The Miami Heat got beat down on their home floor in Game 1 of their second-round series with the Chicago Bulls, and their performance highlighted their two biggest areas for improvement moving forward.
First, their lack of consistent production on either side of the ball from the point guard position. And secondly, their inability to dominate or even compete on the glass.
The good news, though, is that their point guard and rebounding problems are easy to fix. They just need to focus on the right solutions.
Let's start off with the solution for their ineffective point guard problems. It's a rather simple solution, and it involves handing over the reigns at the point to the most efficient point guard on their roster, LeBron James.
The Heat don't need a point guard. That's their problem. They are trying to go against the strength of their roster, which is the point guard abilities that exist within LeBron and even Dwyane Wade.
Having Mario Chalmers running the show and even wasting time by bringing the ball up the court isn't helping them solve their problem in the least.
With Norris Cole coming off the bench and continuing to develop, now isn't the right time to insert him into the starting lineup. He needs at least one more year to develop, and what better way than to continue to come off the bench, bolstering the Heat's second unit.
If you watch the Heat, you'll know that LeBron demands to bring the ball up the floor more than 50 percent of the time anyway, especially when the game is on the line. And he's right to do that, because he is the best point guard that the Heat have.
This season, when Chalmers was supposed to make his glorious transformation into being one of the top 10 point guards in the league, he absolutely failed to impress.
During the regular season, he averaged 8.6 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 turnovers per game. That production isn't atrocious if he was playing under 20 minutes per game, but that's not the case.
The fact that Chalmers put up an average of 6.9 shots per game this season and made under 43 percent is reason enough for the Heat to go in a different direction with their offense regarding their point guard situation.
So here it is. The end all solution for the conundrum that is: "Who the Heat should play at the point?"
LeBron needs to be the Heat's point guard. Not only is he the most versatile player in the NBA, his court vision is also second-to-none.
Moving LeBron to the point, which simply means he's bringing the ball up the floor, gives the Heat two options, the second of which will help them solve their rebounding woes.
The first option for the Heat is to move LeBron to the point and look for a true small forward in free agency this offseason, with some options being Corey Brewer, Chris Copeland or Matt Barnes.
That option isn't ideal, though, because it will be hard for the Heat to make any noise in free agency this summer, and it also doesn't lead to a resolution for their interior rebounding issues.
Luckily, the Heat can solve their interior issues and point guard problems in one fell swoop by moving Chris Bosh back to the power forward slot, inserting Shane Battier into the starting lineup at the small forward position and pursuing a free agent center this offseason.
There aren't many options for the Heat, but that's okay because they just need a player who can fill the paint for 20 minutes a game, buying time for Chris Andersen to find his way off the bench and onto the court.
The best option for the Heat this offseason in that regard is a player like Ryan Hollins, who can be coached into his role of being a defensive presence and nothing more.
Sure, adding Hollins sounds anything but glamorous, but look what Chris Andersen's done in his time with the Heat. He went from sitting on his couch to playing about 15 minutes per game in the Heat's playoff run.
That solution starts with a willingness from coach Erik Spoelstra to make some interesting and risky roster rotations. But when you have LeBron, Wade and Bosh on the same team, taking a risk isn't such a hard thing to do.
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