Blog Entry

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

Posted on: September 20, 2010 12:26 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 1:42 pm
Posted by Matt Moore

We knew the Heat were going to be different. That's to be expected when you import two superstars onto the same team to join another. But we're now learning that it's probably going to push even further than we expected.

Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel spoke with Pat Riley a few days ago and the Heat head honcho "strongly hinted" that LeBron James or Dwyane Wade would do considerable work at point guard . Erik Spoelstra then spoke with the Miami Herald and said that James and Wade would "handle the ball" a lot. Wade has been adamant that him running point wouldn't be a big differential from what he's done at the past, but there's always been a "true" point guard on the floor bringing the ball up-court.

How does a Heat team ran at point by James or Wade look like? Well, it's different, that's for sure. A lineup that may see considerable time for the Heat features Mike Miller at shooting guard. You can expect Miller to camp on the perimeter and wait for his man to commit to a double-team or subsequent recovery help. The center's irrelevant here. Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, doesn't matter. They're rebounding  and setting off-screens. That's it. Here's the kink in this system. If we suppose Bosh is in the post (where, honestly, he's not at his strongest, versus face-up), and James is running point, is Wade in the high post? Or is he on the perimeter as well? His perimeter shooting isn't good enough for that to be a viable strategy. The backdoor cut is obviously a high-potential opportunity. But then you're risking injury as Wade's in an elevated, high impact position, focused on catching the lob while the guys underneath try and kill him.

This is the problem with Wade at point-forward. With a talented true-center, he could run the two-man game. But is Bosh able to work that way out of the post? Bosh in the high pinch post with James at point playing the two man game may be the best option, with Wade floating off back-door screens, then driving inside for a kick and drive.

Lots of options. Wade at point may be the better one.

James in the high post may be the right merger of his skills. Gives his top-level passing the ability to go low to Bosh, out to Miller, or off the cut to Wade. Wade working with Bosh feels like it would make more sense, on plays that allow James to take a possession "off." The biggest issue will be creating space without allowing teams to cheat inside and just smack them around in playoff-style basketball.

Oh, and there's Mario Chalmers...

Moving on.

The Heat are going to have a lot to figure out when they head to camp in a few weeks.

Since: Jul 18, 2010
Posted on: September 24, 2010 12:56 pm

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

Every post considers the center position for the Heat to be a lost cause (empty space).  Just to remind everyone, Haslem often played at the center position and gave Howard all he could handle on several occasions.  Haslem has developed a reliable mid range jump shot and cannot be left open so his time at the 5 position would add considerably to the challenge of defensing this bunch.

Since: Jul 18, 2010
Posted on: September 24, 2010 12:51 pm

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

And to make it even more interesting, consider that Mike Miller played backup point guard for Memphis for half the season.  Miller is an excellent passer and is always a threat to pull up and hit the outside shot so smaller guards would have a tough matchup with Miller at the point position.  That would free up Wade and James to play their usual 2 and 3 positions.  With Miller distributing to Wade, James and Bosh, his defender could not afford to sag on the ball leaving Miller open for a kickout and a wide open jump shot.  Just thinking.

Since: Jun 1, 2010
Posted on: September 21, 2010 10:30 am

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

Lebron at PG is a matchup nightmare for any team and will cause many problems.  Think about it, Boston's best lock down defender Tony Allen is now in Memphis, so is Rondo to guard Lebron?  Even in LA do you think Matt Barnes or artest can guard Lebron playing the one?  He can easily penetrate and has a 3pt threat in Mike Miller, a slasher in wade, a mid range threat in Bosh, a waste of space at center, or he can just flat out score.  Sounds very Magic Johnson-esque or for you younger readers, dominant Penny Hardaway

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: September 21, 2010 4:52 am

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

Wade is pretty much a PG anyway.

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: September 21, 2010 3:44 am

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

I agree that it will be interesting to see who plays what..the Center spot is really the most difficult tho..well offensively anyway..defensively they should be fine..I say the Heat centers should never touch the ball..only to rebound and thats it. Tho ive never been a fan of GIANT PGs..I wouldnt be surprised to see LeBron play that position..I prefer Wade of course..but if they switch out..I guess Mike Miller will start some games as SF/SG...and if they play SG/SF then maybe Chalmers will start a game or 2. Of course this is an issue that should be address in camp ahead of time so the chemistry can develop early

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: September 20, 2010 8:37 pm

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

So much hate, lets kill Lebron because he didnt want to spend the best years of his life in Cleveland.  I would take my talents to South Beach too and when the rings start piling up all the so called experts that bashed him will be writing love letters to Lebron every single day, get ready!

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: September 20, 2010 8:30 pm

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

I cant wait for this NBA season to start.  It will not take long for all of you haters to realize that the Heat will be collecting multiple rings whether you like it or not.  Kome era is over no matter how many shady trades they pull off with the help of Mr. Stern.  The Lakers barely got past the Celtics, thanks to 20+ free throws in the 4th qtr(not shady at all) and the year before that they benefited from a KG injury.  This year there are 2 teams in the east that are better than the Lakers, BOS and MIA and CHI will be soon too.  Laker fans better pray for more injuries because the Kome era is over.

Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: September 20, 2010 8:07 pm

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

Whatever they do, its going to be a ton of fun everynight. These guys will be next to impossible to defend

Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: September 20, 2010 7:44 pm

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

I can only imagine Donniesdawgs when Lebron made his decision in moving to South Florida...


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: September 20, 2010 5:45 pm

The Heat will stretch the X's and O's

With the triangle there is no true PG, but Pippin did do a lot of distributing from SF.  Usually the Bulls lined up a second shooting guard to play alongside Jordan.  I would not be suprised to see something similar in Miami.  Between Wade and James it seems silly to lean on Chalmers to run the offense.  Play to your strengths.  It makes sense.

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