See, this is something I like to think we all have had to address at least once in our lives, and if you have, then this example of the Miami Heat is one that you can, at the very least, understand, even if you do not agree.
On paper, the Heat have all the tools to compete and win, but on the court, especially at the end of games, they tend to look as frazzled, flabbergasted, and flustered as any "great" team I've ever seen.
They have no clue, consistently, of what to do to close out a game, and since they are the most scrutinized team in the League, leave it to fans to determine how they should finish a game in victorious fashion.
"LeBron should do it; he's their best player. It's his team."
"Mannnn, Wade should be the closer. He's done it over and over again. 'Bron aint got the clutch gene."
"Wade stays hurt; you can't trust him. Give the ball to LeBron."
"Mannnnn, 'Bron can't shoot. Plus, he don't have no rings. Wade's the one with the heart. It's Wade County!"
See, these statements above are some I've heard and seen all season long, and each and every time, it makes me realize that fans are making this way too hard. Let's get some particulars outta the way first.
Miami has no clue what the hell is going on in crunch time. It's this simple, and from the looks of it, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are prime examples of the "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" Philosophy. However, it doesn't have to be this way. You have two superstars; hell, you have two mega-stars for this reason: to make the game of basketball, the easiest game in the world, even more simple.
Each game should dictate who closes, and for people who are the best at what they do, I don't understand why the hell this concept is so hard to understand and execute. All this "he should close. No, he should close" stuff is for the birds.
This isn't Chicago, when you had three stars, but MJ was the unquestioned closer. This aint LA where you have stars, but Kobe is the unquestioned closer. It's not San Antonio or Houston, in their heyday, with Tim Duncan and The Dream, respectively. This is Miami, where 60 games into the season, we still don't know who to call on when the game is on the line.
Take a page out of Boston's playbook: three Hall of Famers, yet who is their "designated closer?" Whoever is open, and however the game is being played. Some nights, it's The Truth. Others, it's Ray. Others, it's KG, and in recent memory, you'll get some Rondo in there.
Simply put, you don't have to have a designated closer, unless the situation is one where the best player is the unquestioned leader. Miami doesn't have that...and it isn't even a bad thing, as long as its kept in its proper perspective.
Once the Heat make the game as easy as it can be, and The Basketball Gods keep them injury-free, these days will be long gone, and they'll be piling up wins and rings by the pound.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!