Flu-like symptoms often give the impression that a player is experiencing some type of otherworldly metamorphosis that allows them to be sick on the bench and god-like on the hardwood. The flu-like symptoms that forced LeBron James to not participate in the morning shootaround, which rarely happens, made him look even more legendary against the Phoenix Suns even though he only scored 21 PTS. His mentality going into the meeting?
Some of LeBron is better than no LeBron at all.
If Dwyane Wade was active, his decision may have been different. However, to cripple the Heat by subtracting two of their greatest offensive assets is too much to have on his conscience. Let’s not overlook Chris Bosh’s 24-point outing either. James may have been the belle of the ball because of his condition, but Bosh is working harder than any other player not named Wade or LeBron with a Miami Heat jersey on. The victory against the Suns may not be all that impressive when the NBA Playoffs are approaching but for an early season glass-half-full takeaway Miami’s defensive effort spoke volumes.
Phoenix is not Oklahoma City nor are they comparable to a Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls’ squad. Still, holding a team to 36 PTS in the third and fourth quarters deserves a nod for effort. The Heat have been longing for a game that allows them to return to the principles that landed them the 2012 NBA Championship. There were some positive moments from the role players throughout the game as well which also gives way to some relief for the Big 3 down the stretch. If the supporting roster steps up more confidently and consistently there may be a time where LeBron feels comfortable enough to rest a game with the flu.
I apologize – flu-like symptoms.