Joel Przybilla is the missing piece in the Miami Heat’s championship puzzle. No, you’re not being punked; I’m dead serious. Przybilla’s strengths matchup perfectly with what the Heat are lacking, and yes, despite what the fans that have already crowned Miami the 2012 NBA Champions believe, they are lacking something.
According to Gery Wolf of the journaltimes.com, one of the teams pursuing the 32-year old veteran is the Heat. Miami entered this past offseason with two holes in their starting lineup, one at the point guard position and the other at center. While Mario Chalmers is still technically the starter, it looks like Pat Riley found a gem in Cleveland State rookie Norris Cole, who exploded for 20 points and four assists off the bench in a win against the Boston Celtics.
That leaves just a weakness at center to be upgraded. Trading LeBron James for Dwight Howard is always an option, but obviously, there are less drastic measures that can be taken. One is simply signing the 7’1”, 255-pound Przybilla.
Joel Anthony is averaging a measly 3.3 points, 2.7 boards and 1.0 denial a game, yet he remains in the Heat’s starting lineup. With LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh playing alongside each other, Miami has no need for a center capable of putting up 15 to 20 points a game. What they do need, though, is an eraser on the defensive end and a rebounding black hole that would keep them from getting dominated by a center such as Tyson Chandler .
Przybilla only played in 36 games last season, and when active, he lacked a fair opportunity to shine. The year before, though, when he averaged 22.7 minutes a game for the Portland Trail Blazers, he inhaled 7.9 rebounds a contest. Przybilla’s four inches of added height to Miami’s frontcourt would do wonders for their rebounding totals, as they currently rank 23rd in the league in rebounds per.
Now, Przybilla suffered a knee injury back in December of 2009 and he re-injured his knee in 2010, but after a lengthened offseason, one would imagine his athleticism has returned. After all, the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and—according to ESPN’s Marc Stein—the Dallas Mavericks wouldn’t be competing for his services if he couldn’t contribute by being more than a designated pick-setter.
No holes exist in a starting lineup of Cole, Wade, James, Bosh and Przybilla. Yeah, Przybilla.
David Daniels is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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