Miami’s Pat Riley Faces Daunting Task
MIAMI — His team is suddenly a lot closer to being the 98-pound weakling on South Beach than the heavyweight that once intimidated the Eastern Conference and the NBA as well. You could wisecrack that the current version of the Heat would make more shots if not for the sand being kicked in their eye, but that would be cruel.
Times haven’t gotten that bad for Miami Heat president Pat Riley and his roster. Not yet, anyway. Still, the expected fall from the Big Three level is indeed steep and rapid, which means Riley’s next rebuilding project in Miami will be his biggest challenge ever.
For one of the few times since he joined the franchise as head enchilada a little more than 20 years ago, the Heat suffer from a lack of curb appeal. They began the season 2-8 and haven’t improved much. When they do put up a good fight, which is often in games under coach Erik Spoelstra, they struggle or fail to finish the job. And it’s just not the lack of wins, it’s also the lack of sizzle. This team suffers from a personality disorder, and registers low in star power and entertainment value.