Can the Heat bounce back? How are they going to plug the hole in the middle with Bosh injured? Is their bench good enough? They are never going to advance if Wade keeps playing like this. Can LeBron come up big in the 4th quarter for once?
We all want to know how and when the Miami Heat are going to stumble. Any chance critics get to point out a flaw they are quick to hypothesize over the demise of the team. This team, understandably, is analyzed and picked apart like no other in the league. I’ll admit that I’m one of the biggest offenders; any chance I get to rip on LeBron James and company I will take it.
But it is time for all of us to realize one thing: this team, as much as us haters loathe admitting it, has proven time and again that it can bounce back from almost anything.
Believe you me, I want to see them fail just as much as the next person, but their track record shows that this team is at its best when its doubters have the most ammunition.
You need not look further than the Heat’s first round matchup with the Indiana Pacers. After Chris Bosh went down in Miami’s Game 1 victory, they dropped two in a row to fall back 2-1. Not only that, but the way they dropped Game 3 (which Original NBA predicted) by giving up 38 points in the paint and making Roy Hibbert (19 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocks) look like the franchise player he never will be, while getting only 5 points out of Dwyane Wade had the doubters in full force. Wade was injured beyond repair, the Miami bench was quite possibly the worst in these playoffs, and the Heat absolutely could not replace Chris Bosh in the middle.
However, Miami shut us all up real quick. They reeled off five straight wins to knock the Pacers out of the playoffs and go up 2-0 against the Celtics. In fact, since that game Wade has put up 26 points a game and played some of the best ball of his life. Miami has had huge games from their non-star players, including Mike Miller, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, and Udonis Haslem. Haslem and Joel Anthony have at times filled in admirably for Bosh, who will in all likelihood be back for Game 5 against the Celtics.
Earlier in the season, when Miami lost three games in a row in January to the Warriors, Clippers, and Nuggets, critics across the country were telling us all the reasons why the Heat should be concerned in the long term. What did they do to respond? They put up 20 wins over their next 23 games. Hell, that run included a nine game winning streak and Wade even sat out six out of those 23 games.
And speaking of Wade, during the 14 games he missed due to injury, when Miami was supposed to be relegated to a two-man team incapable of running with the big boys without their leader, the Heat went 13-1.
The long and short of it is this: any time the Heat have faced significant adversity this season, they have bounced back to play some of their best basketball.
So now that they have dropped two in a row inBoston, how ever will the Heat rebound and get back on track? They will do the same thing they have done all season long and battle through the questions and just play basketball. Getting Bosh back is certainly going to help ease the pain, but even without him back in the fold, my money would be on the Heat to make a big statement against the Celtics tonight. Instead of overreacting as I and countless others have done after things don’t go Miami’s way, I instead expect them to respond to their previous two defeats in a big way. After how they responded to adversity throughout this season, I would be a fool not to expect their best tonight.
10. Tim Duncan
That’s right, the most mild-mannered man in the NBA has two tattoos and one of them is this bad ass death jester! Combine this with his knee brace and you start to think maybe he’s hiding some sort of hard-core alter-ego that he keeps from the public because he knows we just can’t handle it.
9. Kenyon Martin
Supposedly, Martin has an exact replica of his one-time girlfriend’s lips tattooed on his neck. Just too odd to not make the list.
8. Quentin Richardson
Yeah, there is a lot going on here, but you’ve gotta love the Chicago skyline. I can take or leave everything else here, but it is interesting to say the least.
7. Brad Miller
A seven foot monster of a man has a tattoo of a cartoon dog on his bicep? Yes please. Miller gets some recognition for having the cajones to put a cartoon on his body for the rest of his life. However, he certainly picked a winner in Scrappy Doo.
6. Marquis Daniels (top) and Udonis Haslem (bottom)
Clearly, this is not the most original tattoo in the world if two guys have seemingly the same exact thing tattooed in the same exact location. But these two deserve some credit for their dedication to their home state, though I have to give the edge to Halsem for having a more geographically accurate depiction of the sunshine state.
5. Amare Stoudemire
Stoudemire has a tattoo on his neck that reads “Black Jesus.” Need I say more?
4. Chris Anderson
This guy should get recognition for his entire body of work, Anderson gets some much deserved love here for incorporating his nickname of “Birdman” into his tattoos. Yeah, he has wings tattooed on his arms. Wings, Birdman, get it? His “Free Bird” tattoo isn’t nearly as original, but it still deserves some ink (pun absolutely intended).
3. Stephen Jackson
Yes, those are two hands praying while simultaneously holding a pistol. I never said these had to make any sense.
2. Nikola Pekovic
As if his opponents needed any more reason to be afraid of this man. Pekovic’s warrior tattoo is simply perfect for him. Stare at it for 2 seconds and tell me it doesn’t give you the creeps. I can only imagine his victims in the post are merely trying to avoid adding to the pile of skulls Nikola’s throne sits upon.
1. DeShawn Stevenson
And finally we come upon number one in the countdown. There is just so much to analyze here, so let’s get right down to it. First off, the man has one of the greatest Presidents in the history of the United States tattooed on his body. Why? Well, Stevenson explains, in so many words, that he did it to honor the man who ended slavery. That is a noble gesture, but what about those 5’s? Stevenson says “I had to put the 5’s on each side because nobody could recognize Abe. They kept asking me who it was?” Considering the tattoo is a stunning replica of the 16th President, it seems like the 5’s were entirely unnecessary and don’t help to clarify all that much, but what do I know? Lastly, and most obviously, the tattoo is planted firmly on Stevenson’s throat, a very unique placement if you ask me. Now when you look DeShawn Stevenson in the eyes you’ll be staring right in the face of one of the greatest men to ever live, and no, I do not mean DeShawn Stevenson.
Any tattoos that I left off the list? Comment below and let me know!