Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Shaquille made huge difference

Herald.com 06/08/2005 Shaquille made huge difference

After an extremely positive season (59-23 *Best Record in Franchise History), plus all the hype sorrounding Shaq's super stardom and Wade's rise to supestardom, Heat fans were left with an extremely disapointing loss in its Eastern Conference Finals game at home. I myself will not be watching the finals and even though I don't talk about it, I feel pretty disapointed. We're suppose to be looking forward to Game 1 in San Antonio, not sitting home watching the Marlins in last place. Several things irked me throughout the game, but there are other things that make me proud to be a Heat fan since I can remember... (no other NBA team has impacted me like the Heat)

Irritating Moments:
1.) Damon Jones Bunny Hop
**I don't know what he was doing but he kept on jumping on one leg... But my irritation goes farther than the Bunny Hop... Missing a crucial free throw in the final seconds while Chauncy Billups of Detroit was a Free Throw Machine hitting four in a row.

2.) Missed Crucial Shots
**I might be going out on a limb here, but there was a lot of crucial shots that were missed by key players toward the end of the game... but this is a very small irritation. We didn't make the shots, they did... so that's why we lost.

Non-Irritating Moments: **I'm not even going to number them... because I'm extremely proud of this team, they did not overacheive or underacheive, they played great**

I have one thing to say to all the Detroit Fans who think they have a far superior team than ours... (This includes Charles Barkley who didn't give any respect to Wade or the Heat throughout any of the TNT broadcast.) We played and almost beat the Defending Champions with our whole team hurt, here is the list of injuries for the starting five:

1.) Damon Jones - Hurt Leg
2.) Dwayne Wade - Pulled Rib Muscle *Did not play Game 6, took pain numbing shot in chest for Game 7*
3.) Eddie Jones- Hurt Ankle, Cut Eyebrow
4.) Udonis Haslem - Dislocated Fingers
5.) Shaquille O'Neal - Deep Thigh Bruise

This starting five sounds more like a list of incoming patients at Mercy Hospital not the starting five of the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference. With a hurt team and virtually no real time to rest there starters, the Miami Heat saw their chances of their first NBA Finals fall through the cracks.

The only thing left now is too look toward next season. What moves will Pat Riley do to make Stan Van Gundy's Heat better. There are many othere questions such as, will Alonzo Mourning's health allow him to return or will Damon Jones opt-out of his contract and make his move to another team for more cash. And not too mention the health of Shaquille O'Neal and Dwayne Wade, these are two superstars that if they return next year at full health will have this team in the Playoffs and making a run into the finals without a doubt.

I believe these are the following moves that need to be made in order to make sure that the Miami Heat will be as dominant or even more dominant than this year. Priority number one is to re-sing Udonis Haslem to the Power Forward position. He almost averaged a double double throughout the season and he can only get better playing next to Shaq. It's almost a done deal that Keyon Dooling will opt out of his contract next year to go for more money, the question now is will Damon Jones do the same. If Damon Jones returns to try to win a title with Wade and Shaq at his side, this gives a perfect opportunity to the young Dorell Wright who they picked up out of high school last year. Dorell spent most of the year on injured reserved fine tuning his play to be able to compete in the NBA. Fellow Heat players have given him rave reviews and believe he his the future of this organization with Dwayne Wade.

Final Thoughts: This team was a great team and should have been in the Finals against San Antonio. Alonzo (and Steve Smith) should have gotten his tropy and ridden into the Sunset of retirement. Wade should be standing on the front page of the Miam Herald with an MVP tropy in one hand and a World Championship trophy in the other. Big Daddy Deisel should be smiling big riding his Navigator back to his $20 million dollar home on Star Island. And lastly, Stan Van Gundy and Pat Riley should be getting congratulatory praise on running the best team in Franchise history. At least we can all know this, the Lakers are nothing without Shaq, and Kobe is still the crying that his team didn't even make the playoffs. At least Wade made the playoffs without a dominant big man last year... Who's the better Gaurd now???

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