The Miami Heat aren't looking over their shoulders as much

The Heat might not be fully on track, yet, but they are winning and winning big. Miami has won nine straight games after a 9-8 start to 2010-11, and part of the credit has to go to a loosening of the reins from the sidelines.

But only if the players are good boys. From the Miami Herald:

A simple reward system has contributed to the Heat's current run of eight consecutive blowout victories.

If Dwyane Wade(notes) grabs a defensive rebound, he has the green light to do whatever he wants offensively. If LeBron James(notes) makes a defensive stop, he controls his own game on the other end of the court.

These are the parameters set by coach Erik Spoelstra, and the chance for offensive freedom has helped spark the most dominant winning streak in franchise history.

"Our job is to defend and then we get rewarded with what we want to do on offense," James said.

Wow. So, excuse me for being flip (I've got a bad cold, and I can barely stay awake much less type, so I'm quite cross right now), this means that two of the greatest players of their generation get to make decisions on the fly instead of submitting to running mapped-out plays that teams have scouted a hundred times over and anticipated a night before?

Players get to read and react, as opposed to remember and submit? Doesn't that sound like the main principle of an offensive system that has produced 11 NBA championships since 1991? Doesn't that sound like the way to go?

Next thing you know, they're going to give these guys guaranteed contracts or something.