Miami Heat Love Letter


'Dem MF-Goons can hoops...

Yes, I'm jumping the bandwagon into Miami Heat cheering squad in the NBA this season. Don't get it wrong, I've been following them since the NBA hiatus (pre-bubble), and learning about them "MF-Goons" (as Kendrick Perkins keep referring the Heat Boyz).

First, they play nonchalant-team-play, with everyone's comfortable sharing plays, burdens, shots, passes, and defensive duties. No superstar ego here. No one playing for statistics. Speaking of playing for statistics, Bradley Beal recently complained why he's not an All-NBA this year? He compared the stats along with Trae Young.

As much I love Trae (and dissent what the heck Russ Westbrook doing in the All-NBA this year), but what kind of impact did Trae and Beal make this year? Where's Wizards and Hawks in post-season? How's their statistical achievement (29 and 30 ppg respectively) helped their team?

Meanwhile, the "star" status in the Heat team only averaging less than 20 ppg. In any given night, 6-7 players came up with double digit. But they deliver. And boy, whatta delivery they have this year.

Comparing Heat to Celtics, their match up in Eastern Conference Finals, is like matching soldiers to higher ranks officials. All the starters for Celtics are from top 10 Round 1 draft. While the only top 10 Round 1 draft in Heat team is Andre Iguodala, which even not a starter and having sunset of his career.

In regular season, Heat even fielded two undrafted players (Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson) as starters! Their "max contract" player is Jimmy Butler, second round draft from Marquette, been switching team faster than speeding bullet in the past 3 seasons.

But that's the beauty aspect. They are band of underdogs. They barks and fight! Everyone in the field know how to hustle to gain minutes of their basketball career. Butler struggled to have minutes during his early time serving Derick Rose's Bulls. Bam Adebayo, Duncan Ferguson earned their starting status after spending minutes in the bench. Goran Dragic overlooked by stats-hunter.

They have no top-draft players who guaranteed minute-play in their rookie years. They all have to struggle. Hence they bite hard, whenever they got it. They are hungry with playing. Always feel pumped and in the need to feed them basketball time.

And then, they have Erik Spoelstra. Coach Spo who also like his MF-Goons, started career literally from the abyss. He was the video guy for the Heat, before grinding his work to become trusted assistant of Pat Riley and eventually received the passing torch coaching the Florida-based franchise. The video guy.

Coach Spo knew how to work with underdogs. You keep them hungry, and told exactly what to do to be fed. This is his troops, they do what Spo told them to do. Man to man matchup, roll it. Zone defense, bust it. Get a mismatch, go for it. Sacrifice for longer play, aye sir!

His Heat team is definitely not for statistical-minded geek who analyse the match from numbers. You have to see them play. Their quick switch, pick and rolls, executing shots from random guy, defense in pack, and even Bam's underrated vertical jumping ability. Those unrecorded in statistics. You have to feel them hustle.

It is fateful that eventually this team will get outplayed by team possessing far superior talents. But to outplay them soldiers in 4 succesive nights?

They need to bleed hard in order to pass this MF-Goons. Yes, because them dogs from South Beach, they do bark. But before, they bite. And the horrific one, they do it as unit.

Dogs bite first, then bark. At that order. MF-Goons can hoops.

Let's go Heat!

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