Lighting the Fuse: What Role Each Miami Heat Star Has To Play To Win
It's no secret that the Miami Heat have put a target on their backs.
With the exception of fans in South Beach, there are very few people rooting for the new trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh to succeed.
However, despite what people feel, the talent is undeniable. Not since the pairing of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor has the NBA seen a combination as dynamic as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Don't forget Chris Bosh, either. Add him to the equation and you have a deadly triumvirate, ready to make their mark on NBA history.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though, as winning a championship will not be easy.
In order to succeed, they will each have to fulfill specific roles within the Heat's game plan. This is my take on what role each player should take in order to maximize the team's success.
Dwyane Wade: Explosive Scorer and Lock-Down Defender
It's no secret that Miami is Wade's city. Despite the talents of James and Bosh, Wade should continue to be the primary offensive option.
He is pound-for-pound the best player at getting into the lane in the NBA. While his shot attempts may go down, his playing style should not be altered.
Wade should attack the rim aggressively and score when he is able to. If teams collapse on him, James will be open on the kick-out, as will Bosh for the mid-range jumper.
Naturally, by attacking, Wade will be able to create plays for his superstar comrades and shooters in the Heat rotation.
Defensively, Wade should be able to spend more energy shutting down opposing team weapons, especially since he will not be expending as much energy on the offensive side.
Seeing as he is already an All-Defensive caliber player, added energy can only allow him to lock down opponents more effectively and be quicker in the passing lanes.
LeBron James: Point-Forward and League's Best
I'm not fooling anyone by calling LeBron James the second option. While some believe James will score less than Wade, the Heat's real offensive strategy is unknown.
Miami's high scorer could fluctuate on a nightly basis, as factors like opposition and match-ups come into play. Wade may still be known as the "number one" option, but James will get his points.
It is more important that James utilizes his ability to be a point-forward on offense. He is a play-maker by nature, and his court vision and passing ability are off the charts.
As the primary scorer in Cleveland, James has never had the opportunity to display his play-making ability to the fullest. A naturally unselfish player, James will relish the opportunity to make his teammates look good.
In addition, James will need to rebound as aggressively as he normally does and continue his trend of tantalizing run-down blocks in transition.
Ultimately James' role may be the broadest of the three, but everything he does will contribute significantly to the Heat's ability to win.
Chris Bosh: Versatile Post Presence and "High-Motor" Menace
While Bosh is not the caliber of his superstar friends, he will thrive in the role as the Heat's best front-court player.
Bosh possesses a refined post-game and explosive face-up game, both of which should be used when the defense gives him single coverage.
It is also essential that he utilize his jump-shot. The range and consistency with which he can hit the jumper will help keep defenses honest.
The area in which Bosh can excel the most is in energy and activity.
With more attention being placed on James and Wade, Bosh will have ample opportunities to put his stamp on the game.
This includes running the floor to finish plays, owning the defensive glass, grabbing offensive boards for easy put-backs, and making strong cuts to get to his spots.
These areas may not sound as flashy as being the team's leading scorer, but they are underrated in how they contribute to a team's success.
If Bosh can be consistently active on both ends of the floor, he will be a real menace for opposing teams.