The Miami Heat are the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference this year. Sure, Chicago Bulls fans could make a case for their team, but with all the expectations that have been placed on the Heat ever since Pat Riley put together the “big three” last summer. Lebron James and company almost have to bring a championship to Miami, or else changes could very well be on the horizon.
Earlier in the season, some rumors leaked that Lebron James would consider returning to Cleveland once his contract was up with Miami. Those rumors quickly died down, but Steve Nash is now the new topic of discussion for Heat fans. The soon to be free agent said that he would “definitely listen” to any offer from Miami. But is the two-time league the answer if the Heat fail to win the championship for the second year in a row?
The Heat don’t really have a consistent point guard, and Nash could possibly be the piece that the offense has been missing all along, or he could completely destroy the flow of the team, altogether. A point guard like Nash must have the ball in his hands to be effective. Being superstars, Lebron and Dwyane Wade prefer to have the ball in their hands, as well. So, you’re telling me that Nash handling the ball at least 70 percent of the time will go over well with Lebron and Wade? It might be fine at first, but over time I could see a major dilemma.
Another glaring concern is the center position. Outside of the big three, there isn’t much offense. Lebron, Wade, and Chris Bosh aren’t going to combine for 70 points every single night, and Miami’s defense isn’t good enough to hold teams to under 85 points consistently. Joel Anthony provides great interior defense, but he’s almost invisible on the offensive side of the ball. An upgrade at the center position seems inevitable if the Heat fail to win the championship, mainly because Pat Riley can find a player like Anthony in free agency quite easily.
As Wade, Lebron, and Bosh start to age, the Heat must get some type of production from the bench. If those three couldn’t play 35+ minutes per game, the Heat wouldn’t have a shot at winning the title. Fortunately, the organization still has a couple of years until they have to assemble a top ten bench, because a bottom 20 bench isn’t going to get it done when these guys slow down.
As the playoffs near, Chris Bosh must step up. It seems like he has been the odd man out, and now even commentators are calling it the “big two”, completely forgetting about Bosh. He’s still having an all-star season, averaging 18 points and nearly eight rebounds, but he isn’t the intimidating presence that he once was. Defenders feared him when he wore a Raptors uniform, and now defenders often leave him to help with Lebron and Wade. If the Heat want to get booed out of South Beach then they can’t continue to give Bosh less than 12 attempts per game because he has to be a huge factor in the offense come playoff time for the Heat to win the title.
Not winning the championship this season would have its many downsides, but probably the most humiliating part, would be dealing with the fans of the Heat, and the league in general. From the “decision”, to the huge celebration the Heat held after they built the “big three”, it’s safe to say that they will look pretty stupid after guaranteeing multiple championships and coming up short two seasons in a row.