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Did the Big Three Heat disappoint?

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A new column from Zach Lowe looks back at the 2010-14 Miami Heat run.

2013 NBA Finals - San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Did winning two titles in four years fall short of expectations?

ESPN’s Zach Lowe recently penned a column asking that very question regarding the Big Three Miami Heat. And it’s brought renewed focus on that era in Heat basketball.

Lowe discusses some of the Heat’s disappointments — losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 Finals, needing seven games to defeat the Indiana Pacers in 2013, Dwyane Wade’s knee injuries and decline, the refusal to use Chris Bosh as a stretch-5 until the 2012 playoffs. But he also gives the Heat lots of credit, asserting the Shane Battier signing as “the single most impactful midlevel contract in league history.”

Lowe also calls the Heat’s run “a success” to end the piece and pointed out how the Golden State Warriors could’ve easily just won one title during their recent championship run — a charge leveled at the Big Three Heat. (In 2015, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love got injured. And in 2018, Chris Paul was injured.) This nuanced analysis exposed all the Heat fans who dismissed Lowe’s piece without even reading it.

If we put all the questionable personnel moves to the side — the lack of cultivation in young talent epitomized in waiving Patrick Beverley in October 2010, signing centers like Erick Dampier and Eddy Curry when Bosh was their center all along — Miami had two big disappointments during the Big Three era.

One was LeBron James’ inexplicable collapse during the 2011 Finals, when he lacked the aggression he usually assumes even on bad shooting nights. And the other was the fact that Wade was only in his prime for the first Big Three season.

But hey, we still got two titles out of it.