The Klieg lights in South Beach finally have been dimmed a little, and the Miami Heat can enter the 2012-13 regular season with a feeling of equanimity. Although the LeBron James criticism will never cool off, the argument of being great and “ringless” can be eradicated.
Miami returns back this year with much better chemistry and confidence, along with two new exceptional shooters added to their roster (like they need any more). And there isn’t a modicum of uncertainty of why the Heat think they can’t repeat last year’s script.
Besides from having the most indomitable force in the league on their side, Miami’s ability to spread the floor is unparallel. Not only can their starting lineup consistently knock down jumpers, but their bench is replete with sharp shooters as well. The Heat are the San Antonio Spurs of the East in regards to depth, but much younger and volatile. If you’re looking for a name for their offensive approach, I’ve labeled it “get buckets.”
Miami’s season opener against the Boston Celtics last night echoed these sentiments.
The reason why this “get buckets” system works for the Heat is because the league’s style of play has revolutionized to a faster tempo with less traditional centers. Every person above 6’7” has reverted to become a jump shooter rather than squaring up in the paint with post moves. This flair has trickled down from the pros to high-school, and has become more evident when judging the ineptitude of young forwards and centers on the block entering the league. Because of this the Heat excel.
The reason why Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman are inactive is because they’re not needed. Anthony did occasionally spark this team on defense during their championship run last year, but ultimately was a waste of space on the offensive end. The fact that nearly 80 percent of the Heat’s roster can shoot three’s consistently is daunting for any unit to defend. Seriously though, take a look at the Heat’s “rotation” and see how many non-shooters you can find.
Furthermore, the Heat’s only weakness is interior post defense, but this simultaneously is also strength.
Whoever defends Bosh will ultimately be asked to step out to defend him foul line extended. Unless centers like Andrew Bynum and Roy Hibbert got incredibly fast over the off-season, I highly doubt they’ll be able to check Bosh along the perimeter. And deferring to zone is not the most astute decision against a sharp shooter team.
The Heat are genuinely having fun out on the hardwood, but with a serious mindset allowing no room for error.
The only thing that would feel better than last year's diamond championship ring is adding another to the collection.