 

Heat are all business as team develops

Miami could go 82-0

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

ahahahahahaha... I mean i stopped right there... I needed a good laugh and thank you for giving me one!!!  The Celtics will take at least one, The Lakers, the Bulls, the Hawks, The mavs.. LeBron will quit during a couple games.. oh wait, It's not the playoffs.. Wade will be hurt for several games... Bosh.. I'm not really sure why he gets so much attention anyway..He's good, but not great.  I guess Mike Miller and Haslem can win a few for them when Wade is hurt. 

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

a.. I just reread your post for another good laugh... Man you got me rolling.. You gonna have a lot more weakness' than just center.. what about YOUR BENCH.. thats a weakness.. your big 2 and Bosh cant play every minute of every game..




Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2010 7:37 pm
 

Heat are all business as team develops

LBJ will be lost in the playoffs trying to break down Boston's D.

He won't have to do alone like last year (in which his stats speak for themselves). He has Wade and Bosh this time and truthfully, I believe the Celtics won't make the top 4 in the East. Seems like LA fans and Boston fans are scared and seem to be teaming up here on the discussion boards.





Since: Aug 3, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2010 6:11 pm
 

Heat are all business as team develops

LBJ will be lost in the playoffs trying to break down Boston's D.

Yep, it'll be like Groundhog's Day for The King.  He'll feel very bad for himself again too.


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