Currently browsing category


A Potential Dynasty? – Miami Heat Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Mario Chalmers, SG Dwayne Wade, SF LeBron James, PF Chris Bosh, C Joel Anthony

Key Bench Players:
SF Shane Battier, SF Mike Miller, PF Udonis Haslem, SF James Jones, SG Norris Cole, PF Dexter Pittman

Notable offseason additions: SF Ray “Judas Shuttleworth” Allen, SF Rashard Lewis,

Notable offseason subtractions:
PF Juwan Howard, PF Ronnie Turiaf

What better way to start off the 2012-2013 NBA season previews than with the reigning NBA champs? I’ll be honest, I am rooting against the Heat to the point where I’ve considered consulting a voodoo shaman, but they truly look like the class of the East and a threat to repeat. It’s hard to hate on LeBron right now, as he has been invincible and undone a lot of damage by tuning everyone out and just playing. Luckily, Dwayne Wade was a real punk last year and took the torch to new heights. I look forward to booing him in person this season.

In my opinion, this team SHOULD be hard to cheer for if you’re not in South Florida and last year’s Heat finally understood that. Their role in the NBA narrative is the villain, as the favorite should be, and their all-black uniforms only confirm a sinister intent. A Heat dynasty may usher in the apocalypse and end everything we’ve ever loved, which makes it even more fun to root against. Heat fans should embrace that they are relevant enough to be hated, which is a big step for them, and every team in the league would want that core. It’s good to be a Heat fan – but like Lakers fans know all too well – you can’t ever count on an impartial stranger to join your side ever again. You’re either with us or whatever underdog we’re playing against. People are far more likely to actively cheer against your team in your face. Welcome to the club, Miami.

Led by the power trio of a God-mode LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Heat have established the modern model for a contender with their overwhelming star power and slow upgrades of its supporting cast. Last year saw the Heat pick up Shane Battier and finally get some timely production out of Mike Miller, but this year they added some real shooters off the bench. As the NBA watched the rich get richer, the Heat gained the right to dish open threes to Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis for peanuts. Honestly, the Celtics are better for it, but where does Judas Shuttleworth’s signing in Miami for less money rank in the all-time free agent disses? It’s a lock for Top 10. And after this off-season, is there any doubt that the new CBA may improve long-term parity by making it harder to sustain winners but make the short-term worse? Teams are either building to the top or racing for lottery position, which will benefit the contenders as long as high salary players are shed to avoid payment.

Not 1, not 2, not 3…

While the Heat faithful were promised an unreasonable 7 titles, there’s no question they should be considered the favorite for a repeat. Although Boston and NY could put up a fight, Miami will have a smoother road to the Finals than whoever survives the imminent slugfest out West. The Heatles 1.0 were a formidable team, but the 2.0 version put the pieces together in a way that should have the rest of the league running scared. They figured out their hierarchy (give the ball to LeBron), got better role players, picked up the team defense, and even got the Wizard of Oz to give Chris Bosh a spine, who provided the gutty play and gritty post defense that the Heat desperately needed to win a title.

This year, they should be better. They’re deeper, LeBron looked All-Universe in the OlympRead more...

Chris Bosh: Indispensable in More Ways than You Know

Bosh should have stayed in Toronto
solely because he actually looks like a Raptor.

The list was LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki. After them, in no particular order was Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, Ray Allen, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay and David Lee. These were the free agents of 2010 for the National Basketball Association. Never before had so many perennial All-Stars been free agents in the same summer. Some, more than others, had the ability to transform the fortunes of a franchise for the next decade.

When the clock turned to 12:00 on July 1, every basketball writer on the planet was focused on getting the scoop on where each of these esteemed ballers were heading, and for what money. The rumors flew fast and furious at a pace that made even Ric Bucher’s hair move.
I remember having very little doubt that Wade was going to remain in Miami, regardless of whoever came there with him, and that Dirk’s return to Dallas was all but sealed. I thought that Boozer, Stoudemire and Johnson would probably move, and would have a positive impact on whatever new environ they settled in. But nothing mattered as much as where LeBron landed.
From there, we all know the story. We covered it extensively on this blog (here and here) which I’m sure you went directly towards regardless of the other 14,569 articles…just on Yahoo Sports. With James following Wade and Bosh to Miami, the storylines were as follows:

Will LeBron ever be able to win the big one, even with more help?
How will Wade and James co-exist?
Does Wade’s and James’ skillsets render each other’s redundant?
Who gets the shot with 2 seconds on the clock?
Can LeBron solve his fourth quarter woes even with a better supporting cast?
Does going to Miami increase the pressure on LeBron?
How will Cleveland handle LeBron’s return?
Who’s team is it: LeBron’s, or Dwyane’s?
Why would LeBron chooes to side with his biggest rival, Wade, rather than try to defeat him?
How many teams have ever had two of the best five players in the league?
All of those questions ignore Chris Bosh. He’s made 7 All-Star teams and is Toronto’s all-time leader in points, minutes played, rebounds, blocks and double-doubles. He is one of the finest players in the NBA and within its top 25 most talented. He is very very good. So why does he constantly get ignored when talking about the Miami Heat? Especially when I think he may be its most irreplaceable player?
Chris Bosh is more “not a lot of things on the Heat” than “is a lot of things on the Heat”. What do I mean by that? He is not their best player, nor is he their MVP. He doesn’t have the most well-rounded skill set, nor is he the best scorer. He’s not the best rebounder…hell…he’s not even the third best rebounder. He’s not their best shot blocker, and wouldn’t be considered the first, second, third or even fifth best defender.
But Bosh is Miami’s most irreplaceable player. It’s relatively simple. Without him, the Heat go from a slightly flawed title contender to a very flawed playoff team.  If the team is missing either LeBron or Wade, the Heat could still win a championship (not both, obviously — don’t get crazy now). But without Chris Bosh, I don’t even think they could get past the Knicks.
The most basic metric here, as should be with any form of competition, is winning and losing. Without Bosh, the Heat are on a two-game losing streak. I don’t think that thRead more...