7 Things We Learned About the Miami Heat After Week 1
With a little over a week of the NBA underneath our belt, we've learned a lot about each team across the league.
Nevertheless, they have arguably looked like the best team in the league.
Miami has been quite inconsistent, so far, but have shown quick glimpses of greatness and still appear to be head and shoulders above everybody else in the Eastern Conference.
But, why is this? What makes this team so good? What must they improve on?
I'm here to answer those questions and more as we discuss seven things we've learned about the Heat during this first week of NBA basketball.
Dwyane Wade Is Healthy
Dwyane Wade hasn't put up amazing numbers this year, but one thing is for sure, he's feeling good and healthy.
He's got a bounce in his step that we haven't seen in a long time, and he's out there having a good time once again, instead of grimacing with every step.
It looks like the summer he had off has really paid off for Wade, and if he can stay healthy all year, that could result in some great things for the Heat.
He's exploding off the ground quickly, defending the ball very well and providing amazing help defensively, utilizing his amazing athleticism.
The Heat Will Attempt to Win Small Once Again
With Bosh as the Heat's starting center and Battier starting at the 4, it seems as though the Heat will look to win small once again.
This formula has many flaws, but there's not another player more versatile than LeBron James, so the Heat definitely have the right personnel to win this way.
However, it won't take long for other teams to figure out how to beat this lineup.
Maybe, it's something the Heat will elect to go away from at some point this season and re-visit later on in the season. Only time will tell.
Chris Bosh Needs to Get Tougher
Despite contrary belief, the Heat play some of the best defense in the league. It's not all glitz and glory in Miami.
However, this season, it has not been as impressive as the Heat toy with some new lineups.
What has been made clear already is that Chris Bosh needs to get tougher inside if the Heat want to win—not on the offensive end but on defense.
Bosh has not done a good enough job of protecting the rim or guarding bigs one-on-one in the post.
This has to change quickly, especially if you look at the teams they likely will have to go through to reach the franchises third championship.
He may be undersized, but that cannot be an excuse for Bosh.
Ray Allen Is Still Ray Allen
You can stop all that worrying about Ray Allen's health.
He's looked so much better with Miami this year than he did the last in Boston.
Maybe this has to do with just better health, but it seems as though he's happier playing with the Heat. He's back to being appreciated for the unique set of skills he brings to the table.
Allen has already hit multiple big shots wearing red and black, and needless to say, more are to come.
Jesus Shuttlesworth has managed to improve a team that is fresh off a championship.
That's not too shabby. He has clearly still got it.
LeBron James the Facilitator
LeBron James has been rebounding the ball very well, so far, but it's clear that he has to be much more of a facilitator on this Miami Heat team.
In particular, when they decide to go to a lineup with no Norris Cole or Mario Chalmers.
Even if he doesn't get the assist, LeBron can now be seen bringing the ball up the court more often—even when he's technically playing the 4.
He is literally being asked to do everything for the Heat, but he's doing it well.
James has always been a guy who looks to set up his teammates, and now, he's on a team where he's got a lot of very good teammates to set up.
Rashard Lewis Has Still Got a Little Somethin' Somethin'
We've seen a little bit of everything from Rashard Lewis, so far.
A guy who many people doubted coming in has been a key guy for the Heat during the first week of the season, and one has to think his numbers will only improve as the team builds chemistry.
Lewis has shown the ability to stretch the floor from the 4 position alongside Bosh, which makes the Heat an extremely hard team to guard.
He has yet to be truly obliterated on the defensive end, which is what most Heat fans worried about with the signing of Lewis, and he has clearly outplayed Udonis Haslem.
As the season wears on, don't be surprised to see Lewis getting the key minutes down the stretch and hitting big shots for the Heat.
They Look Ready to Defend Their Title
Despite the tough loss to the Knicks, the Heat have looked good, thus far, this season.
They look primed and ready to defend their title.
Of course, like every other team in the NBA, they have some kinks to work out before all is said and done. But, on the first game of the season, they looked scary good as they swiftly took care of the Celtics.
With LeBron James leading the way, a healthy Dwyane Wade and a formidable Chris Bosh at the center position, there's no reason the Miami Heat shouldn't be in the position to contend for a championship once again as the season wears on.