Hello NBA fans

Hello everyone.

Welcome to my very first post. Not surprisingly, I want to talk about the Miami Heat. The team that I have been following for 4 years now; that pulled off one of the biggest free agency coups ever. Getting 2 of the top 5 players and 3 of the top 15 players to agree to [slightly] less money to play together and [likely] win many championships? Amazing, and yet, I’m not sure if I like it as much as a Heat fan should.

Look, LeBron is a phenomenal player, but I would have been happy with just managing to get Bosh. I feel that they may have been able to put a more solid team from 1-12 on the floor by paying just two guys the max. And I’m also extremely disappointed to see Beasley go. I just feel like he has too much potential left to be tapped to be given away for just 2 second-round draft picks.

Keeping B-Easy around would give the Heat another piece, as well as being able to distribute LeBron’s money around to some of the other free agents that were still available at the time. However, now they have the 3 amigos, or the 3 um, egos?, or the supernova team, or whatever moniker shall be bestowed upon them.

Who is behind them, though? I mean, who will actually be able to contribute? Chalmers is solid, the Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem signings were fantastic and both those guys gave up dollars too; although they are still making the kind of money that the average person will ever see in their lifetime. But beyond those three, there is not much. And I wouldn’t be fooled by those media types that try and tell you that because Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Juwan Howard are on board that the supporting cast is better than expected. It isn’t.

I mean, beyond the first 6 guys – LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Miller, Haslem and Chalmers – there is a steep drop-off in talent. Joel Anthony is a superior shot-blocker but cannot really do much else, and he got re-signed for 5 years and $18 million. I mean, it’s not a huge deal, but…it’s quite a lot for what he actually does bring to the table. You could probably sign a D-League guy for the minimum and get similar production. Think Chris Hunter, who was a revelation as part of Golden State’s D-League brigade last season, or Dwayne Jones, the D-League’s leading rebounder who got a late season opportunity with Phoenix. Both guys give you adequate production per 36 minutes, with Hunter at 12.4 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per game, and Jones at 6.1, 10.8 and 1.6 respectively. These numbers compared to Anthony’s 5.6, 6.8 and 2.9 per 36 minutes (stats courtesy of basketball-reference.com). Either of those guys would come cheaper. That’s not the only problem with the center spot, though. The Heat has also signed Dexter Pittman, the 6’10’’ 290lbs center out of Texas, and he was less than impressive in the Vegas summer league, often being outplayed by both Shavlik Randolph and Garret Siler. Then there is the aforementioned Ilgauskas, who fell off alarmingly last season in the wake of the Shaq experiment. This is nothing against the man personally, he seems like a class act and genuinely cares about the team, but I don’t know how helpful he is at this point.

Moving away from center, Juwan Howard is on board to help out behind Bosh and Haslem. Now, Juwan is, again, a class act, a veteran guy who was extremely solid helping out last season’s injury crippled Portland Trailblazers. But he’s not getting any younger and fans should not expect too much help from him just because they’ve heard of him.

Other than that, James Jones has been re-signed after having his contract bought out for slightly more of that precious cap space. Provided he can avoid the niggling injuries that have dogged him so far in his two seasons at Miami, he should be able to camp in the corner and hit an open three. And should not attempt anything else. At all.

So that’s 11 guys, and I have not nor will not spend much time talking about Jamaal Magloire, yet another center that’s been signed. So beyond that, there is an alarming need for some guard depth. Assuming Chalmers is the starter, and I hope that’s the case and Wade joins him in the backcourt, that’s…it. There has been talk about brining Carlos Arroyo back, but nothing’s been inked yet. And apart from that, there is no-one sitting on the bench ready to sop up some guard minutes and spell Wade. I suppose Miller is a swingman and should be able to back up both, but it couldn’t hurt going after a 2 guard to play some good minutes. I heard that Von Wafer’s agent contacted the Heat, and he’s a guy that can really help a team provided he’s got his head screwed on right. His jumper has a significant hitch but he seems to hit more 3s than he misses a lot of the time and can score in a hurry. Couldn’t hurt if both sides can agree to something.

So the Heat’s supporting cast is still poor, thanks to the three near-max guys. People will argue that with Wade and LeBron it doesn’t matter who is on the floor with them, they will still win. I just can’t help but wonder what might have happened if the Heat had taken a different approach regarding the supporting cast, or if LeBron’s ‘Decision’ was different.

Thanks for reading.

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  • Mr WordPress  On July 22, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

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