Friday, March 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  75 responses

Dwyane Wade: Heat Experiencing ‘Growing Pains’

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

“Growing pains” is perhaps the most diplomatic way to put things for the Miami Heat, after they suffered their worst defeat of the season last night.

The “Heatles” blew a 24-point second half lead to the Orlando Magic, and once again, its star players went cold late in the game and failed to knock down the most critical shots. It’s a growing, and disturbing trend for Miami against the NBA’s elite teams.

No one in the Heat organization has an answer for what’s ailing the team — and the body language from LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the postgame presser indicated a team perhaps beginning to doubt itself a little bit.

The Sun-Sentinel has the quotes from this frustrated group:

“We’re going through this growing pain, and it sucks,” Wade said. “You look for the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a trend. We’ve had leads and we’ve let it go away. I’m not used to being on teams like that. So it’s mind boggling.”

[LeBron] James did not score in the fourth quarter and [Dwyane] Wade scored only two points in the fourth. “Obviously, there is a trend for us, where we do the same things over and over. We’ve blown a lot of 20-point leads; we’ve blown a lot of leads when we’re in control,” said Bosh, who said something might have to change, without specifying. “We have to start being the aggressor.”

It’s certainly not panic time in Miami. There’s plenty of meaningful basketball left to be played, including a big test for the Heat tonight in San Antonio.

Sooner rather than later, though, LeBron and company might wanna think about righting the ship.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Better call Alan Thicke.

  • http://www.sunlustxxx.com RunNGun

    Should have gone to the Knicks when you had the chance, D-WADE! Prepare to beaten each and every game when you visit the Big Apple.

  • vtrobot

    E: Thanks for making me laugh. Good luck in the comments section today. Peace.

  • Justin

    lol@”righting the ship” What are they, second or third in the conference? Yeah, they’re done! Man, the exaggerated journalism is a joke on this site at times. That being said, I think this is the main difference between LBJ, DWade, and Michael Jordan. Does anybody honestly think Michael and Scottie would have only shot the ball a combined six times in the quarter and allowed this kind of comeback? Not a chance

  • ClydeSays

    Great game. Give the Magic credit for keeping their heads in it after a brutal 1st half. The Heat have a tough stretch coming up. They’d better figure out how to close out games against Playoff teams…

  • Jer dawg

    The Heat handled Magic early in season and I thought would be another Heat victory. I left at half time to the mall. Come back around 9pm and saw score & was in disbelief. What a choke job. Might as well lose all game long than to lose while up 20+ in second half of contest. Wade hasn’t gotten the ball to close out games recently. Lebron’s trying to make plays but its not working. Horrible! “Growing pains?” Less than 20 games left there’s no room this late into the game.

  • Kas

    James isn’t clutch at all. He’s a choker

  • elmaar

    that’s what should be called a bad mix of great talent

  • Joel

    The Heat are a joke! The 05,06 team with shaq and wade would kill this soft team! Shaq and Wade were a better combo…. If shaq was a couple of years younger when we had him, we would of had a dynasty! Bosh is soft, and lebron is not clutch! Let Wade do what he has done is whole career, let him take over in the 4th……

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    I have avoided the “fire the coach” mantra so far, but I can’t any longer. This was a classic, CLASSIC case of not knowing how to 1)manage a game, 2)calm your players during adversity, 3) outsmart the other guy in the suit, 4) be aware of what’s happening in the game and insert ther proper players. I don’t think Riley’s coming down, so the question is: who is out there without a job that could help this team? JVG?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    Wade should be the closer, he’s proven he can do it over and over again. But not this season. What, are they (Wade and Spo) afraid of hurting LBJ’s feelings? And it’s not a bad mix of great talent, elmaar, it’s great talent with the wrong coaching.

  • Bruno

    co-sign Cheryl

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I’ve been saying that for about 8 weeks, Cheryl.

  • Brian

    The Heat run 2 different offenses. The first 3 Q’s they run the Don’t Blame Me O where their “stars” pad their stats so it looks like they played great games when you look at the box score.
    Sometime in the 4th they switch into Will Someone Else Please Shoot and they start looking for Eric Dampier et al to carry them they haven’t shot all game.
    I haven’t laughed this hard on a Thursday night since Seinfeld was on. That was awesome.

