Why the Miami Heat with LeBron James will not be 2011 World Champions!
But look out for 2012
Everyone seems to be surprised that the Miami Heat National Basketball Team is having a difficult time as they start the 2010-11 season. You need to see where the team was last year before you can understand where the team will go this year.
Last season, the Heat was a "Dwyane Wade" driven team. As such the ball went through the guard play regularly. The Heat coach is still Erik Spoelstra and his style for basketball will take some getting used to by the new team mates. President/GM of the Heat, Pat Riley, has accumulated a quality basketball team. But bottom line, it will take this season the mates to develop into a team. They will also have issues in the playoffs because of the lack of Heat seasoning.
In addition to the noted free agents, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, newcomers to the team are free agents Eddie House, Juwan Howard, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Mike Miller and draft choice Dexter Pittman.
The list of returning players is almost as short with Joel Anthony, Carlos Arroyo, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, James Jones, Jamaal Magloire and the aforementioned Dwyane Wade.
The recent injury to Haslem has added Eric Dampier to the roster.
Now here is why we believe the team will struggle to succeed this year. Because of expectations, anything less than the Championship is not successful.
First looking at the roster, along with the lengthy injuries to Miller and Haslem, which of the supporting cast is going to carry the scoring load. Let's assume that James, Wade and Bosh each average 25 points every game. Currently, the Heat are averaging 101 points per game while holding their opponents to almost 93 points per game. Obviously the team is buying into the Coach's defensive mindset. To date, they have played playoff contending teams Boston, Orlando and New Orleans. Their record against those teams is 1-3 and they have averaged 94 points while allowing 91 points against these teams. This illustration includes the 26 point win over Orlando which mess up the averages.
As expected James and Wade have consistently been the leading scorers for the team but rumors are already starting about the fit of Bosh into the center/forward position. James reminds me of the Magic Johnson/Scottie Pippen mold where he can play forward, guard or center if needed. Wade is more of a shooting guard than a playmaking guard however, with James, the playmaking guard is not a necessity. So what do we have, two players who are averaging 23 and 21 points per game and one who averages about 17 points per game.
This puts a lot of pressure on the other team mates to fulfill the expectations of the management and fan base of the Heat. During this early going, youngster James Jones has been averaging better than 8 points. Let's assume 4 players average 8 points or 32 points per game. This means we have expectations of about 93 points. If their defense is allowing 93 points, don't we think the long run through the season and playoffs is going to be difficult.
The reason I believe the outlook for 2012 will be better is the team mates will now have experience playing together and President/GM Riley will, during the off season, find some more scoring if he determines that is their greatest need. He spent so much focusing on bringing home James and Bosh, he did not have the opportunity to back fill the rest of the roster with players to assist with the winning expectations.