Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 6.40.30 PMThe Miami Heat could have completed their three-peat already had they beat the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, the very first season their Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were assembled.

Going to three straight NBA Finals appearances are tough enough, but going to four while trying to win a third straight will be even tougher for LeBron and company. So far this season, it is already showing.

After losses to the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets these past two games, the Heat have shown signs of fatigue, frustration and more. And LeBron admits it: going for a three-peat this season has been wearing him and the rest of the team down.

“It’s a long and grueling season for all of us, not just us because we’re the champs," James said, via CBS Sports. "We’ve played a lot of basketball in our four years together. It’s taken a lot of wear and tear on all our bodies. It’s mentally fatiguing. And you just try to find the motivation the best way you can as an individual and as a collective group…

“We’re banged up right now. We’re not an excuse team right now, but we’ve got three starters [out]. And even though we’ve got a lot of depth, it’s hard to make up for three starters being out, so we could all use a break for sure.”

The Heat made it to double-overtime in the loss to the Nets last night without Shane Battier, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers in the starting lineup. Really, it isn't all too bad.

As of right now, it just looks like the team is pacing themselves in the regular season as they make a run once the postseason approaches. I expect a lot of bursts to be coming from this team from time to time, or maybe another big thing like last year's 27-game winning streak comes along.

But it has clearly been shown each player has regressed this season. James is averaging 26 points, 6.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game. Usually, we're accustomed to the four-time MVP having numbers like a 28-7-7.

Though it's not much of a difference, it's showing that James is pacing, though he still has a top vote from the majority of analysts for the MVP award this season.

For Miami as a whole, they still have a solid record and will likely be fine in the playoffs until they most likely will meet with the Indiana Pacers in an Eastern Conference Finals rematch.

Expect the Heat switch up the gears by that time, and finally find motivation for getting back to the NBA Finals.

But it's still going to be tough, and it's actually quite crazy since Steve Kerr — who was a three--peat champion on the Chicago Bulls — made this statement before the season about the Heat and why they will not win it all this season:
“There’s a reason these teams don’t do it. Emotionally, it’s just exhausting to keep doing it year after year, particularly when you have to deal with everything Miami has to deal with on a daily basis, just the constant critiquing and scrutiny on the team, and then you factor in the injuries with Wade and Bosh and their health.”


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