Imagine this scenario.
Your team is considered one of the top teams in the league and in your most recent game at home, the team leads for the majority of the game, outscoring your opponent by as much as 12 points. Then late in the game, the opponent manages to rally and take the lead.
Remarkably, the game comes down to the final seconds with your team down one point. So what do you do as a head coach? You draw up the same play you have called all season in this situation that has not worked once, place the ball in your star player’s hands and have him decide.
Well it may be a surprise, but this team, the Miami Heat (43-20), lost that game 87-86 to the Chicago Bulls (44-18) on Sunday.
After being defeated and swept by the Bulls for the regular season, what should you do if you are the Miami Heat?
Yes, I did say cry, which according to Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra, a few undisclosed Miami players did after their loss to the Bulls, knocking them into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
The locker room weeping, which Spoelstra dubbed “crygate,” has gained nationwide attention and has generated various responses, both negative and positive.
Los Angeles Lakers five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant said there is nothing wrong with locker room tears and every team goes through their own trials and tribulations at some point in the season.
Other players around the league and commentators have even gone the distance to proclaim that the Heat are, for lack of better word, a “soft” team that does not have what it takes to compete in the playoffs.
I have two problems with this entire situation, and my blame falls on the Miami Heat organization, yet most of the blame goes to the coaching staff and Spoelstra personally.
First, the young coach lost the game and the Bulls have beaten the Heat all season, but that in no way gives the team a reason to go to the locker room and shed tears about it. Come on, you are all grown men and this is not even the playoffs just a regular season game and your team is still one of the top five in the league.
I can understand if this was game seven in the Eastern Conference playoffs then cry yourself a river, but now is not the time people.
Next, I am completely disgusted with Spoelstra for releasing the comment that his players cried in the locker room. I think this was a private matter that should have remained discrete amongst the players and staff. Now that his “crygate” comments have become viral, he says that the media is sensationalizing something that is not that serious. Well of course that was going to happen, it is the media.
With just under 20 games left, the Heat needs to do one thing to improve and win more than one game against the league’s top five teams, the Miami is 1-8 versus the NBA’s top teams.
Spoelstra needs to actually start coaching at the end of games and not let his players take control over him. Every game when Miami needs a prayer, “someone” decides that LeBron James or Dwyane Wade should have the ball and make the best decision.
Lately, that decision has not been the right one.
Spoelstra should execute play, calling more and not have every game seem like a pick up at the end, otherwise this team will not win a championship. The team might not make it out of the second round.
Realize the talent can only take a team so far. There has to be a certain type of leadership in the equation as well.