In ESPN’s countdown of The 2017-18 NBA League Pass Rankings, Zach Lowe puts the Miami Heat at #14, even without an All-Star on its roster.
The Heat feature “Erik Spoelstra waving his arms like a crazy person” on the sidelines urging on his strong collective group of players. Plus can Dion Waiters fulfill Lowe’s description of him as a “true goddamned megastar” on Waiters Island?
“We are officially in the Very Watchable section of the rankings. Miami lacks that one change-the-channel star, but the collective is strong: Goran Dragic, head down, sprint-dribbling into a whirring series of weirdo pivots; Hassan Whiteside swallowing shots instead of just blocking them; Kelly Olynyk accidentally hurting people with his herky-jerky game; James Johnson, ninja warrior, running inverted pick-and-rolls with Dragic and threading impossible passes; Erik Spoelstra waving his arms like a crazy person; and Dion Waiters, always Dion Waiters, forever calling for the ball, hoisting bananas shots, and acting like the true goddamned megastar he is.”
He praises the how hard Miami plays throughout the game. If the first unit doesn’t get you, the second unit will make sure the job gets done.
They play so hard. There is a perverse joy in watching Miami, frothing at the mouth, pulverize some poor team coming off a back-to-back or a hard night out on South Beach. You almost see the victim pleading: "Can you guys just take it easy, once?" No. No, they cannot.
Zach Lowe has a simple request for Spo.
There are some interesting basketball subplots here, too. And, Spo: For the love of the basketball gods, please stop calling timeouts in the last 30 seconds of every quarter. Sometimes, a guy just wants to get to the bathroom.
Labeling Miami “Very Watchable” puts the pressure on the Heat to perform at the highest level every game. Despite not getting a Christmas Day game, media writers are keeping an eye on the Heat for this season.