LeBron and Wade make me appreciate Michael and Scottie

LeBron and Wade make me appreciate Michael and Scottie

We've all been watching the Heat.  Watching them struggle.  Watching them fail.  Exaggerating that failure (really they're still an elite team).   Trying to figure out what's going wrong.

The one thing I've heard over and over again is that Wade and LeBron don't have games that complement each other well.

Explain to me how LeBron and Wade's games complement each other any worse than Michael and Scottie.   None of the four were really good three point shooters.  All four were primarily slashers.   All four were elite talents that could score and pass.   All four can make a huge impact defensively with their athleticism.

Yet, Michael and Scottie made it work.

Was it because Scottie was never a number one prior to playing with Jordan?   He came in as the sidekick and accepted that role.   There was always a clear dynamic of who the man was.

However, in Miami, it doesn't seem like there's much battle over who the man is.   LeBron is the man.  No, the real problem is simply that he's failing in that role.

Is it the coaching?   I think Spoelstra is in over his head.   He's putting forth the same 'rah rah' speeches, but given his elite offensive talent, he's managed to craft an offense that can go off on crappy teams, but good teams don't seem to struggle to much to contain.

Is it the cast?   Jordan/Pippen clearly had more depth around them IMO.   Yes, Bosh is arguably as good or better than any third guy on the Bulls, but he's not tougher, and the Heat don't need his scoring.   The Heat have no toughness inside.  Dampier/Z even make the Bulls center rotation in the dynasty era look pretty good. 

Mike Miller hasn't been himself this year.   The other three point shooters are okay, but there's no Kerr, Paxson, or Armstrong.   There's no defender like Ron Harper.   The dynasty Bulls simply had more depth.

Whatever the reason, Michael and Scottie were magical.   I think a SG/SF tandem is the toughest tandem in the NBA to win with elite players at those two positions (vs matching up elite players at any other two positions), but the Bulls pulled it off six times.   Maybe they made it look too easy.

Watching LeBron and Wade struggle now simply reminds me of how awesome and unique the Michael/Scottie tandem was.  That said, it's too early to count the Heat out.   Sure, they're getting rolled right now.  They're struggling against good teams, but they have the talent to make things happen.   The Bulls swept them but only won by a total of 8 points.   Any of those games could have easily swung the other way, and there are no guarantees that they won't in the playoffs.


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  • The big difference might be MJ/Scottie didn't give a damn(especially MJ) on his behavior with his teammates and would probably go crazy on them if they didn't play well.
    But LeBron and Wade for all their bad behavior off the court have this AAU culture and I am seriously thinking that LeBron might not be mentally strong(he wants to win but does he have the killer instinct)..I also think LeBron was the guy crying in the locker room the other day.
    Or it might all be just KARMA.

  • Biggest issue? They've played 60ish games together. Jordan & Pippen played 300+ together before winning a title. Expectations were ridiculous going into the season and the reaction to a team with almost an entirely new roster struggling a bit is even more ridiculous.

    I do think you touched on something important about the roles. Jordan was already established as "the guy" when Pippen got there. Pippen had to mold his role from scratch. Lebron might be "the guy" in Miami, but Wade isn't comfortable in that supporting role yet.

  • It

  • Miami have now lost five in a row (and six of seven) and could EASILY lose their next five (or six): Lakers, Grizzlies (en fuego, btw!), Spurs, Thunder, at Hawks, and Nuggets! Can Spoelstra's head last long? ESPN will be unable to look away from the carnage...

  • In reply to petert23:

    Yes, the next 6 games (thank you for listing them) will be very entertaining.

  • In reply to petert23:

    That we are even discussing LeCon in the same breath is a disservice to Michael and Scottie, great champions that they are.

    It shows how we

  • In reply to petert23:

    Agree completely about the two of them making me appreciate Jordan and Pippen and what they were able to accomplish.

    But I can probably give you a good 10 concrete reasons why Lebron/Wade is quite different from Jordan/Pippen.

    Some of them are not likely to ever change, while some of them easily could.

  • I don't think it's as simple as it's LeBron's team. For all the talk about it Wade may not be starting plays as often as he used to but he's still ending them (ie getting the same number of shots). Well other than at the ends of games where LeBron seems to have decided he's going to keep shooting bad shots until he makes one ...

    Really the problem is LeBron is using a Jordan-like amount of the ball and Wade is using a Jordan-like amount of the ball and Bosh is the Pippen here. There's three players who have as near to 100% of the ball as any NBA team has ever seen. Don't really blame them, the supporting cast for the Heat sucks, but it's never been done before and I don't think you can look at history and say how it should be done.

  • The Heat will have to win 18 of the next 19 games to match the Cavs record from last year. MVP! MVP! MVP!

