We all remember the Miami Heat looking like an old team during the NBA Finals. They were the oldest team in the league last year as they made their way to four straight NBA Finals. They placed Dwyane Wade on a maintenance program to make sure he was fresh for the playoffs. He was good until the Finals started. Despite resting Wade the Heat finished second in the East with 54 wins.
We already know what LeBron James has done for the Heat. He was the leader and he had added pressure because Wade was resting. Wade played in 54 games and he was efficient. He averaged 19 ppg on 54% shooting. He was not asked to do everything last year so people overlook his overall production. Chris Bosh was solid once again as he added a three point shot to his game. He hit a career high 74 threes on 33% shooting.
Outside the big 3 the Heat relied on Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Chris Andersen and Norris Cole. Andersen was good off the bench as a rim protector. For the most part these role players knocked down their three pointers. A guy like Rashard Lewis had a few good games in the playoffs, knocking down three pointers. They were non factors during the Finals and Chalmers was even benched. The Heat took chances on Greg Oden and Michael Beasley but neither player contributed in any important games.
In an effort to keep LeBron James the Heat drafted another point guard Shabazz Napier. Napier was great in leading UConn to the National Championship. He struggled in summer league and he might not see much time behind Chalmers and Cole.
The Miami Heat had the biggest loss of the off-season because they could not keep LeBron James. They were able to resign D-Wade and Chris Bosh. Bosh actually got a pay raise to stay in Miami. Danny Granger, Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts signed with Miami. This team is still very solid. Unfortunately for them they are still the oldest team in the league.
Wade will not be a maintenance program this season and will try to play in as many games as possible. Instead of being the 3rd option Chris Bosh will be the go to guy for the Heat this season. He had to sacrifice a lot for the team in his four years. It will be interesting to see how Coach Erik Spoelstra changes things without LeBron.
The Heat succeeded at small ball because of LeBron James. He played all positions and guarded everyone. The Heat are not as good as before but they will still be a good team. Spoelstra will make the right adjustments for McRoberts and Deng. Bosh will be much better as the number 1 option and if Wade can play in at least 60 games the Heat will win 47-48 games.