It is no secret that the Miami Heat lacks depth. Their contests against the Chicago Bulls, at least the most recent, warranted concern. Without Derrick Rose, the point guard that has the entire league (including LeBron) star struck, Miami was handed a fierce ball game.
Chicago was led by John Lucas III. Not Joakim Noah. Not Carlos Boozer. Not even Luol Deng. Lucas went off and showered Miami with threes and put LeBron’s highly-efficient defense to shame.
Whenever a player draws the attention of the team’s best defender, it says something.
Lucas may not be the reigning man-in-charge, but he made everyone remember his name. Who on Miami’s bench can say the same?
The point guard position is of the utmost importance and there is no one consistent enough on Miami’s roster, with the exception of James, that can operate it almost perfectly.
We could talk about rookie PG Norris Cole. At the start of the season, we all thought he would be riding high in Mario Chalmers’ starting spot by January. Chalmers was rocky as usual and Cole was making highlights next to the two of the most criticized and praised players in the game.
Cole was a hot topic until reality kicked in and Chalmers proved why he will not be replaced anytime soon.
With all of the inconsistencies Chalmers provides, Cole doubles them. Playing alongside LeBron will keep any point guard in the shadows of his assists column, as he normally generates the team’s offense. Still, Chalmers is a more solid distributor than Cole is, although his turnovers for the season are almost identical to the rookie’s.
No matter what people may think about Chalmers vs. Cole, the former Cleveland State player is still a rookie. Experience trumps a few good game performances. Cole will have to do a lot more to win a starting spot in coach Erik Spoelstra’s lineup.
He has not done anything to prove he is worthy.
With the point guard position being compounded with inconsistency, why not bring in some veteran leadership to level the battlefield?
It’s not like Miami could not use it. With so many insults being hurled in the franchise’s direction for not having a dog when in need, they would feed off of Derek Fisher’s beast-like hunger to succeed.
There are plenty of reasons Miami could utilize Fisher in the backcourt.
One obvious reason would be experience. Miami fans can scream about how complete Miami is right now, but the truth of the matter is that they are only persistent in peculiarity and vexing the audiences they perform for.
They are responsible for occasionally blazing their sub.-500 opponents and then turning around and dropping a 20-plus lead to a more complete squad than they are. Miami is a great offense, even better in the half-court, but they are not done putting together pieces.
The Chicago Bulls are not the pressing favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference. Still, they have more respect than Miami does. Pushing aside the fact that Miami has LeBron, the Heat is below Chicago because the Bulls work hard all the time.
Miami can be found playing around in the first two periods and then trying to play catch up. A player like Derek Fisher works hard 100 percent of the time. He will push Miami to get things going early, instead of partaking in racking up highlights that do not reflect the scoreboard.
Fisher’s postseason experience automatically trumps anything that Chalmers or Cole has to offer. In the playoffs, experience is everything. Being flashy is not his strong suit. Yet, with something to prove, Fisher could give the Heat the edge they need.
He is a hard-working point guard, who with proper motivation, could keep up with Miami in transition. However, everyone must come to the realization that the Heat is not just a run-you-out-of-breath team. They are actually one of the best half-court teams in the league.
According to ESPN, Miami Heat operates better this season in half-court play.
Here's where the narrative separates from reality. When you look at how the Heat get their points, you'll find that they get the majority of their points, not from racing up and down the floor in high-velocity brilliance, but from pounding teams when the game slows down in the half-court. This fact was underlined in Tuesday's blowout win over the New Jersey Nets.
Amazingly, the Heat built up a 38-point lead on the short-handed Nets with exactly none of those points coming on fastbreaks. Not one. Their first fast break points on Tuesday came late in the fourth quarter when Norris Cole laid it in after a pass from James Jones. LeBron, Wade and Chris Bosh were not involved, unless you count cheerleading from the bench as being involved.
Derek Fisher would fit right in. Not into the cheerleading role, of course. His lack of quicks would be instantly sheltered by the fact that Miami scores most of their points in half-court offense anyway. Fisher is not a fan of walking the ball up, but with a decent pace, would be able to keep up with Bron & Co.
Fisher thrives playing the role of a traditional point guard. While his best seasons seem to have been with the Los Angeles Lakers, two of them came when he was a part of the Golden State Warriors. He was playing the role of the more traditional facilitator.
He was not accountable for making too many shots. Fisher was playing his role and playing it well. His time with the Lakers did not work out too well because they needed a solid scorer all of the time. They needed someone who could pick up the slack when Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol did not have a hot hand.
Miami has men for that. There is the ‘Big 3’ that compounds a majority of Miami’s scoring. There is James Jones, who comes off of the bench that can hit a few threes for Miami. Shane Battier, who’s been sketchy this season, but is good for a few threes.
Udonis Haslem is getting back into the groove of his mid-range jumper. Even Cole can hand in several points on some long- and mid-range shots.
Fisher is a solid point guard, who is not strong in scoring, but plays hard-nosed defense. Miami has great defense and can put a cap on any team’s offense. Still, there is room for improvement. The turnovers at the point are countless and Fisher has great ball-handling skills.
It is not like Fisher would jump on the squad and make an instantaneous impact. But, Miami would be all the better with a shot of veteran clutch point guard. Miami is not weak at the starting position, but their whole roster could use an upgrade.
Fisher will land with a contender.
Why not with a contender who could actually use him for about ten minutes a game?