The Miami threesome of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James was heralded this summer as the trio to beat when they tipped the scales of power in the East by combining forces and joining the Heat.
All three were their former team's primary scorer, averaging 25 percent of the points scored in any given game. Also in common with this triad is that they lacked the support staff talented enough to complete a championship run. Wade, by the way, is the only one with a ring, which was won in 2006.
Now the Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and the Cleveland Cavaliers were not known as high scoring teams last season. With the addition of Bosh and James, expectations are running high, as are the predicted scoreboards, as the possibilities of what the Heat can achieve, both this coming season and in the future.
I have questions about the supposed marriage made in NBA heaven:
How well will these three alpha-males be able to set aside their egos for the cause of the team?
Who will be the dominant personality to establish order on the floor?
Will there be some sort of pecking order as to who get first shot?
Will there be enough ball to go around so that their shooting averages don't suffer?
Let's be real a bit; there are only so many times a team can get shots off in any given 48 minute game. I'm fixing to get very technical here so bare with me. I intend to show that for the Heat, the floor will be much more crowded and for some players, a whole lot smaller.
Chris Bosh: Of the three dominant personalities of the Heat, I think Bosh will more likely be a follower to whoever enforces their will over the team, whether it's Wade or James.
Last season's numbers on Bosh: He averaged 24 points over 70 games played, for a career average of 20.2 points. To reach his season completion average of .518 percent, Bosh had to average 16.5 shots a game, and completed 8.6 of them on average.
That was for last season; for his career, Bosh averages 14.4 shots a game and makes, on average, 7.1 of them for an efficiency of .492 percent.
Now let us look at his team as a whole.
Last season, the Toronto Raptors as a team took 6631 shots over 82 games, completing 3199 shots for an average of .482 percent and an average of 104 points a game. Bosh accounted for 1158 of those shots, or 18 percent of shots taken for the season.
On any game, the Raptors would take, on average, 80.9 shots and make 39.0 of them. To refresh your memory, Bosh alone took an average of 16.5 shots in each of the 70 games he played, or 20 percent of the team shots. The rest of the roster accounted for the balance.
LeBron James: As I'm writing this, James had a party too crazy for ESPN to cover. Thanks to "other" Web sources, we have the details of BronBron acting badly...but I'm not here to dish on that.
King James was the center of the universe in Cleveland, until that fateful day when he traded jerseys and Cleveland fans burned his. Will "His Majesty" be able to conquer the realm of Miami, or share the throne with Wade?
Last season's numbers for James: He averaged 29.7 points over 76 games played, for a career average of 27.8 points. To reach his season completion average of .503 percent, James had to average 20.1 shots a game and completed 10.1 of them on average.
That was for last season; for his career, James averages 20.8 shots a game and makes, on average, 9.9 of them for an efficiency of .475 percent.
Now let's see what his team did as a whole.
Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers took a total of 6391 shots over the 82 games, completing 3101 shots for an average of .485 percent and an average of 102.1 points per game. James accounted for 1528 of those shots, or 25 percent of shots taken.
On any game, the Cavaliers would take an average of 77.9 shots, making 37.8 of them. Remember, James would take, on average, 20.1 of them or 26 percent of the team's shots, leaving 57.8 shots for the rest of the team.
Dwyane Wade: For the last seven years, D-Wade has been the Top Dog of the Miami Heat. Now I am to believe he's going to hold the door while another Alpha Dog comes in and marks his territory?
I've seen too many animal shows to know that is too much fiction. We will be watching as the soap opera of the NBA season unfolds.
Last season's numbers on Wade: He averaged 26.6 points over 77 games played, for a career average of 25.4. To reach his season completion average of .476 percent, Wade had to average 19.6 shots a game, completing 9.3 of them on average.
That was last season; for his career, Wade averages 18.4 shots per game and makes, on average, 8.9 shots for an efficiency of .482 percent.
Now let's look at his team's numbers.
Last season, the Miami Heat took 6518 shots over 82 games, completing 2984 shots for an average of .458 percent and an average of 96.5 points a game. Wade accounted for 1511 of those shots, or .246 percent of shots taken.
On any game, the Heat would take, on average, 79.5 shots and make 36.4 of them. To repeat, Wade alone would average 19.6 of those shots in each of the 77 games he played, or 25 percent of the team's shots, leaving 59.9 shots for his teammates.
Somebody is going to be left out!
So you're asking what the point is of all this gibberish with the numbers? To the Heat fans, I know I appear to reinforce the greatness of their team, but they only look great on paper.
Just remember, shooters need X number of shots to establish themselves in a game. Bosh, James, and Wade will be on the floor together so the floor could get very crowded.
Bosh needs at least 16 shots a game to maintain his scoring average. James needs at least 20 shots a game to maintain his scoring average. And Wade needs at least 19 shots a game to maintain his scoring average.
What will happen when one of the Thrice gets in a shooter's funk? The only cure for a shooter's funk is for them to keep shooting; meanwhile, their teammate is screaming for the ball, and the game clock is winding down.
Sure, the Heat will dominate at the beginning of the season, against lesser opponents. But as soon as the basketball court starts to shrink because the Heat players are fighting each other for shots, they may find that they are the ones being dominated.