Miami is going all in with their big chip lead this season, and with some of the moves they have made, they are playing to do nothing more than dominate the rest of the NBA. It’s going to be tough. The East and the entire Association will be much improved this season, so let’s see what the Heat have been up to, what their strategy will be when trying to win for a third time in a row and how that will affect our NBA Picks.
We have already covered the signings of Chris Anderson, and the amnestying of Mike Miller, but the Heat have made another splash recently that is sure to either do absolutely nothing, or be a key addition and another bargain addition to their bench. The Heat signed Michael Beasley to a non-guaranteed contract this offseason, and if he makes the team’s final roster spot, it will bring him back to the team that drafted him after he floundered around the league for the last few years.
At one time in the summer of 2008, there was a discussion around the NBA as to whether or not the Chicago Bulls should take Beasley over Derrick Rose (I can not tell you how glad I am that never happened). Rose has since become a super star, a max salary player and one of the five best players in the NBA when healthy, and Beasley is on a non-guaranteed contract and is one more mess up away from being out of the league.
While he will likely make the team out of reputation and talent alone, Beasley likely won’t be making much of a difference this season for Miami. At best he is a nice change of pace forward from Udonis Haslem, and could contribute anywhere from 10-20 minutes per night. However lucky for the Heat, they don’t need to rely on Beasley, or even keep him on the team a month from now if he screws up again or tests positive for weed again.
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No, this subsection is not about Pat Riley. Unfortunately, the guy is a genius. This is more for Eric Spoelstra and the Miami stars. Dwyane Wade showed visible and even playoff-game missing signs of beginning the end of his career, and even though the Heat can afford to have an aging Wade, they cannot afford an injury to him, Chris Bosh, and definitely not Lebron James.
They have depth, but they need to manage these guys’ minutes a lot more than they have been the last three seasons. For a team that has played 100 games per season for the last three seasons, plus the Olympics, that’s a lot of tread on the tires. Especially for a team that’s three main players are either at, or close to 30 years old.
If they are up 18 points with 8 minutes to go in a regular season game in November or December, don’t expect to see more than one member of the big three on the floor. If they are however, I am very worried about the longevity of this team this season in a tougher Eastern Conference. If Wade’s 31-year-old (32 in January) knees aren’t managed during the regular season, along with the minutes of James and Bosh early in the year, this team is one prolonged injury away from losing home court, and possibly their chance at the three-peat. By the time the playoffs hit, Wade will be 32, Bosh, 30, and James, 29.