Let us not forget that this team was not one but TWO crappy games from Tony Parker from being 1 for 3 in the NBA Finals.
Lets also keep in mind, they won. So its not like they are just lucky either.
I love me some Coach Spolstra. Out of all the Riley number 2s, he is the plum on that tree. I seriously believe that if he quit, he would have no problems getting another job and would be far more successful than Mike Brown. Spo took great players, melded their talents, and made them play defense. Forgive Me Riley, but that’s what Phil Jackson does best too, only the change was on offense, not defense.
I’m not saying that he could take take Orlando to the title, but could he make contenders of Detroit or Portland? I think so. Would I trade a number 1 pick for him If I was the Pelicans or Nets? In a heartbeat.
I still like the Heat, but I think the gap has closed.
Super Mario Chalmers is still the incumbent, doing what can’t be done by super star PGs. Making everyone happy. Lets be honest, Chris Paul would be great on this team, but it would cause problems with the ball. Mario’s best role is doing what is asked, playing solid defense, and working on his 3 point shot. This team would hate to see Brandon Jennings or Rondo walk through that door.
Norris Cole is a solid backup, a better scorer than Mario, but isn’t as good defensively. Don’t fall in love with his scoring outbursts, thats more the exception to the rule. Wade can play point, if need be, but that’s when it has to be done.
Dwayne Wade is here, and while he might be slowing, he’s still elite, and still a scary dude when he gets on a roll. His shooting percentage was 52%, his best ever, and he went for 21.2 and 5/5 so its not like he’s not able to do what he wants, and the LeBron/Wade combo is getting in each others way less and less. He’s still got to do better than 25% from 3-Pt land though, but at his age? Don’t see it happening.
If you want a triple the old fashioned way, the first guy off the bench seems to have made one or two, with Ray Allen coming back for another ring, He shot better than his career average and at 42%, can keep on jacking threes as much as he wants.
The Heat did add Roger Mason Jr, who can be a great get as a system guy. Don’t be stunned if he is able to have a great role and move up the bench. Effort guys always seem to have good years on contenders, amazing how that happens.
This spot might be a problem area, with Wade and Allen getting older, and lets be honest, the less you see James Jones the better.
James Jones saw his court time drop and might be gone soon, esp if the rookie does a good job washing the Big 3s cars.
Can we stop calling LeBron James a small forward
YOU call James small.
Its like the term shooting guard. EVERYONE shoot now!
Hell we got centers with 3 point range!
Anyway, its LeBron James, best player since Jordan, best SF in league history (sorry Larry) and possibly the second best non-center in NBA history by the time he retires. Yadda Yadda Yadda.
I’d like to see him in the paint on a low post move, but really? Are we going to complain?
Thats almost like complaining the Mona Lisa is a little overweight.
The problem is James does not spend all day at the 3, if we want to use that term. He plays some backup PG, some PF, some Center, Head towel boy, owner , gm, race car driver, and at times the mayor of Miami. I think he even played a few games for the Dolphins and Hurricanes, but I’m not sure.
Behind him is Shane Battier He’s here for 3 things, to play D, Shoot long range and chew bubblegum. But he’s getting looooong in the tooth, so bubble gum might be out of the question, sooner rather than later. Mike Miller used to live here, but he’s gone. If Ray Allen plays like he did last year, he won’t be missed.
They added Michael Beasley, still trying to find his role in the team. I’m not sure why he came back, other to get a ring and maybe learn something. He’s still got talent, but I wonder about the effort level on this team. James Ennis is the rookie year, and his best bet is to stay quiet, carry the bags, and learn. He’s got some speed and good size though, so its possible he might even play some SG as well. Lord knows the Heat love playing guys at multiple positions.
Udonis Haslem is still playing here, not a scorer, not pretty, but a guy you want at this level when you have PLENTY of guys that look at the stat sheet after the game. Haslem gets more rebounds than points, and throws more elbows than anyone else on the team. his minutes didn’t reflect just how valuable he is, but trust me, the Heat might not have won the title without him. Backing him up is Rashard Lewis, who finally stopped stealing money, but decided to steal a ring instead. He’s a decent floor spacer, but lets be honest, he’s here to take minutes wehen LeBron is giving interviews on TNT.
The only member of the Fab Five to get a ring, Juwan Howard, The human victory lap is gone. Let me also mention that Chris Bosh wants to play here. Problem is Bosh imight be one of the best Forwards playing center that the NBA has right now on the offensive side. He doesn’t pile up the numbers he does go 16/ 7 If he ever decided to truly test the free agent market, he would have 30 teams wanting him.
Behind him might have been one of the biggest steals of a mid-level free agent in recent history in Chris Anderson.
The Birdman is undersized, but plays with a grit that most teams just don’t have down low, and also is a tough rebounded. A front line of Anderson/Haslem and LeBron might be a scary street fight.
Come crunch time, LeBron gets more time here than Bosh does.
Here is where Bosh is forced to play, but he did it more willingly than the year before. If he can stay within 15 feet, even better. Problem is, he doesn’t really want to be here. But when LeBron bumps up a spot, then you bump up a spot. Might not like it, but its kinda like when Mariano Rivera puts a foot on the pitching mound, not many guys have the cause or the stones to waive him off.
The Warden, Joel Anthony, is still there, but I have no idea what he’s doing there, he’s not exactly fitting in the lineup, but he does what he’s told, and can be a defensive anchor for a second unit. Chris Anderson has no problems here, and of course they did add Greg Oden and who knows what that is going to happen.
Somehow the Heat have to most disappointing #1 and #2 pick in recent history. Nice Job Riley!
Got title hopes.
I do think this team has problems.
1. Ray Allen is 90. Wade walks like he’s 90 at times.
Name me the members of this team you would sign for the next 5 years- You got 2. Bosh and LeBron. Everyone else has problems or is aged. They are amusing effort guys and guys that can fill multiple positions.
2. Outside shooting.
Down 2, 10 seconds left, Ray Allen is hurt and refs have swallowed the whistles like they did when the Spurs had the ball in game 6. I put 3 guys on LeBron and one on Super Mario, and who is taking the shot? Other than Battier, who cannot create his own shot, the best option is Rashard Lewis.
3. Lot of swapping around of position, and that might cause problems, Bosh can get beat up, and you want Anderson/Lewis/Joel as your frontline?
4. If they lose LeBron, now what? When the Bulls lost Jordan- They still made the East Finals with Pete Myers taking his place. No LeBron here? Can they beat the Pistons?
5. They rebound excellently for the size, but you still can’t coach height.
So the Prediction?
Still going to win the East, but I think they want to avoid the Pistons if Jennings plays to expectations, but I just don’t see the Knights as challengers everyone else does. I still think the Bulls are the main obstacle to the Title. The West is going to provide a challenger if its the Spurs or the Clippers, but I’d lay odds on a 100% Heat team over either of them.
But the gap has closed.
EJ With The 2nd Opinion:
As long as LeBron James is in Miami, the Heat will always be a threat to win the title. With that said, the gap has indeed closed. The Spurs could have easily won the title last season, and the Pacers gave the Heat all they could handle in the Eastern Conference Finals. As much as LeBron is the best player in the game, there are some serious questions about the supporting cast. Dwayne Wade? No longer elite. He can get the job done, but his health is always an issue. Chris Bosh, might be a willing center but he still struggles as the 3rd option on most nights. It’s really going to be up to the supporting cast to step up on certain nights, but despite my many concerns over this roster, it’s hard to pick against the Heat.
My prediction? LeBron will have another ring on his finger after this season. It’s hard to count the man out.