  • In reply to kbar17:

    The '10 Cavs were a better team than this Heat team ...
    The arguments from Lebron fans, that the Cavs were a bad team, are just silly.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    I agree. Other than Wade, I'd take every Cavalier over every other Heat player. I like Jamison over Bosh given how soft Bosh plays.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    When's the last time two of the leagues top scorer's/players in their prime got together? When one superstar(Wade) is used to being the alpha, going on runs when the team is struggling which all teams do, and taking the big shots down the stretch and thee big shot at the end of games that's what they do. Now all of a sudden you change that dynamic with two guys thrown together who do the same thing? And the guy who should subordinate is LeBron not Wade.

    And when's the last time you saw a team gut their roster, and then throw some guys together who have no experience or record of playoff success(together)? It's all unchartered territory, and thier navigating it with an unproven coach who to me doesn't have the cred to handle two bigger then the game personalities, and is being largely ignored during games. So when is "Spo" replaced(by Riley)? You develop roles, and then Wade and LeBron who are producing huge numbers might start beating the good teams/looking Jordan/Pippenish(though neither the defenders M.J. and Scottie were).

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    The Boston Celtics more or less did the second thing and won the title year 1.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Btw, did you get the email I sent you to your registered address (I think it's an AOL one)?

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I think there are a few factors in play:
    1) Not having an established hierarchy is one of them. Wade may have ceded some to LeBron, but it doesn't mean he's happy with it and according to reports yesterday, Bosh isn't happy with his role either.
    2) Predictability on offense is another. There are only 3 guys to truly worry about, maybe only 2 since I don't believe teams think Bosh can beat you on his own. There is little ball movement and too much iso. When they were blowing teams out, guys like James Jones and Eddie House were also helping out by playing a role on offense.
    3) There is a glam factor with the Heat. They aren't willing to be grimy like the Bulls. When they play defense, they are tough to beat -- but defense doesn't often get you individual accolades. I think James, Bosh, and to a lesser extent, Wade, are all concerned with how they look more than consistently doing the grimy things that can make the difference in close games.
    4) The Heat just aren't intimidating. Not sure why. Players can say they aren't intimidated by other teams but I don't think that's true. Teams were intimidated by the old Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, and the Jordan-led Bulls. I also believe the recent Celtics and Lakers title teams had a psychological edge on their opponent. The Heat simply do not. If anything, against many of the top tier teams, they are at a disadvantage psychologically. LeBron James glaring at the Portland bench while the Heat were losing and in the middle of a 4 game streak wasn't intimidating. It was almost laughable.

    I don't think any of these problems are unfixable. At various times this year, the Heat have played outstanding defense, moved the ball around, and were comfortable with a fluid hierarchy. Intimidation is earned with tough play, not tough looks. If the Heat figure this all out, they can still win it all.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    The MJ/Pippen Bulls were built over a long period of time. From the getgo everyone knew it was MJ's team and JK added pieces along the way. Scottie and Phil Jackson were definitely the 2 most important additions to MJ but each year the Pistons were beating on us in the late 80s the deficencies were addressed. The team also had Tex and his triangle offence that allowed all players to be involved in the plays even if it was just setting a pick or the backdoor assist for MJ to do his stuff along the baseline. No player was allowed to just stand and watch. But there were more important elements; great 3 point shooters (who can ever forget Pax shooting % in that post-season), great (the best?) rebounders etc etc (sorry preaching to the converted here). But imo thats the difference. Defined roles for every member of the entire 15 man squad; and accountability from MJ. His desire to win was infectious and the times he proved he was human and failed - Q Bobby Hansen lol!!

    The Celtics put their Big 3 together as complimentary pieces. Each is great at a given aspect of the game shooting, clutch, defending and DA also had enough faith in Rondo and Perks to know that he had a complete "Team" not just 3 players.

    Criami (just love that new name for them lol) have 2 1/2 great players put together without defined roles and without sufficient leftovers to create a Team. Personally I think the loss of Udonis was massive for them as he was the heart and soul of the Heat and as descibed above he was the plumber for this team. IF and that is a real big IF the new CBA allows the Heat to upgrade their roster with MLE etc then they will become a dominant force over the next few years but if the CBA restricts this (hard cap less exemptions etc) Criami (and NY) will be stuck with what they have and imo does not match what the Bulls have as a team.

    Will Spo go; I doubt it this year but lets have a bit of karma here; who is the best coach who is available at present to replace Spo? Mike Brown anyone??? Wouldn't that just be perfect

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I don't think the Heat will ever be anything better than a great regular season team unless they are able to add a solid supporting cast. I truly don't believe they will ever make it to the Finals, especially in the newly stacked Eastern Conf, until they develop a strong supporting cast. I definitely agree with some of the above posts that I would much rather have Cleveland's supporting cast with Wade or Lebron than what Miami currently has.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Excellent point about the East now being stacked. I don

  • In reply to Edward:

    If there is a MLE in the new CBA, the Heat will definately win a championship, and likely mutlitple championships.

