Oltmanns: Heat talented, but won’t win title this year

By Alex Oltmanns

LeBron James took his talents to South Beach to play for the Miami Heat this summer, but those… LeBron James took his talents to South Beach to play for the Miami Heat this summer, but those talents won’t be enough to lead his team to an NBA championship — at least not this season.

Teamed up with fellow NBA All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat were a near consensus pick by most analysts to win the league title, but if the first few games of this season are an indication of things to come, the Heat will come up short in the playoffs.

Before the season, many were asking whether  this year’s Heat team would challenge the 1995-96 team’s record for most wins in a regular season after they went 72-10.

But that goal is all but out the window now, after they’re off to a pedestrian 6-4 start.

Yes, the talent is there for the “Big Three” to get hot in the postseason and win a championship, but it looks like they might be a year away from getting the chemistry that every great team needs.

Just because a team has superstars doesn’t mean they’re automatically destined for greatness. Just ask the Cincinnati Bengals who, after signing Terrell Owens to team up with fellow receiver Chad Ochocinco, were a trendy pick to make a postseason run.

But two wins and seven losses later, they’re looking at a top 10 draft pick this year rather than a potential playoff push.

And when superstars don’t achieve the success they expect, their egos come out. You can almost set your watch to it.

James already complained that head coach Erik Spoelstra is playing him and Wade too much, leaving them too tired in the end of games.

But when a team invests so heavily in three players and comprises the rest of the roster with players intended to essentially take up space, why wouldn’t the coach lean heavily on his stars?

James and Wade are accustomed to having the ball in their hands late in games to take the last shot, but now they seem confused and indecisive in crunch time.

So far, Wade seems to be the guy to take the shot when his team needs a basket, leading the team in scoring by a slim two points per game over James.

The Heat certainly has superstars, but they’re playing out of position.

James is essentially playing point guard, a position where he has been effective, but it’s not his natural position. Not only does he have to create plays for himself, but now he also has to create for others now as opposed to when he played small forward in Cleveland.

Meanwhile, the Heat rely on Bosh to play tough down low in the paint, while he’s more effective facing the basket with more of a finesse game.

So while the Heat have the talent to raise the trophy in June, don’t count on it for this June.