Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011-2012 NBA Preview #27: Miami Heat

Greetings... now for the most scrutinized team in the all the land...

Roster Breakdown (Starters in Bold)
  • PG - Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole
  • SG - Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller, Terrel Harris
  • SF - Lebron James, Shane Battier, James Jones
  • PF - Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard
  • C - Joel Anthony, Dexter Pittman, Eddy Curry (yes, that Eddy Curry), Mickell Gladness

General Thoughts

Let's get to the big three first. You've heard about the Lebron James saga ad nauseum so I won't continue to perpetuate it. I'll say this: I actually BELIEVE that Lebron will get it right this year. I can't tell you why. I have no reasoning other than the fact that I simply don't believe that he's "broken" to the point where he'd continue to shrink. We've seen him take over games (don't forget the "48-special" against Detroit), and he simply isn't as bad as he was in the finals. Okay, that's enough. Wade and Bosh are back to help Lebron, and while I believe the 66-game season could be an issue for the notoriously brittle Wade, I don't think there's too big a question as to what we're expecting from the big three. After that? There's always questions. I'm an unabashed Shane Battier homer so I clearly loved the move to bring in what I consider to be the ultimate role player in the NBA. He defends, knocks down shots, is great in the locker room, and doesn't need the ball in his hands ever. It's simply the perfect move for Miami because of all things listed in the previous sentence AND the fact that they can simply throw Battier on the opposing team's best perimeter offensive player and save Lebron in a way they couldn't afford to last season. The Mario Chalmers experiment continues at the point, and that's clearly an issue in my opinion. He had his positive moments last year in the playoffs, but he'll need to be more solid for them. It's being overlooked that this team will have a full season of Udonis Haslem this year as well, in that he missed the majority of last year and was being reintegrated in the playoffs. That's a huge addition for them because of the giant hole in the middle. Oh, did you forget about that? Joel Anthony is a solid rotation big, but he's currently the only reliable center option since Juwan Howard is 57 years, Dexter Pittman is overweight and young, and Eddy Curry is Eddy Curry. I absolutely believe Miami will sneak a buyout guy mid-season (maybe one of the Chinese refugees? Kenyon Martin?) and that's an important future consideration. Also of note, there is a ton of pressure on Erik Spoelstra this year, but he's already gotten his contract extended, so MAYBE that takes a little pressure off.


Lebron. I know this is the slam-dunk answer, but it kind of has to be Lebron after all that we witnessed (pardon the pun) in the playoff meltdown. Please don't forget this next point. Lebron is still the best all-court player in the league. Thank you. Also in consideration here: Mario Chalmers.

Predicted Finish

2nd in the East

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