Although the Big Three have largely dictated how far Miami has gone over the last three years, timely contributions from bench players have helped push the Heat over-the-top in 2012 and 2013. Mike Miller made seven threes in the clincher against Oklahoma City, and Shane Battier made six triples in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
And of course, who can forget Ray Allen’s three-pointer in the closing seconds of Game 6 of the Finals? Allen’s compulsive practicing paid off, as he prevented NBA personnel from roping off the crowd and starting a Spurs celebration.
Miami will attempt to three-peat with much of the same cast that won last year’s title. But Miller was amnestied, and Michael Beasley and Greg Oden have arrived aboard. With Allen and Battier aging, will they again have the responsibility to offer strong punches off the bench? What expectations should Heat fans have of Beasley and Oden, two former lottery picks?