MIAMI - JULY 09: Chris Bosh #1 Dwyane Wade #3 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat are introduced to fans during a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9 2010 in Miami Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
The Miami Heat only have a 4th player, Mario Chalmers under contract, and they will have 1.1 Million dollars in cap room to fill out the rest of their roster. Of those 11 open spots, 3 of them are draft picks then can sign when they chose to, or not sign at all.
At first glance once may think all is lost, and that Miami will almost undoubtedly hoist the trophy next year, or several times in the forthcoming year. Although, i believe if once looks further, it is not as bad as it seems. If you look through the clouds that are the new Superstar's, you may see many Kryptonites to this new Superman.
I'd like to open by first saying, yes, i acknowledge this is not about the Dallas Mavericks, but it involves them seeing as this is is about the NBA. So let us take a break from the Maverick's summer league, and let me explain to you why i truly believe this team is nothing to greatly fear.
Okay. Step back. They are something to fear alright, just not the greatest fear to any team with hopes to win the title. The Miami Heat have a 4 man roster. They have 1.1 million dollars to sign the rest of their roster. Which means they'll be signing 9 if not 10 players to a minimum contract. Now obviously, there will be some veterans who will take paycuts to play for the Heat. But don't be confused into thinking they will pull in good players to surround the new players. Thanks to the collective bargaining agreement that will be put into effect almost surely, this is a time players aren't likely to take such huge paycuts. After all, this is their job. They are used to a rich lifestyle, and they will need money for the upcoming years. A paycut is one thing, but when a human being is accustomed to spending 700-800 thousand a year, they cannot take a job that pays 500k a year, specially if the CB agreement goes through.
That being said, they will still find a lot of decent talent. However, don't forget it takes a lot more than 3 great players to win. Specially 3 great offensive players. Let me fill you readers in on a little secret about the sport of basketball. To be honest, it's no secret. It's something all viewers and players know, but it seems to be overlooked by people when they're talking about the sport. Only 1 player can score at one time, in one possession. Now okay, get the laughs out. Get out all the potential insults you have at me, and hear this out.
They have a powerhouse on offense. A slasher SG with a good jumpshot, an all around star and distributor SF, and a jumpshooting PF with a jumpshot ability. One problem with these guys? They're all primarily based on the perimeter. They all need to catch the ball away from the basket and do their own work, usually in isolation. This means Miami will need to rely on their other 2 starters, scratch that, the other is a point guard, their last starter, to bring in offensive rebounds. Bosh and James will get a few, yes. But overall, this starting 5 will be probably in the 12-15 range in the NBA in 2nd chance points and offensive rebounds. If you think that's okay, you're probably right. But don't forget this isn't a team trying to go to the playoffs. They're trying to win. Being 12-15th in an important category like second chance points won't cut it. Even if they're a few higher. I don't think it will cut it.
Another reason this team isn't as strong as they may appear is defense. While looking at a statbook, you may think I'm absolutely wrong and that these guys can defend with the best of them. They may put up good stats. Many steals, several blocks. But none of these 3 play defense on a regular basis. LeBron is the best at defense of the 3, and he is above average. He is a solid defender. Wade, not so much. Bosh, not at all. They are going to have to sign in players for the minimum right? And defense is one category that does not come cheap. Unless these 3 superstars will start playing better defense all of a sudden, this team is going to be allowing over 100 points a game. And on a regular basis, i do believe they will be able to score more than this. And they will win many games during the regular season. The regular season. That's the key phrase.
Another deal that they are going to have to face is the point guard. This is an area I will admit they won't have that much of a problem with, but it needs mentioning. 3 guys like this are going to need a guard to facilitate for them. Maybe a Jason Williams. A player to not turn the ball over. A player that will just not mess up for them. Again, these players will not be that easy to come by. A player with the experience, composure, and talent to guide a team to an NBA championship is not easy to find when offering a minimum contract. This is, again, where the upcoming CB agreement is hurting the Miami Heat.
I can already tell by now, that many of you are skeptical of this post. You're finding a lot of holes to poke in the story and are trying to figure out how to prove me wrong and that the Heat are champs and we're in trouble. But don't be so closed-minded towards this. There are many aspects to winning a championship. And it's not as easy as 3 scoring superstars. They have the coach. But I strongly feel lack of defense as well as a bad supporting cast will hurt them.
In the clutch, they have 3 players that can score. This poses a threat. Until you remember, only one player can score. It comes in handy to have 3 players with the skill to score. But this is Wade's team isnt it? Or wait. It's LeBron's now. And Bosh is far from a nobody. I'm not saying this team will fall apart from Ego, but the pride and respect for themselves these guys have will do at least a little to pose an issue. Who will take the 1 shot?
Let me close by defending a few of my points. Even though people will criticize what I've written without reading this end, I'll write it anyways. I am not saying the Heat are easy to beat. I'm not saying any of these points will even come true. I am not saying they will not fill out a good roster, play defense, or get a good pointguard. I'm just trying to get my readers to consider the following: Nobody will deny this team is stacked. They are a powerhouse. But this a Superman with many kryptonites. They have more talent than the Lakers, or Celtics, or Thunder. But they have far more weaknesses than all the above teams, including Dallas, Magic, Nuggets, etc. etc. Also factor in the idea that every team will gun for them. Teams gunned for LA and it didn't matter. But these 3 young guns haven't shown the mentality and toughness the old, proven Lakers have.
One last time. I will say they are an incredible team. But they have many weaknesses. After all, if it was easy to find strong defenders, and smart pointguards, and overall good role players for the minimum, don't you think more teams would be more stacked?
So leave this post thinking this. The Miami heat are without a doubt a strong team, and the NBA might be headed for the next powerhouse dynasty in sports. They could. But i don't think so. This team has many weaknesses. And it will be tougher than the naive sports fan thinks it is for these guys to win it all.
PS-About LeBron, i think this move shows total weakness. He made a fool of his Cavs by self-promoting his decision. He showed he was still very immature in the way he handled things. He is a superstar, but regarless of rings he will not be a legend. Legends win with what they're given. They don't desert their home. Find me a legend in any sport that had split teams in their career. None. Kobe had a weak Lakers team. What did he do? He made his team better. He got Gasol. They prevailed. Peyton Manning manned a poor 3 or 4 win Colts team into a perennial playoff team. Pierce got Garnett and Allen to go over to Boston(not saying Pierce is more of a legend than LeBron, mind you.). The point is, LeBron will never reach that next level of greatness. Not because he left his team. That was a business decision. Because of how he left them. How he handled it. Oh, and most of all, he left to join 2 other Free Agents in one of their homes. He didn't make them go to Cleveland.