Stay patient, my friends

7 03 2011

I can’t imagine some Lakers fans would have ever imagined before that All-Star Break that the Lake Show would have turned around their season so soon. Yet here we are. Seven games into the season’s second half, and the Lakers have won each contest, including the spanking they put on the Spurs earlier today. It was one heck of a game for those of us Lakers fans who remained patient despite their lousy performance at times in the first half.

Turn the tables and you’ll find the Heat. Their fifth loss in six games — in what is becoming typically un-clutch fashion — is likely to make ESPN and more “experts” announce the star-laden team as an uncertain title candidate. Of course, that’s clearly a bunch of bull. The Heat are as much a title contender as any other team. They’re playing like crap now, but it’s better for them to get this poor play, particularly at the end of games, out of the way now.

Remember that this team has only really played together for three months, give or take a week. Dwyane Wade missed the first couple weeks of the season, and so the team is still figuring out how to play as a team. Through trial and error, they’ll likely learn that Wade should get isolations at the end of a game. That running Wade on a pick-and-roll with Bosh is advantageous to them winning, which of course is odd given that LeBron James is their best player. Unfortunately for them, he’s not the greatest in crunch time. But it doesn’t warrant the overreaction that exploded on Twitter immediately following today’s contest versus the Bulls.

The Lakers are a fine example of what the Heat can do between now and the end of the regular season, now and the playoffs. The Lakers lost their way and had the convenience of falling back on their past title runs. They understand the mentality they need to take into the postseason. The Heat may not share a similar history with each other as the Lakers do amongst themselves, but the Heat still have past success this season, namely their 21 wins in 22 games from late November through early January.

Some of the Heat players have had title-winning success (Wade, Udonis Haslem, Eddie House) and others have experienced deep postseason runs. They will get it together. Those Heat fans who remain patient through this latest turbulent portion of Miami’s season will feel about as good as I did today if and when the Heat forge their way to the Finals.

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