MIAMI (AP) - For $327 million this summer, the Miami Heat got three players whose statistics are plummeting. The Heat are thrilled by that development.
When Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to team up in Miami, each quickly said individual numbers would be irrelevant - the first time in any of their basketball lives they could have that luxury. After winning four straight, the last three by at least 23 points, the less-is-more approach is working wonders for the Heat.
"I had too many close games last year," Wade said after Tuesday's 129-97 win over Minnesota. "I appreciate these."
Through five games, Wade's scoring is down 23 percent from his early pace last season. James has gone four games without scoring more than 20 points for the first time since December 2003, and the Heat have won all those contests. Bosh's numbers are well off his career scoring and rebounding averages.
In past years, these would represent big problems. These days, the 'Big 3' say those are all great signs.
"I don't care about numbers," Bosh said. "The only number I care about is winning. You can have great games, you can have great numbers and be at the bottom of the totem pole as far as the league is concerned. I think I can speak for that, too. I've experienced it. You can do everything you want, you can average the best numbers, but if you don't win it really doesn't matter."
The Heat are off until visiting New Orleans Friday.