There's a lot of criticism of coach Spoelstra. As is there of LeBron, and even now Dwyane Wade.
While I don't think Spoelstra is one of the NBA's best coaches, and I'm not even sure if he's one of the better ones, it's hard to call this 2-1 hole against the Pacers his fault. He really is very low on options right now. This is a team missing 1 of their 3 really good players (and was missing another one last game) and has an extremely weak bench, as well as starting Bigs.
Right now he's making a decision of whether to keep Joel Anthony in the game longer, or sub him out for Ronny Turiaf. Or put Dexter Pittman in. Either way, they all pretty much serve the same purposes, and none of them can really score. Even Haslem is almost incapable of scoring more than 6 points in a game now.
If I was the assistant coach, there is a few things I'd be advising Spo, however...
Why even put in James Jones if you going to take him right back out?
That's the one thing Spo does that [bothers me]. He's a 3-point shooter. You can't put him in for 1:30 at a time. You have to let him get comfortable, get a few attempts up, and hopefully get on a roll. So if your going to sub him in...leave him in.
Another thing: Norris at his best can be a poor man's Wade.
Norris Cole isn't the best fit to play alongside Wade and LeBron, but he's well suited to sub in for Wade and hopefully score a few buckets while Wade rests. We know Cole is solid at getting the rim, as well as pulling up and hitting jumpers. When Wade is struggling like crazy, let Cole get a chance to come in, and if he's playing well at the time, provide a bit of offensive output in the process.
That's all I have to say about his subbing. But the truth is, even had he left Jones in the game longer, the Heat likely would've lost anyways, even had Jones hit 2 or 3 treys.
OK so I've covered Spoelstra. How about the players? Let's start with LeBron James.
First of all, he's the best player in the league. And to some extent, he's shown it so far this series. Don't ask about what he did last year in the title series; ask me what he's done in this series. He's done everything he can to put the team on his back, short of hog the ball and take almost every shot (something I honestly think he should consider doing in Game 4).
His stats haven't been off the charts or anything... but LeBron really just has no help. And last game he didn't even get help from Wade.
Which comes to the next section; Dwyane Wade.
If you ask me who is most at fault for this 2-1 series deficit the Heat are in right now, besides Bosh's abdominal, it's Wade. It started with Game 1, where LeBron carried the Heat to the win, and Wade quietly struggled. I mean, sure he had 29...but he shot 8-for-23 from the floor and didn't grab a single rebound.
Game 2, Wade once again shot a poor game, as he finished 8-for-22. He ruined a pretty good performance by missing his (I think) FIVE shots, including a slightly-off-balance open layup to tie the game.
Game 3 was horrific, nothing more really needs to be said about his performance. And that includes his mini-beef with Spoelstra, who's words he should've taken like a man knowing that he was playing [very poorly] that game.
And let's throw some heat at Shane Battier, who is 1-for-12 in the series. That's awful.
I don't know what the Heat should do. It's too late to trade for a decent PF or Center, something the Heat should've done a LONG time ago. It's also too late to add anything resembling athleticism off the bench on the wings (Battier, Miller, Jones, eww that so nonathletic it's making me cringe).
I'm still not giving up on this series. Mario Chalmers was an extremely bright spot of that Game 3, and if he perform relatively close to that (say, about 15 points and 5 assists with 3 treys) and LeBron and Wade are on their games, this Heat team can grind out some wins.