Defense, rebounding, role players and a top-tier closer are the usual ingredients needed to assemble a championship caliber team. Those things can all be summed up into two words this basketball season, Miami Heat.
With the free agency overhaul by the Heat this off-season, they now have 3 legitimate stars and an experienced group of role players. Lets start from the top.
Obviously, the first priority was the re-signing of perennial all-star guard Dwyane Wade. The 2006 Finals MVP was clearly the nucleolus of what the heat were hoping to accomplish. After averaging 26.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.5 assist, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks, there was no question that he would be the focal point and leader of the newly formed dynasty.
No team is complete without an upper echelon paint general, and Chris Bosh fit’s the bill. Bosh, the model “20 and 10” guy, is an instant upgrade from the frontcourt tandem of Jermaine O’Neal and Michael Beasley.
Bosh brings his 24.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists to the team as its new third option. Although Bosh has had injury concerns and lacks the defensive prowess of true paint commander, his unique skills facing the basket gives players and coaches alike fits about trying to stop him.
The third addition to the talented trio needs no intro. He is the King, the chosen one, the two-time reigning MVP, or at least he was until “taking his talents to south beach.”
LeBron James, probably the most coveted free agent in the history of professional sports, will now dawn a jersey other than Cleveland’s for the first time in his already historic career.
Of course, the questions of his character and ability to be “that guy” comes into play, but one thing is undeniable; he can play basketball. Astonishing numbers like 29.7 points, 8.6 assist, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 block per game had general managers throughout the league salivating at the mouth to acquire him.
Sorry guys, he chose championships over individual praise. As he says not one, not two, not three, not four, you catch my drift?
The mocking starts when it gets to the role players. Trust me, there is no reason to laugh.
Mike Miller, Juwan Howard, Zydrunas Illgaulskus, Joel Anthony, Eddie House, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, and Carlos Arroyo will have ample opportunities to show their own styles with the multiple variations of open shots they will see.
Stats for these guys won’t show up as brightly during the season, so naming them is irrelevant. In that list you have scoring, three point shooting, shot blocking, the best assist to turnover ratio in the league from last year in Carlo Arroyo, veteran leadership and a host of other intangibles that you will need to have a properly functioning championship contender.
For all my fellow heat fans, who have been there since 1988 and the days of Ronald Seikley (not you new guys), don’t fret when people talk about what our team lacks.
Instead look at the pieces we have and ask yourself one question; CAN YOU FEEL THE HEAT DOWN IN YOUR SOUL?