Miami Heat: Underachievers in Postseason's Early Going
The Miami Heat are clicking on all cylinders right now, but they are going to need some guys to step their game up another level if they want to continue their winning ways.
Clearly, LeBron and Wade are playing at the top of their games, but it's great teams that win championships, along with great players.
The question is: Who can the Heat honestly turn to outside of the big three for production on both ends of the floor? And the truth of the matter is, if we don't know by now, we won't find out in the playoffs.
What the Heat roster looks like now is what they will have to work with for the duration of the playoffs, and there have been a few players underachieving thus far that will need to dial up their intensity a little bit in order for the Heat to be successful.
A member of the big three, Chris Bosh has not played like the All-Star we know in this year's playoffs. Granted, clearly he's done enough for the Heat to win. Then again, they're playing the No. 7 seed, injury-riddled Knicks, and LeBron and Wade are playing on another level.
Bosh did bounce back in Game 2, but his embarrassing nine-point effort in Game 1 will simply not cut it. His main problem this year has been his inconsistency, if nothing else, but I give him the benefit of the doubt considering the fact that he plays alongside two of the best players in the game today.
However, there's no excuse for Bosh not doing the little things such as rebounding and bringing much-needed toughness and size to a smaller Heat squad.
I have said it time and time again, Bosh will be the difference in the Heat's championship run. He provides an inside presence and has the ability to do multiple things for the team on both ends of the floor.
Co-captain Udonis Haslem has been inserted into the starting lineup as of late. Although he's getting more minutes, he's being less productive and has been somewhat of a liability for the Heat as of late.
Usually, Haslem's jumper is about as sure as the sunset. However, Haslem has been missing the easy ones we've all come to expect to go down.
Not only that, but noted as a rebounding machine, Haslem has yet to total double-digit rebounds in the playoffs. He does not really bring any sort of defensive presence, aside from the charges he takes, so if he's not rebounding and knocking down open jumpers Haslem is hurting the team more than he is helping.
On paper, a starting lineup consisting of Haslem and Bosh is a very versatile and effective one. But so far, the two have proved anything but.
Mike Miller has been underachieving since he signed with the Heat. When Miami acquired him, many people thought he'd be that missing piece that would separate them from the pack. But Miller hasn't been able to escape those nagging injures.
However, now Miller is arguably playing his best basketball with the Heat. He's always been a guy who can do a lot such as rebound, shoot the ball and find open teammates, and although his defense has been questioned throughout his career, he's doing a solid job fitting in with the intense Heat defense.
That being said, Miller has got to continue to contribute. He's finding himself closing games, and he's going to have to hit a big shot or two before it's all said and done with.
These are arguably the three most important players outside of LeBron and Wade, and if they can put it all together at the right time, meaning now, Miami will be an extremely tough out.