  • Justin

    Typical…blame the coach. You know, Spo is in a lose/lose situation here. If he wins it’s because of the talent he’s got and anyone could coach this team. If the team loses, he doesn’t know how to coach. Puts the whole “whether Phil Jackson is a great coach” into perspective doesn’t it? But yeah, I guess during halftime Spo told Lebron and Wade to take half a dozen shots combined didn’t he? As the number 1 and 2 scorers on this team, he must have told them not to shoot very much. That sounds about right. Idiots

  • westeves25

    to argue of few peoples points…. how can you shoulder the blame on Spo, why not Riley. Spo has his hands tied. its not up to Spo to lace up his Stacey Adams and execute the offense, thats up to his “big three”. Riley has to have some sort of convo with his “superstars” and let them know whats up…. With this much talent ur supposed to find a way to win games, not dissappear in the moment…. Spo should have walked off the court and shoulder bumped Lebron after that hideous (2 games in a row) 3. No more excuses about growing pains we’re more than 60 games in…. not to mention practice.

  • A.B.

    Two words,Eddy Curry.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    STILL having growing pains?!
    Grow the f*ck up already, Wade.

  • westeves25

    LMBO…. @ Eddy Curry

  • Brian

    @ westeves: A few more inches and LeBron’s 3 would have hit the top side of the rim. Quit being a hater!

  • westeves25

    Hatin is the last thing im doin….. but you cant go back and add inches to a shot that he had plenty of time to set his feet and fire with no one contesting him to make…. not hate, just facts….. Wade needs to be shooting that shot!!!!!! Period…. Thats why he had double coverage..

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    i know a lot of this on spo, but i just don’t get how wade and lebron let this happen. they are two top 5 in the league talents, and i don’t doubt for a second that the two of them have the combined talent to take over when their team is in the process of blowing a 24 point lead. six shots in the second half as their team squanders what should’ve been a 20-plus point win? are they serious?! we’re talking about competitive drive now, and we’re talking about leadership. i can’t believe neither of these great players had the desire or the courage to demand the ball while the lead was slipping away and take this game back for the heat. i know miami fans want to just blame spo, since that’s easier than blaming the players you’ve banked on for a few years, but look at it truthfully and you’ll see that the blame falls equally on the players.

  • http://bugmarley.com Leonel

    It’s a pain and it’s growing.

  • T-Money

    Cheryl: the last play was for D-Wade and, to be fair, he did nothing in the 4th besides missing fts and leaving J-Rich honest. Spo still has to go, tho.

  • westeves25

    Wordapp to that….. I love the NBA period, and I love watching some of these great teams unravel…. But hearing excuse after excuse every loss makes me sick. Lebron is, (in Barkley words) “the best player on the planet”; and Wade is the one of the best players in the clutch behind only Kobe…. and hear these alphdogs come up with excuse after excuse…. im nausious right now……. Someone step up and own this team (Wade)…………..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    they’re deferring to Lebron when they shouldn’t be. Wade has to say “f” it and take over. and Spo has to give him the go-ahead. And someone said don’t blame the coach, however, coaching is not just about Xs and Os. it is about managing your team. Calm them down when there’s adversity (see PJ); convince them that you will give them the right plays and players on the court to counter what the other team is doing. I’m sorry, but what you see on the court is directly related to management of the game, and that is all on the coach.

  • o my

    ye i hear the heat are signing reggie miller stockton and malone after this loss. can we finally win a close 1 now lol. the 3 stooges.

  • T-Money

    Cheryl: D-Wade needs a go ahead to look for his own shot? Cmon now. That’s on him. You can draw up a play for a guy out of a time out, but you can’t tell a guy to take over. Especially a first-team All NBA’er, if he wants it then it’s for him to take it. (I personnally do not care about who takes over during the 4th as long as we get it done).

  • Sizzle

    Does Erik Spoelstra have any expression other than the half smirk/smile they constantly show of him when the heat are collapsing?

