Aside from their two leading scorers, pretty much everyone has been forced to miss time with injuries— Kevin Garnett with his calf, Rajon Rondo with his ankle, Jermaine O’Neal with his knee, Kendrick Perkins with his torn ACL, Delonte West with his wrist, and Shaquille O’Neal with just about every minor injury known to man.
But the C’s have proven resilient. If one guy goes down, they can handle it. Even without three or four, they can power through. They’re a true team — they stick up for each other however necessary, whenever necessary.
We’re beginning to figure out that the Miami Heat may not have that same fortitude.
The Heat lost again on Thursday night, falling another game behind Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and it wasn’t particularly shocking. They were without Chris Bosh for the third consecutive game because of a sprained left ankle, and without a member of their precious big three, they ran out of gas on the road against the Knicks.
We’re starting to see how fragile the Heat are. You take away one key piece, and everything crumbles.
The Heat are now 1-2 this season without Bosh. They’re 0-2 without LeBron James, and they’re 2-1 without Dwayne Wade. They’re 2-5 overall in any game without one or more of their three superstars.
It’s not a formula for long-term success. Too short-sighted. Too risky. What happens if one guy goes down in May, when you’re playing for your lives? Then you’re dead meat.
The Heat brought these three stars together with a grand big-picture plan, with multiple titles in their sights between now and 2016. But are they ready to begin winning now? It’s unclear.
If all three guys are healthy and they’re all clicking, the Heat can beat anyone. But if not?
The Heat may discover that it takes more than star power to win a championship. It takes teamwork, durability, focus, preparation, luck, and, perhaps in this case most importantly, depth.
Those things will come together for the Heat eventually. But in 2011? The jury’s still out.
Do the Heat have the manpower to compete for a championship in 2011? Share your thoughts below.