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“Here come the boom” culture change for Miami Heat this season

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Without All-Stars divas, the Heat take hits in stride and move on to the next play.

Orlando Magic v Miami Heat Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

No longer the home of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Ray Allen, the Miami Heat embrace the pain of togetherness to make winning plays. As NBA D-League coach Jordi Fernandez said,

"You can be a great college player, you can be the best player in the world, but I don't care. We got rid of a lot of good players last year, because they were selfish. They would not support their teammates. So that's the No. 1 thing."

A sign of Miami’s culture change has come from Hassan Whiteside himself, who has gone from counting rebounds to emphasizing the impact on his team’s performance,

"Coach, as I was saying with the plus-minus, Coach was saying I had an amazing game. So he gets excited when he sees that plus-minus that high. So, just making winning plays."

What we see are players making great passes and being in the right spot at the right time. At the 1 minute mark of video clip below Okaro White pulls down a key rebound and immediately finds the open man. On the next highlight play he makes another pinpoint pass.

Four notes on his play in that sequence:

  1. Smart decision-making, under pressure, in a crowd
  2. Not allowing defense to recover with quick ball-movement
  3. Perfect passes right on the numbers
  4. The receiver knew where he should be on the floor for a high-percentage attempt

Dan Craig deserves credit as his Sioux Falls Skyforce last season also were a high-scoring juggernaut molded from lesser-known players. That experience, i.e. going from dealing with high-profile personnel in Miami to players with more ambition than talent, prepared Craig to assist head coach Erik Spoelstra in creating the current Heat culture featuring tough physical play, along with along precise spacing on the court.

After a dozen years of catering to South Florida’s All-Star cast, the Heat has come to embrace a different philosophy hearing the same ultimate words: Heat Win. This time around though the team defines itself with unselfish play, which survives any BOOM thrown at it, because the Heat “Really want it now.” Violence is not accepted, but the ability to survive adversary is.