Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Miller only appeared in 59 games last season and played an average of 15 minutes a game. For much of the season, he found himself out of the rotation. But he did manage to steal the starting spot for the Heat in the NBA Finals because Shane Battier was going through a slump. With Miller now gone, someone may have to emerge as that person who stays ready to contribute and can possibly have a few moments when they are most needed.
Miami has several candidates for the job: Michael Beasley, James Jones and Rashard Lewis. Jones filled in the role admirably during the Heat’s 2010-11 season because Miller was either injured or limited for virtually the entire campaign. Even though that was three years ago, Jones doesn’t really have any athleticism to lose with age and is still a great shooter in his own right.
Beasley certainly has the most potential of the three—Rashard Lewis is on the tail end of his career. Beasley also currently has a tenuous position in the NBA. It would follow, then, that Beasley would do everything in his power to ensure that this reunion with the Heat goes more or less smoothly.
But what niche will he develop? We know that Jones and Lewis are on the Heat for their shooting ability. Beasley won’t have the offensive freedom he had during his first two seasons with Miami, especially on a team with not only Wade but also James and Bosh. Beasley may have to reinvent himself as a three-point shooter, pick-and-pop guy who can rebound. His NBA life may depend on it.
Prediction: James Jones