    PLEASE Pat Riley find a coach who can maximize the talents of these Ball Players. LeBron has never had a REAL coach (maybe he is uncoachable, but I doubt it). This team pisses me off, I stopped watching come the fourth quarter cause I knew I would be mad so I fired up the XBOX and took out the aggression on BLACKOPS. HOLLA

  • http://garylabatros@yahoo.com gary

    Don’t blAme it on the coach

  • westeves25

    @ Cheryl

    So what is Spo doing when he calls the timeouts, and during huddles…. Spo can NOT jump into his players bodies and make them calm down, have confidence, trust in one another… these issues have nothing to do with him but solely on his players…. until Wade steps up and owns Lebron, this will be an issue… Funny catch 22 he’s in…. they win, its because of the talent, they lose its because he sucks as a coach…. smh…. They should have fired Doc Rivers at the end of the 07 season in that case….

  • John

    Everybody blaming Bron for missing his shot but think about it: he took the shot after it was tipped back to him AFTER Bosh took that horrible shot once it was inbounded instead of given it to Wade or Bron to make the play happen. Now I know the play wasn’t meant for Bosh and if it was THEN Spo needs to be gone.

  • Fat Lever

    Wait, I thought a Lebron James team never panics? What’s going on here?

  • Dave

    The Heat can get by on talent alone against bad teams, but against teams +.500 this season, they’re at something like 14-16, which speaks to something amiss from a strategic standpoint. They certainly have the talent to beat any team in the league, they’ve just been unable to execute. If they could consistently beat good teams, there would be no problem (of course) but since the talent is there, it’s a question of putting the talent to use, which is the coach’s job. This is Spo’s problem.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    If it’s on the players that they do not trust their coach, then yeah, it’s on the players. And I am beginning to think that Wade doesn’t want to step on Bron’s toes or something. When a team constantly loses games in the 4th quarter, it’s is usually because the team is young and has yet to learn how to close out games. This team is neither. So, fine. I like Spo, and until today, I’ve never said to let him go. but if someone here can offer me a better or more convincing reason for the self-destruction at the ends of games, I’m all ears.

  • westeves25

    @ John the play WAS drawn up for Wade, Wade got the ball, could not get a clean look due to the phenomenal D on him, so he had no choice to pass it to a wide open Bosh (who actually got a clean look)…… Leading to the last clean look of the night by a WIDE open James…. Who by the way he was playing early on in the night should have nailed that shot….. its all good… they got the Parker-less spurs tonight… redemption?

  • http://deleted yippiditydo

    The problem isnt spo it isnt james as much as i love watching them lose, the reason the heat this yr are worst than the of cavs last yr, is because of numerous reasons #1 its because the collection of talent they have dont compliment each other well, think about it wade and LBJ play basically the same position which automatically makes it impossible to beat teams with a good bigman because wade and LBJ can only do so much lol, #2 i hate to do this but its time to look at cb4 okay while we cant deny he’s a talented truth is cb4 is a slight step above being a SF he might even weigh as much as a SF ala lamar odom minus the goods lol. which means…. the heat are waaaay too small to contend against basically anybody this yr. Final verdict- the miami heat as a whole franchise are to blame for this one , they all got a bad case of superstar flu last summer.Or they have low basketball IQ as a whole organization. unless a gr8 bigman wants to play for free i see mia O championships.

  • hillbilly

    C’mon, DWade. Show me that smile, again. Don’t waste another minute on your crying, ’cause you’re nowhere near the end & the best is ready to begin. Your Pal, Kirk Cameron

  • http://deleted now what

    i just wonder which player the heat are gonna get next after this loss? oh and great lets trade away a fresh young arroyo and get a old broken down atlanta hawk left over mike bibby lol who has zero chemistry with wade lol, who’s the heat GM fire him lol the zen master phil seen it all coming,, cheryl has a point. Think about it MJ and KB only got there rings after the zen master got onboard so YES i agree cheryl a coach with real basketball oncourt experience would help the situation tremendously, plus a couple of decent bigman would definitely help.

  • http://nobulljive.com/ Enigmatic

    Haven’t they been using this “growing pains” excuse all season??

