As we’ve seen so far this season, teams are going to do their best to rough up the Miami Heat. Whether it’s the Nets’ Terrence Williams shoulder-chucking LeBron James of the Jazz’s Ronnie Price blasting James Jones (as seen above), opponents are more than willing to layeth the smack down against the Superfriends. That’s the price you pay for signing a bunch of superstars and being hyped up at every opportunity.
However, according to the Heat, the days of being pushed around are coming to an end. At least that’s what the two more muscular guys on the team said to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
“Teams are being a little bit chippy with us,” forward LeBron James said after Wednesday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. “Maybe we need to do the same.” [...]
Forward Udonis Haslem said if the Heat need to stand up for themselves they are more than willing.
“There’s going to be plenty of times where we’re not going to always be getting the flagrant fouls,” he said. “We’re going to be giving ‘em, too. Don’t think that people are just going to keep flagrant fouling us. I just haven’t had a chance to catch nobody yet.
“We’re not just going to keep taking the flagrant fouls around here, I’ll tell you that right now.”
No offense to LeBron James, who has very large muscles and occasionally sports a fanged mouthpiece, but when it comes to guys on the Heat who I think would respond physically, my money’s on Udonis. Not that LeBron couldn’t. It’s just that, well, we don’t believe you, you need more people.
Truth be told, the Heat probably could use a little toughening up. As long as Chris Bosh is the team’s power forward, opposing teams are going to do their best to make the game a smash-bang fusion. Thus far, that’s not the way the Heat have wanted to play, which has hurt them.
Of course, if the Heat do decide that they want to start throwing bodies around, that’s only going to make people hate them even more. Plus, other teams will see that’s what they’re trying to do and they’ll surely return the favor, which in turn will make the Heat have to get even more physical. It’s a vicious cycle.