South Beach Diaries: Day 3 - Blazers 105, Heat 96

In the night I hear 'em talk, the coldest story ever told
Somewhere far along this road he lost his soul
To a woman so heartless
How could you be so heartless?
How could you be so heartless?

The problem with planning a vacation around sports is that if the sporting event(s) you're attending don't go the way you'd hoped, then the vacation feels ruined.

I'd like to say that won't be the case with this week, but so far things are not looking up. Unlike Sunday's loss to the Bulls, tonight's loss to Portland was disheartening from start to finish. All day, I had something of a nervous energy, less in anticipation of a potential Heat win and more in fear of a fifth consecutive loss. Once I arrived at the arena, from the opening tip this felt like a game the Heat were destined to lose, and lose they did, despite the best efforts of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

It's clear now that this is a highly flawed team, though one still incredibly capable of greatness. When James, Wade and Chris Bosh are all playing well together, the Heat are very difficult to beat. However, playing off the ball has been more of a detriment to Bosh's game than anyone could have expected, and he was thoroughly outclassed by LaMarcus Aldridge on both ends of the floor tonight.

After the game, when I got back into my car, the first song that came on when I hit shuffle on my iPhone was "Heartless" by Kanye West. It seemed appropriate. I'm not sure if "heartless" is this best way to describe this Heat team, but right now they're playing without... something. Call it heart, call it a sense of urgency, call it a competent defensive point guard (seriously, Mike Bibby couldn't guard a cardboard cutout at this point of his career), call it whatever you want. But without whatever "it" is, the Heat aren't going particularly far in this year's playoffs.

Thursday brings another chance to end this losing streak, against a Laker team that Miami blew out on Christmas Day, but is rolling right now. But that's Thursday. In the interest of preserving my sanity, I'm treating Wednesday like a TRUE vacation day. I'm going to sleep in, eat lunch by the waterfront, maybe get a spa treatment here at the resort and not watch a single second of sports. I'm not going to open up TweetDeck once, and I'm definitely not going to jump into DDL like I did on Monday night. I guess in a way, I'm taking a vacation from my vacation. But I'm in Southern Florida, the weather is beautiful and I need to do something to enjoy it and take my mind off disappointing basketball.