LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh: Cornerstone of an NBA Dyansty?

Jason CrowleyContributor IJuly 20, 2010

MIAMI - JULY 09:   LeBron James #6, Dwyane Wade #3 and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat speak after being introduced to fans during a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

I hope the Miami Heat are immediately successful in the Eastern Conference.

I have selfish interests, specifically that the Lakers can meet and overcome them in the Finals , but there is more to it as well. I want to see how good this team can be.

Miami now has one of the youngest and most talented core's in NBA history: starting Lebron James at small forward, Dwyane Wade at two-guard, and Chris Bosh either at a natural power forward, or as a "small-ball" center. It lacks quality "skill" behind these three, but this is where Pat Riley shines. He has a knack of finding scheme-correct, role players that fit into a system. Riley also develops leadership and Pat always has a plan.

When you begin to peel back the layers of intricacy that landed this power trio, Riley (the 5-time NBA champion) begins to look less like an NBA President, and more like a chess-playing super computer named Deep Blue.  Gary Kasparov would be jealous at how many steps, how many months ahead, Riley had set these wheel in motion.  

At any rate, whats done is done, and the Heat are ""all in" on a plan that could create a dynasty for the ages.

The Tables Are Being Set

With the Big 3 set, Miami has began adding the players that many pundits felt they wouldn't be able to. The biggest initial criticisms of the 3 deals, were that the Heat would need to add Dex, "the Home Depot box boy" to fill out the roster.  That the amount of money left over wouldn't be enough to field a competitive team.

Well... A "Z", a Haslem, a Miller, and a Magloire later, and it looks as if the Brylcreem Wizard has been underestimated yet again.

Scenario 1: How It Works.

Miami accomplished what they Knicks, and Nets couldn't. They ditched cap space to sign Lebron and Bosh without alienating Wade.  In addition, they retained a yeoman-like role player in Haslem, and signed their sniper in Miller.  Crafty vets such as Z quickly recognized the opportunity and jumped on board.  This is a complete team.

Spoelstra finds ways to mask the teams remaining deficiencies. A massive weight is lifted from Mario Chalmers, as both Wade and Lebron are capable ball handlers.  Mario isn't asked to quarterback the team, but merely play solid defense, and knock down an open 18 footer. Basically, not suck. He finds his rhythm and blends into the mix.

The NBA learns why the "Big 3" are called the "Big 3". Skill trumps size.

Lebron does what Lebron does.  For the last decade the collective has been waiting to anoint the next Jordan, when in fact, they should have been looking for the next Magic. Lebron can bang, and board, and pass, and finish.  He's got the size of an NFL Tight end, and the floor vision on Joe Montana. He's the complete package.   He's Frankenstein's monster, and his dominance continues with the Heat.  James accepts lower scoring numbers for the good of the team and they flourish. This is the phantom leadership that he wasn't supposed to have. "They" were wrong.

Wade is the soul of the Heat, and the perfect compliment to Lebron. He's a bit small for a classic 2, and doesn't quite have the handles to be a marquee point, but his extreme versatility meshes well. He's a scorer and a finisher without a fear of passing.  The small injuries of the past are neutralized by sharing the load.  He's no longer a "target" and that's scary. Real scary.

The term Robin implies "second rate".  It implies a lack of leadership.  A follower.  A side kick. Chris Bosh is no Robin.  

Although Bosh is listed as a power forward, his strengths lie not in his physical power, but his versatility and basketball IQ (see a pattern developing here?).  Bosh plays excellent team defense along side Wade and James.  Teams find it difficult to create shots.  They become one dimensional and it plays into the Heat's hands.

The Heat combine the perfect blend of balance, unselfishness and athleticism.  A revolutionary combination at that. What was once thought to be a weakness in the middle, is neutralized with hustle (Haslem) and guile (Z). The unit mixes slashers, bangers, hustlers, sharpshooters, defenders, passers... and they are nearly all on an All-Star caliber. The formula is simply too much of too much. 

The Miami Heat own the NBA and the rest of the league is lucky to rent space.  Goodnight. Wake up in 2016.

Scenario 2: How It Fails. 

There is no sense of beating around this bush.  Anything short of a title... each and every year, will be met with criticism.   The trio know this and the pressure builds.

Miami is built to gun.  Lebron, Wade and Bosh are your proverbial "spring chickens" and Spolestra wants this team to run.  They do.  

This philosophy fits more with a younger, mobile Anthony at center, so the more experienced "Z" backs him up.  This is a classic small-ball lineup, and it works wonderfully through the early season months when the legs are still fresh.

Wade gets dinged up.

The Heat are able to overcome Wade's nicks and dings (because Lebron and Bosh are enough to do so), but fall a few games short of home court advantage.  The small lineup struggles against half court, physical, playoff sets, and labor when the perimeter game is cold.  This team was built for December.  Not June.  They squeak by Howard's Magic in 5, and run into a big Boston team.

Garnett, Perkins, and O'Neal prove to be too much inside for the Heat.  Boston is aging, but they aren't stupid. They engineer a game plan that forces Miami to the perimeter on tired legs. Pierce is still Pierce and Rondo owns Chalmers.  It becomes clear to Heat fans that they didn't really need Bosh. In Lebron and Wade, they have all scoring and passing the teams needs.  What they needed was some muscle.  What they needed was Carlos Boozer.

A fatigued Heat team exits the Eastern Conference Finals in 6.

The off-season arrives and the threat of a lockout looms large.  Owners are demanding the NBA's mid-level exception is eradicated and that the league move to a fixed, hard, salary cap. As a compromise, the two sides agree to keep the MLE, and implement a hard cap at just under 50 million dollars.  There are no loopholes.  There is no luxury tax. Miami has a problem.

With three stars signed for nearly that much alone and a MLE at just under 6 million, the Heat cannot field a team that includes the Big 3.  Bosh is released.

The "Big 2" must now start over.