Heat Team Preview
TEAM NAME: Miami Heat
WHAT WENT RIGHT LAST SEASON: Put simply - Wade. Was arguably the best player in the league, and continually imposed his will on seemingly every possession. Mario Chalmers was a positive also. He stepped up into the starting PG role as a rookie and had a really solid season. Haslem is a valuable leader and locker room presence. Does all the dirty work for this young team.
WHAT WENT WRONG LAST SEASON: Lack of depth. Wade, Beasley, Chalmers.... then it starts to drop off.
GUARDS: Chalmers starts at the point, and hopefully continues to develop in to a solid player. Exceptional stealer of the ball. Wade is Wade. Simply an unbelievable all round player. Cook provides a spark and 3PT shooting off the bench, and Quinn takes care of the ball in limited minutes.
FORWARDS: Starting 3 man is undecided, between Beasley, James Jones and Q-ball. Beasley is a brilliant and unique offensive talent, and will get minutes in both positions regardless. Haslem is the heart of the team and is reliable out to 15 feet along with great rebounding and defence. Dorell Wright and Diawara will get opportunity to get more minutes also, but lack the offensive class of the other sf's.
CENTERS: Jermaine O'Neal is healthy again and hopefully recaptures some of his old form again. Magloire and Anthony to compete for back up minutes. Anthony actually changed alot of games last year with his defence and hustle.
WEAKNESSES: Depth, rebounding.
COACH/TEAM STYLE OF PLAY: Spoelstra is regarded as a great tactician and drills his players well, both offensively and defensively. Will continue to develop and has the full support of Riley. I'd like to see the Heat get out and run as much as possible, even with Beasley leading the break after the rebound. Also the pick and roll/spot up would be highly effective with a healthy O'Neal and also Beasley, with Wade handling the ball and Jones, Q and Cook spotting up.
CHEMISTRY/ROTATION/OTHER ISSUES: Is Beasley a 3 or a 4? No one really knows, and in reality he is probably a more athletic Jamison type. I see alot of Bernard King in his game as well. Big wraps on the kid, and obviously this offseason was tough for him. The Heat have supported him incredibly, and I feel that he will come out of it a more focused and determined player.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Wade is a realistic MVP chance this year - some more wins last season and he had an excellent case. Beasley has the ability to average 20 points - focus and off the court incidents could affect this. Chalmers could lead the league in steals or go close. JO could get back to a 16 point/9 rebound/2 block season. 50 wins would be a great result, but alot depends on the injury prone JO and the play of Beasley.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: If Wade goes down again, this becomes a 15 win season. If JO and Beasley have poor seasons, it could be 30-35 wins. A perceived lack of depth is an issue, but those players could have good years. The Heat is really an enigma this season, and are not championship contenders. So much depends on the next offseason, when Wade becomes a FA and the Heat has the ability to sign a Bosh/Amare/etc. Wade teamed with a player of that quality, plus the continued development of Beasley and Chalmers would see a super 5 year period on the horizon.
Most importantly, Spoelstra is intent on his team playing the right way, with emphasis on defence and team play.