Miami Heat Players Who Will Make a Big Jump in 2014-15

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Miami Heat Players Who Will Make a Big Jump in 2014-15
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

LeBron James' decision to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers very obviously has enormous ramifications—almost all of which are negative—for the Miami Heat.

However, on a positive note, the departure of James and the 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists he averaged this past season opens up room for other Heat players to be bigger contributors.

We're going to take an in-depth look at the three guys on Miami's roster who will see a significant jump in their individual production as a result of James leaving the Heat.

 

Mario Chalmers

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Assuming he wins the starting point guard job in training camp, Chalmers should be in store for a very successful 2014-15 campaign. 

With James gone, Chalmers will be called upon to handle the ball more often, which will give the 28-year-old greater opportunity to rack up assists and create his shot. Chalmers excels when attacking the basket (55.6 FG% within five feet of the hoop, according to NBA.com), and that ability should be utilized more next season. 

Chalmers' shot efficiency (38.5 3P% in 2013-14) will likely take a hit without James there to create open three-point looks for him, but Rio has developed into a very effective shooter and will still get buckets from beyond the arc. 

Expect Chalmers to post career highs in scoring (11-12 points per game) and assists (5-6) while still knocking down around 36-37 percent of his shots from outside.

 

Dwyane Wade

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Wade won't return to 2009-10 form, but it's fair to say the three-time NBA champion is going to prove a whole lot of people wrong during the 2014-15 season.

After seeing his role continuously diminish throughout the Big Three era, Wade should see his number called much more frequently in 2014-15. Merely as a result of increased touches, Wade will likely go from a player who averaged 19.0 points, 4.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds this past season to a 21-6-5 type of guy in 2014-15.

Also helping Wade's chances for a big season is a report from Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald that the historically great guard has shed some serious weight this offseason in an attempt to preserve his body. Wade told Jackson he plans to play in 75-plus games this season, and the weight loss should help him in his attempt to reach that goal and the statistical marks I have predicted for him.  

Despite a horrible 2014 NBA Finals performance, Wade is still an excellent player, and the increased responsibilities give him the opportunity to prove that once again. 

 

Chris Bosh

Joel Auerbach/Associated Press

Bosh will be the biggest beneficiary of James' departure from an individual performance standpoint. The third wheel these past four years in Miami, Bosh now becomes the Heat's No. 1 option.

Coach Erik Spoelstra often said that he rarely ran plays through Bosh. Now, the offense should run through Bosh.

Despite Bosh averaging just 16.6 points and 6.6 rebounds this past season, he's actually a much better and more versatile player now than he was when he left the Toronto Raptors in 2010. With an improved three-point and mid-range game, Bosh is more than equipped to handle the load of an offense again.

Twenty-three points and eight rebounds per night is well within Bosh's reach, and there's potential for him to fill up the stat sheet even more.

With Bosh and Wade leading the way, along with role players such as Chalmers stepping up, this Heat team should still be one of the top squads in the Eastern Conference next season. 

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