Re-Grading Miami Heat's Moves from Last Offseason
After that, they did not panic. They did not trade Chris Bosh or pull any other crazy stunts other than go out, address some needs and make improvements where possible.
One year on, the Miami Heat are NBA Champions. It's fair to say the moves worked out just fine. Let's go back and take a look at those moves from a summer ago.
Eddy Curry: F
Okay, so not everything was successful for Miami.
The Eddy Curry experiment was just that—an experiment. Curry was overweight, out of game-readiness and completely, unsurprisingly, he did not add anything to the Miami Heat's roster.
As far as this is concerned, it must go down as a failure despite there being no real knock-on effects from said failure. Curry was paid very, very little and was under no pressure to step up and play well. Curry only ever saw minutes in blowout games.
By far the least important signing from a year ago.
James Jones: C+
James Jones was a decent resigning for Miami last summer, so it turns out. Coming off the back of a good 2010-11 season (including a win in the All-Star Weekend three-point shootout contest), Jones was brought back by the South Beach club.
Per 36 minutes, Jones averaged 40 percent from behind the arc for a decent ten points per game, along with a handful of rebounds per 36 minutes. Jones provided solid contributions all season long on a team that lacks distance shooters.
Norris Cole: B
Norris Cole, the Miami Heat's late first-round draft pick a year ago, has proved to be an inspired choice.
The Heat front-court was notoriously thin, with Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers being the two point guards on the roster.
Cole was drafted to be a project, a player who would grow into his role from rookie to backup to starter. In the end, Cole was fast-tracked to back-up as Mike Bibby was not brought back.
Cole had several big performances especially in the playoffs, as he provided great penetration and energy off the bench in key moments when the Heat's sometimes-awkward offense stalled.
Mario Chalmers: A-
The Heat's resigning of Mario Chalmers was another key event in their path towards an NBA Championship.
Chalmers grew in his role, starting at point guard this season and truly breaking through in the NBA Finals with a string of key performances against the Oklahoma City Thunder (including one career night where he went off for 25 points in a scoring binge that ultimately sealed the game win for Miami).
Chalmers is never going to be a star in his own right, but is easily a good enough point guard for the Miami Heat's rather star-heavy offense—an offense that ultimately features three ball-handlers with Chalmers, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
Chalmers' three-point scoring was also a key factor last season as it helped spread the floor, giving more space for Wade, James and Chris Bosh to work.
Shane Battier: A+
Shane Battier was signed last summer in a move many saw as okay. Signing a once-great defender and average offensive player was simply mediocre.
Battier was towards the latter end of his career arc and not expected to be the close-to-elite-level defender he once was.
Then he decided he still could play at that level. Battier became a key player in the Heat's title run and was a valuable offensive asset as—like Chalmers and Jones— he could come in, play defense and knock down three-point shots.
As the Heat went with smaller and smaller lineups, Battier's defensive prowess was called into action as he was asked to defend bigger players.
Then came Game Five of the NBA Finals and Battier went off from deep, scoring three-pointer after three-pointer as the Heat broke the game open and finally captured that elusive second championship.