  • John

    @Wes The ball was inbounded to Bosh and then he took that shot. Was it a good look? Yeah maybe but with 8 seconds left do you really want him to take the shot which was a three?!! I’ll give Orlando their credit on defense but there was time on the clock to run the play to Wade. Bron needs to work with Reggie Miller in the off-season on his shot. And if they win tonight all people going say is they did with out Tony Parker.

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com LeKingsMan

    Miami has already won 7 championships and held the celebration in advance. So whether or not they win an actual championship is irrelevant. Miami celebrated its championship in advance and other teams or bitter fans can’t take that away from them. I can still picture Bosh screaming in joy as he won his 7th championship and there was LeBron, knowing to play it cool and act like he’s won championships before.

    And if there is any doubt about who the greatest champion is, just consider:

    LeBron – 7 championships
    Jordan – 6
    Kobe – 5

    In the modern era, is there a bigger champion than LeBron?

  • kudos

    A lebron james team never panics. In fact, i’m sure he’s ‘rallying’ the troops right now.!!

  • manny

    its the damn coach. doesnt know how to instruct his players on exactly what to look for or what to do. he doesnt understand the game like pop or phil jackson. wtf, y did the ball go into chris bosh’s hands and y did he shoot a three. dwayne wade was curling off the left corner and all you have to do is pass it in his direction and with his good hands will find a way to get a good shot. smh miami…smh

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    You can’t put this on Coach Spo. When the Heat went on their run and got back to the top of the conference, no one said “but they’re playing the wrong way, Spo still needs to go.” The Heat supporters just said they were finally hitting their stride. I hate hate hate to make comparisons like this, but do you think if Kobe or MJ was out there playing with Lebron, they’d be letting this stuff go down? Wade is too buddy buddy with Lebron and he doesn’t want to step on the KINGs shoes so he’s been deferring to him all season! Thats nobodies fault but Wade’s. He needs to have a meeting with Spo, tell him that he’s ready to be the go to guy and demand the ball at the end of these close games.

  • http://www.twiter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    And in the midst of typing that rant, it hit me that he Heat were up by 24 points! The game should not have even come down to a last second shot. They need to figure out how to close out teams BEFORE they figure out who will take the last shot at the end.

  • A.B.

    Does it not bother anyone that Chris Bosh has no post presence at all???? The guy is making over a hundred million! And instead of him getting buckets in the 4th you got Eric Dampier scoring clutch buckets down low.

  • dsleepy

    i hate when lebron refers to himself in third person. anyway, go d.wade!

  • westeves25

    SMH @ Eric Papsmear taking shots in the clutch… Milk Carton Reads: (Chris Bosh’s post presence) M.I.A in MIA

  • Cizzo

    I’m tired of Bashing the Heat…. No I’m not I’m just tiresd of all my negative critism being true……

  • http://Slamonline.com Mars


  • http://Slamonline.com Mars


  • A.B.

    If the Heat do not win it all this year “I GUARANTEE” Bosh will be traded.

  • Jalepino Sauce Age

    Yep. They done umphed up a little. I’m not that worried. J Rich had a sic game & Bibby was whack 3 points & 2 assists in 20+ mins G.T.F.O. to say the least. I think they need to play with a true P.G. type set up because Bron at point is hurting them & i bet SPO regrets putting the bench Warrior Eddie House on D.N.P list. Cmon Pat , MAKE IT HAPPEN !

  • T-Money

    Hold on now… do you guys realize that Wade has played like sh– in all the big games this year? And this is Bron’s fault that he didn’t show up for the 3 games vs Boston?

  • http://Www.slamonline.com B-more Mike

    These guys played with Bosh, they knew his game was soft but because there friends it’s like F the friendship stuff let’s win chips. And even Bosh should give money back so the heat can really make moves because he’s no way near “MAX” worthy. Maybe Wade & Lebrick stop shooting so Bosh could get his but he ain’t got that “killer kill” in him. & Mike Bibby, child please. Rondo, Rose, Jameer.

