Miami Heat: Three’s a crowd

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Miami Heat Big 3A little over a year ago the Miami Heat built what looked to be an unbeatable team. Collecting Chris Bosh and LeBron James to compliment Dwyane Wade looked to be the perfect combination of players.

They did find some success last year, as they made it to the Finals, but after all the buzz they generated at the beginning of the year it was really championship or bust. They came into this year with a lot less pressure on them with the lockout and trade talk taking up most of the spotlight in this short offseason, but the Heat will tell you this year is no different than last year, and a championship is expected.

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The Heat have been a little unfortunate this year because one of their “Big Three” has been injured in almost all their games. Wade has missed most of their games with his nagging ankle injury, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing the Heat down. If anything it has given them more balance and gives LeBron the ability to dominate like he did in Cleveland. The Heat improved to 6-0 without Wade, and LeBron seems to be enjoying the freedom to take his shots and not worry about Wade getting his.

I always questioned how harmoniously these three would be able to play together. Last year they looked rocky, and now the debate for this year is if everyone’s healthy who takes the big shot in the fourth quarter? Placing three of the game’s biggest stars on the same team seems like a no-brainer way to win a championship, but the Heat didn’t take into account the personalities of the stars they collected.

Wade has proven he can play with other stars when he won the championship in 2006 with Shaq. LeBron is more comfortable when he is the undisputed best player on histeam; because he likes playing with the mindset of I need to take this game over for us to win. Bosh seems to be like LeBron and enjoys playing for a team in which he has the freedom to do whatever he wants out there like he had in Toronto.

It’s hard to say the Heat are a better team without Wade, but LeBron and Bosh definitely are better players without him. Clearly, seeing both of them seem to be playing with more confidence and desire since he went down, as opposed to the lost puppy look the two of them get when Wade joins them in the line-up.

It would be very difficult for the Heat to justify trading away their original star in Wade, who led Miami to their franchise’s first ever championship, but it looks more and more like Wade has become the third wheel in this relationship.

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