To make matters worse, unlike the previous disaster against the Utah Jazz, the whole basketball-watching world had tuned in for this one. It didn’t help that TNT’s cameras kept panning over to Pat Riley’s increasingly frustrated mug after each dagger from Boston.
Following the game, after submitting a superhuman performance in the losing effort, LeBron James complained about his playing time.
James looked visibly gassed in the fourth quarter against the Celtics, and thinks he played too many minutes. The message to his already embattled head coach was clear and unmistakable.
Yahoo! has some of the usual vitriol, plus the quotes:
“For myself, 44 minutes is too much,” James declared. “I think Coach Spo knows that. Forty minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out.” There you go, Coach Spo. Get to know him well.
Two days earlier, James had done nothing in overtime and ultimately decided the difference was a Hall of Fame coach, Jerry Sloan, who knew exactly what the Heat were going to do. James never takes responsibility, never says, ‘I’m the MVP and I need to do more.’ He didn’t do it in Cleveland, and he’s never going to do in Miami. Now, 44 minutes in a grudge game with the Celtics is too much. Always an out, always an excuse.
Erik Spoelstra has not had a very good week.
Nine games into season, there are plenty of questions and doubts about the Miami Heat. It remains to be seen just how much time Erik Spoelstra will be given to come up with satisfactory answers.