    They will be the number one destination for MLE vetereans each and every year, and will basically get better every year as long as Wade and Lebron are healthy.

    Heck if Halsem was healthy this year, the Bulls probably aren't 3-0 against them, and the Heat likely have the best record in the league and nobody would be freaking out.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    There's a reason the owners want to scrap the MLE, and it's not to stop the Heat getting talent, it's because using the MLE usually ends up overpaying for bad players.

    I don't think it's automatic Miami get a good supporting cast even if the MLE is there. They'd still need to spend it well, which historically has proven really difficult for teams.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    I personally love to watch Jordan's performance.
    Recently I heard from his fan club said you got herpes? really? it is reported by offical you joined the Largest herpes

    dating /support site named DATEWITHHERPES . C O M . Thousands of sexy girls sign up there to look for you and date their herpes match. They mentioned the nickname there is jorwithhlove. Is it true?

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Whao whao whao Doug,. take it easy. Just because Pippen & Jordan played roughly the same positions, that doesn't mean they didn't compliment each other extremely well.

    First of all both scottie & Mike were better passers.

    They were 2 of the best defenders of all time, and Scottie could guard 4-5 positions. Great defenders work well together no matter what position.

    Jordan was a ball dominant scorer, Pippen was the quintisential fill in the cracks guy.

    As leaders, Jordan was the most demanding cut throat MFer alive, Pippen was always there to support his teammates & build them back up.

    Pippen was so willing to play the sidekick, and he had the versitile game to do it.

    Jordan & Pip were meant to play together, a perfect fit. You don't have to have a big man & small man to be a great fit.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I don't think Jordan and Scottie's games complemented each other well at all. They were both just really, really great, and obviously really great players can do great things.

    However, there's no inside/outside. There's no pick and roll. There's no real easily created two man game between a SG/SF.

    They were both great defenders and good passers, but those aren't things that complemented each other, those are things that complement any player. I'd also note that LeBron and Wade are also both very good and willing passers.

    I do agree that mentally they were a perfect fit though, but on court wise? I think they made it work, and it's a testament to their greatness (and Phil Jackson's greatness as coach) that they were able to still live up to the sum of their parts.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    I think it all comes down to the Bulls having a system in place. They ran the triangle to perfection and Jordan and Scottie were known as the dobermans on defense and the rest of the team would follow. The system that the Bulls had in place is still winning championships to this day in L.A. thanks to Phil Jackson. All I can say is, just imagine if the Bulls would have had Phil all of these years. There would have been different players that would have come through the Bulls organization after Jordan and Pippin, but I would be willing to bet Phil could've won a couple more championships even after the Jordan years. Miami's problem is... they have no bench and they are missing good role players by not having a good point guard and no legit big man. And the system that they have in place sucks cause Lebron is killing this team at the end of games. Wade needs to stop taking a back seat to Lebron and take his team back cause they have already thrown the coach under the bus after the crying in the locker room remarks. I for one annotations worried about the Heat's losing ways, but I still think they will be a problem come playoff time. It's just too much talent on that team and people making fun of them now better enjoy it cause once they do figure things out whether it be playoff time or next season, Miami will be a team that will have to be dealt with for a lot of years to come and I look for the Bulls to be right there or better than the Heat.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    and please excuse typing errors, I should be sleep.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I remember Michael used to say he had the game of a plumber; wherever there were holes, he would fill them. In restrospect, really it was Pippen who filled that role. The formula was simple - Pippen brought the ball up court, passed it in an offense designed to generate ball movement and player movement, and most often Jordan's shotmaking finished off the play. The Heat don't have a structured offensive system like that. Pippen sacrificed to become the de facto point guard in the Bulls' triangle offense, in addition to a lockdown defender who didn't gamble as much as Wade. Wade isn't like that. This isn't so much about the Jordan-LeBron comparison as it is about the Pippen-Wade comparison. You could make the argument that Wade is a better player, but Pippen was more versatile. When you already have an alpha dog on your team, versatility becomes more important, I think.

    Have to admit, as much as I dislike the Heat they at least force you to think basketball in a new way. And I think the Heat will figure it out at some point, I just hope it's not this year.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Maybe it was the triangle offense. Seriously, I think the Heat would play great in the triangle, which does not depend on a strong point guard, and is designed to give everyone a chance to score. If and when it breaks down, then the stars can take over.

    Also, it would help if Bosh was less interested in scoring and more interested in rebounding and defending, like Grant and Rodman.

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