Offseason Moves the Miami Heat Should Have Made
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
No matter how big of a perceived juggernaut a team happens to be, there's always room for improvement.
While the Miami Heat have arguably the greatest player on the planet at small forward alongside a bunch of similarly great talents, there are still flaws here and there.
Their offseason wasn't terrible, but they certainly could've made bigger moves than signing Greg Oden, an injury- prone center on the wrong side of 25, and Michael Beasley, a head-case tweener with Hall of Fame-level talent.
Let's hit the rewind button and go over a few moves Miami should've made that would've taken them from a heavy favorite to a guaranteed title lock.
Add a Shooter To Replace Mike Miller
While it might go unnoticed by most pundits, the loss of Mike Miller shouldn't be understated.
He was an extremely underrated rebounder, and his quick, high-release jump shot was downright dominant at times. Due to luxury-tax constraints, Miller was amnestied, and as a result, the Heat are without a critical component in their bench rotation.
He couldn't create for himself or anyone else off the dribble, but then again, that was never his job. Snatching long boards that ricocheted off the iron or catching and shooting for open shots were the primary ways he got the job done.
All in all, he was a great piece to have in your reserve unit as he didn't do much that changed how Miami operated. He was a great system piece whom you could plug in, and he'd get himself open some how to create three-point opportunities.
Now that he's gone, they have yet to really add a piece of similar capability as far as purely shooting the ball. Some might argue that adding Michael Beasley is good enough, but unfortunately, Beasley is a bit of a black hole on offense.
When Beasley gets the ball, he isn't going to pass it. He's going to pump fake a couple times, dribble and pull up from mid-range and likely miss—he's shot sub-45-percent from the field the past two seasons with a rough 40-percent campaign just this past year.
They still have Shane Battier, James Jones and Ray Allen, but it would've been nice to have another "safe" off-ball option at the guard/forward spot rather than a trigger-happy catalyst who is more miss than hit with his stroke.
Add a Spark-Plug Combo Guard
While they're not necessarily a part of championship-caliber squads, a solid combo guard can transform an average team intro a great one.
By combo guard, think Jarrett Jack or Nate Robinson—a dual-threat guard who can handle the ball and still drop 18 on you off the bench no problem.
Players like the aforementioned Jack or Robinson are invaluable because they allow a seamless transition from the starters to the reserve unit. When your top scorer is sitting, you have instant one-man offense typically predicated off the jump shot.
A small combo guard like Robinson or Jack—heck, even a Mo Williams would've been decent—would've been nice to pair with Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole.
Someone out there is undoubtedly saying, "Why would the Heat sign an overpriced gunner, though?"
Take a look at this stat—the Heat had the 24th-ranked bench in the league as far as points were concerned.
At some point, the lack of a high-scoring bench is going to come back and bite the Heat, and they'll certainly regret lacking a spark-plug type of player to inject energy into the second unit, or better yet, dominate games singlehandedly.
What also makes a combo guard great is the fact they can run with the starters if they're having a great night, and if they're off, no worries, run traditional sets with a guy like Chalmers who's either going to take the ball north-south when he has a lane, or he's going to dish it to James and let him set up the offense.
While they didn't make the move, they should still be able to get away with it considering the great Dwyane Wade himself is incredibly versatile for a 2-guard.
Although Miami didn't address two of their primary voids, they are still the favorites to win it all and for good reason: You don't win two titles in a row by accident.
Will a weak bench severely hinder Miami's chances this season?
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