The Current State of the Miami Heat

16 May

Have you ever met a family that functions well? A family where you meet them once and desire to get to know them better. Invariably, meeting a family with such a wonderful testimony involves a family where their roles are well-defined and followed. Perhaps in a later blog, I could get into the best way to have familial order, but for now, we will just assume that they have it.

To understand the converse of this, I met a man several years ago, whom I am still blessed to call a friend, but he was telling me of some of the troubles his family had come across in their quest for friends. The problem was he would find friends and the rest of his family would not get along with the rest of his friend’s family. Or his wife would meet a wonderful woman whom he just didn’t like being around, because her husband would be a real loser.

Hopefully, you’ve known the joy of having a job that you’ve loved. I am completely confident that if you did, it was because the job had (among other things) people with clearly defined roles. You knew what you had to do and it went well. The reality is that any organization needs people that fit well together to achieve ultimate success.

Clearly, some will be able to come up with the single mom, who as an overworked person, makes her family work or a business where one guy is superman and the company achieves relative success. Nevertheless, that is not the best way to build long-term success. These exceptions prove the rule, as they are not sustainable.

Now, in basketball, this means that you need pieces that fit together. Michael Jordan, who was probably the greatest player of all time, needed Scottie Pippen, who complimented his skills so well, to achieve his ultimate goal of a title. One great player can be relatively successful, but they tend to not make it all the way. Allen Iverson, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard all led otherwise nondescript teams to the NBA Finals.

So, when the current construct of the Miami Heat was put together by Pat Riley, he put together a group of good to great players, but the jury is still out on whether they can complement each other into a championship. He built what might be described as the best fantasy basketball team ever. He brought in LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mike Miller, and Shane Battier to join Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade.

The primary problem is that if you look at the top ten players on the Miami Heat, their natural positions are all 2-4. They have proved that you can play a couple of power forwards and stretch it, when one of those power forwards is a perennial all star (like Chris Bosh) and you can play two small forwards and a shooting guard on the perimeter (assuming LeBron James plays point on offense and Dwyane Wade does on defense).

Of course, that solution is very tenuous and mandates a delicate balance, if it can be ultimately successful at all. And losing Chris Bosh means that Miami is now forced to play a non-all star out of position at center. And with the team as it is currently constructed, the best team is probably with LeBron James playing out of position at power forward. He certainly can do it, but it is really stretching this roster to play so many guys out of position.

That leads to the performance of LeBron James himself. Yesterday, he shut down Danny Granger for part of the game and David West for the other part. And when they were on the floor together, the one LeBron was not guarding did infinitely better. Additionally, he had a better shooting percentage than the team, led the team in scoring, and was their most physical rebounder.

The team obviously misses Chris Bosh, perhaps more than any other player. Certainly more valuable than the better (in my opinion) Dwyane Wade. Without Wade this year, Miami was 9-1, while they were 4-5 without Bosh. However, everything again is matchups. Against Indiana, I think the combo of Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem are just as good of a defensive option against the relatively immobile Roy Hibbert.

Nevertheless, on offense, the Heat clearly miss Bosh. He is a legitimate threat to score both by shooting jumpers and in the paint. Both of those would also keep the defense more honest and open up perimeter shots for the shooters the Heat have. And without a natural point guard who can create shots for others, the Heat’s offense is basically to see if Wade and James can create their own shot. And since most of their moves are similar, the Heat’s offense is pretty stagnant.

However, in the second half of game one and the entire game two, James and Wade showed flashes of being able to score enough to keep Miami in the game. So, can they overcome this loss? Maybe in this round, but the ultimate answer is the balance of the Miami Heat offense, which is tenuous to begin with. This team was built in a flawed way and that is accentuated when Bosh goes down. And you know, none of that is LeBron James’s fault, and he is the only thing that may cover up the inadequacies of Pat Riley’s roster.

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2 Responses to “The Current State of the Miami Heat”

  1. Casino Fan May 20, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    This is very important. Thanks for sharing this short article.

  2. Jenni May 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    While I could drone on for hours about the state of the Miami Heat, I will, for the sake of time, simply say that your family is a good fit for ours because Jay and I love you and Kelly, Abigail is a bit obsessive about Emily and Julia, and Sammy loves Jacob!

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