“He’s jumping on them…if anything, he’s been too tough on them.” So claims an anonymous source to ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard, characterizing Miami coach Erik Spoelsta’s allegedly brutal treatment of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh as a paranoid reaction to rumors of his job insecurity. “”Instead of coaching he’s at the point where the players are starting to sense that he’s fearing for his job,” claims Broussard’s mole, and it’s the sort of attempted burial that has Yahoo Sports’ Kelly Dwyer replying, “keep snivelin’, sources..you’re going to make a martyr out of Spoelstra yet.”
All this is being tossed out there to make Spoelstra look bad, as he struggles to right Miami’s ship, but all this nonsense is doing is making Spoelstra look better. Of course James doesn’t take these things as seriously as he should, not when he’s setting up parties and appearances in clubs following road games, or taking whole possessions off to float around the perimeter. This sort of criticism, something he never got in Cleveland, is exactly what he needs.
Spoelstra is not doing his job when it comes to getting the most out of the players that he’s been put in charge of. But he is right to call out Miami’s Big Three, each of whom have been the biggest underachievers on this team. Not the point guards, not the big men, and not the coaching staff.
Broussard’s sources can gripe all they want about Spoelstra taking his frustrations out on the superstars, but he’s right to question their commitment. There’s no reason James should have just two double-figure rebound games, so far. There’s no reason Wade should be playing the sort of defense he’s playing, and there’s no reason Chris Bosh’s rebound percentage should have dropped to a mark below the percent he came through with as a 19-year-old rookie.