James insisted that the regular-season-is-irrelevant argument doesn’t apply to Miami.
“Not for me,” James said. “It’s not for me. My motivation is well beyond hoisting one trophy. I’m not taking any shortcuts to get to that point, so I can’t allow my teammates to take shortcuts. We’ve got to be better. I’ve got to be better. It’s that simple.”
For two years, ever since Wade and James and Bosh decided to play together in Miami, the Heat have been surrounded by what they call “noise.” Everything the Heat have done, the good and especially the bad, have been scrutinized. Winning last season’s title, they figured, would relieve perhaps a tiny bit of that noise — that is, until the first rough patch of this season arrived.
It’s now here. And some inside the Heat locker room think that the extra motivation might not be a bad thing right now.
“We understand what it takes to win,” Haslem said. “We understand that we have what it takes to win. But not performing at a high enough level defensively, it’s just a shame. We’ve got to fix it. And we’re going to fix it.”