  • Omar

    D. Wade is the pimp. LBJ and Bosh are the product so….

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno
  • Wilbon

    co-sign T-money

  • truthteller

    Here’s an idea: Until lebron grabs his nuts and learns to make clutch shots, let him defer to dwade in crucial moments of the game ’cause Dwade has been there before and is very comfortable in those kind of situations! Oh and the coach needs to grab his nuts and let the team know this! Geeze!

  • Pharoah

    Funny thing is when they all went to play in Miami together, late game situations were suppose to be their advantage. Everybody talked about how they had 3 options and would have no problem closing out games..

  • http://yahoo cisco

    Who are they going to blame now? Arroyo is not in, wich I think it was a travesty to all of us who know basketball! No chemistry as a team and poor coaching,very poor coaching!!! Who is running the offense? Think about it.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    squad ain’t built for playoff basketball. Playing in the AA arena isn’t an advantage, playing on the road isn’t an advantage, and they have zero killer instinct. Loss seemed deflating, it will take some kind of motivator to get the ship rolling again

  • Justin

    I am literally shaking my head at a lot of these comments and am not even sure where to begin. The easy ones first I guess. @A.B…Bosh will not be traded. You think they’re going to trade him after one year? Who will take the contract anyway? Ridiculous. @Cheryl…blaming the coach is a joke. Phil does not call timeouts to settle his team down. If anything, he probably calls the least timeouts of any coach and makes his guys play through the adversity. That was something he did when he coached the Bulls. Whomever said that Bibby and Wade don’t have chemistry…really? After one game? Pretty quick to criticize. And why are so many just talking about the one play at the end? If Wade and Lebron continued to do their jobs, it never comes down to a final shot

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    I think the pains continued last night.

  • Manu4MVP

    Did you see the Heatles vs Spurs tonight? ‘The Big Fundamental’ was saying ‘Game Over’ to his team during the first quarter! Piss funny. Destroyed them by 30. TP came back early from his ankle & played well. We’re ballin.. Plus B. Diddy was huge in his first game for the Cavs. Some clutch buckets in their win over the Knicks. At the ‘Mecca’ no less. I’ve always loved Baron’s game. He threw an awesome lookaway half court alley pass too. Good timing cos my Beardman t-shirt Eastbay order arrived on Friday. Rockin’ it today here in West Oz.. Time to watch us Aussies vs Sri Lanka in the cricket World Cup. C’mon Aussie! Oi!

  • ClydeSays

    Ooof. After the Spurs game, ‘growing pains’ has to be sharp, broken-ribs type of pain.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    Yeah, I think they have growing up pains. Haw haw.

  • A.B.

    @Justin- The Heat will realize soon that they waaaaaaaaay overpaid for Bosh. And if a team comes in to play to make a decent trade they WILL pull the trigger. Wanna know what is really ridiculous??? Chris Bosh playing in the post. That will never happen.

  • http://Slamonline.com Mars

    Heatles aren’t perfect but they’re still top 5. Spurs, Laker, Celtics, Heatles, and Mavs. pick one for the Chip. Playoffs is a different beast. Regular season is very deceiving. How manyn game did Cleveland win last year? Oh yeah thats right 61! what LeBron’s playoff avarage? 29-8-7. There’s no argument. D-wade should of went to Cleveland. End of story. thats why it’s not working. Heat was not a 61 win team before he got there, so it like building Cleveland all over again w/ d-Wade. Just Imaging BDiddy and LebRON AND dWADE IS FANTASY. iM Gonna go cry now. THe NBA RUINS EVERTHING.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ The Promise

    Always an excuse with these guys.

  • http://wwww.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    spurs own

  • giogolo

    becarefulwhat uwishfor D.Wade,
    Udidnt think u didnot brought cancers to them when u asked for the two.

  • http://dwyanewade tina t.

    Dwyane my dear you know the heat has a very elite potential when you all have a significant lead must maintain momentum on both offense and defense and being real your bound to always come out a winner mementum , continuity being certan no room for uncertainty. Why because the talent displayed by this team the Heat I’ve seen first hand, Dwyane you take care now and beyond the computer I still will love to get to know you. Dwyane Im in a bit of a slump no I dont understand everything but I understand some things luv ya tina tmt 3/5/2011 your friend future companion see ya god bless

  • curtis

    what a bunch of pussies