Miami Heat stole a bit of glory from returning NBA champions, the Dallas Mavericks, besting the team 105-94. Miami Heat finished last season 58-24 and placed 1st in the Southeast Division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference. This year, however, they are starting the season with oomph. Not only did they defeat Dallas, they clobbered, them, building a 35-point lead and eventually winning. It’s the first time Miami hasn’t lost to Dallas in a regular season game since 2004!
What’s the secret to their success? LeBron James credited Coach Erik Spoelstra who told them, “‘Get out of your comfort zone.” You mean, Spoelstra suggested that Miami needed some balls? LeBron James suggests the lesson was to exit the comfort zone they had built over the years and “[start] doing things that you may not want to do, but may be for the better for the individual and for the team.”
Of course, this is merely one game and it’s relative to the chaos going on at the NBA, as a result of a late starting season after a prolonged lockout. All of those months of inaction, may well have given Coach Spoelstra time to re-strategize and focus on developing Miami’s offense. Still, these were the same Mavericks who destroyed Miami at last year’s NBA Finals. There should be no false modesty, Miami stole the show and deserves credit for that win, and for becoming a contender again.
Meanwhile, some analysts stated that Dallas simply looked worn out or uninterested in the game, and faulted Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Lamar Odom for a poor team effort. The upcoming weeks will show us whether Miami fluked out, or whether they are truly experiencing a comeback, thanks to a strong roster, a well-rested team and an unorthodox coach. They will be taking on the Boston Celtics and the Charlotte Bobcats to close out December. Unfortunately, the tight scheduling doesn’t allow much in the way of practice, so let’s hope Spoelstra and Miami have their game strategy figured out.
All in all, the NBA season is looking exciting again, though the greats are truly being tested in this abbreviated season.