By Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel –
WASHINGTON — As they looked ahead to the start of the NBA playoffs, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade noted Thursday how they’ve come together in their thinking about late-game situations.
But there is one significant difference between the Miami Heat stars when it comes to the notion of whether this season would be a “failure” without championship.
Wade said yes; James said no.
“The season won’t be a failure,” James said. “You put too much work into a season to automatically call it a failure, but it would be a disappointing.
“This is our goal. This is what we’ve come together for. A failure is a strong word. We commit ourselves and we dedicate our season, we work hard every day and to automatically say it’s a failure, I think that’s a big word. But I think it’d be a disappointment, because that’s what you work hard for every day.”
Wade was more definitive.
“I say yes,” he said. “There’s only one champion. It’s a failure for every other team. If you don’t win a championship, you had a failed year.”
When it comes to their chemistry on the court, though, Wade said the two perimeter stars are more in sync than entering last season’s playoffs.
“A lot more comfortable than we were last year, when we were stilling figuring it out,” Wade said.
“I think now, as we’ve done this year, we’ve done a good job of figuring out who’s going to close games, and that’s not always meaning it’s going to come out to a positive result, but we’re comfortable with who has the ball at the end.
“It’s not that, maybe-I-should, maybe-I-shouldn’t thing. I think we’ve figured it out. It’s unspoken.”
“I think we’re more comfortable with one another heading into this postseason,” he said. “Last year, we were playing a lot off of instinct.”
Bosh in “due” time
There is a possibility Chris Bosh could miss time in the second round of the playoffs, with his wife, Adrienne, expecting their first child the third week in May.
“Yeah, I got a beeper,” Bosh said. “So when it goes off, I’ll be ready. We’ll see what happens, man, just waiting.”
Bosh missed three games in March due to the death of his grandmother, but did not discuss possible time missed due to the impending delivering in late May.
“Yeah, that’s the timeline. It’s an exciting time,” he said. “It’s exciting times, trying to compete for a championship again and bring in new life. So, it’s a busy time in the Bosh household.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra downplayed the quick turnaround to a Saturday playoff start, instead reminding of how the Heat went into their 2004 regular-season finale preparing for numerous potential opening-round possibilities, with the New Orleans Hornets emerging as the opponent.
“I do remember vaguely that it was something like our staff, the prep staff, was up 73 straight hours,” said Spoelstra, an assistant under Stan Van Gundy at the time.
“I never experienced anything like that. Our video guy at the time, Pat Delaney, who’s now our scout, I remember we were reviewing something and in mid-sentence fell asleep on me. I was saying, ‘What do you think about this? Are we ready for that?’ And he started a sentence and halfway through he fell asleep.”