Miami Heat: The Five Advantages Only They Have
Since the formation of Miami's new "super team," fans and sportswriters have sliced and diced the roster every which way in an effort to find a weakness or a significant inferiority.
Next are the five advantages that only the Miami Heat have.
There are two types of scorers in the NBA (for simplicity's sake, I'll define the term scorer as players who average 20 points or more).
There are dependent scorers (typically post players or spot shooters), who rely on others to give them the ball in the right place on the floor.Then there are facilitators who can create shots for themselves and other players.
In the NBA, there are only a handful of true scorer/facilitators and Miami is the only team that has two on its roster.
Either Dwyane Wade or LeBron James can take the ball at the top of the key and create their own shot or, if doubled, find the open man for an easy basket.
This is a huge advantage, because Miami will NEVER have to play without at least one of their facilitators on the floor. The same can't be said of the other top teams, who have to manage for 8-10 minutes each game without their facilitator.
Games are often won or lost in 8-10 minutes.
When discussing depth, commentators often overstate their argument.
Let's be honest, while it's nice to be 10 deep in quality players, once the playoffs come around, most teams are using an eight or nine player rotation, and the top six or seven are the players who really make the difference.
So, the real question is, how much "star depth" does a team have at the top?
Here's where Miami has a big advantage.
Miami's best player (Wade or LeBron) is as good or better than any other team's best player.
Miami's second best player (Wade or LeBron) is MUCH better than any other team's second best player.
Miami's third best player (Bosh) is better than any other team's third best player.
That's the kind of depth that wins championships.
Boston can talk about its "Big Three," but they are all past the Big 3-0.
The same can be said of the Lakers.
Miami's big three are 25 (LeBron), 26 (Bosh), and 28 (Wade) years old. They are in the prime of their careers.
To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, "that's kind of a big deal."
Thieves and Rejection on the Wing
There has been a lot of talk about the defensive skills of Miami's stars.
A lot of this talk is based upon subjective opinions.
Here are a few objective facts.
Among shooting guards, Dwyane Wade was first in blocked shots and second in steals in the NBA last year.
Among small forwards, LeBron James was third in blocked shots and second in steals in the NBA last year.
Defensive "big plays" are important, and this is an area where Miami has a unique advantage.
Mi-am-uh Slamma Jamma
Miami's Big Three combined last year for 321 dunks. That's nearly four per game.
No other team has a trio like this.
And, for those of you who think dunks are just for highlight films, think again.
Dunks are the highest percentage shots there are.
Dunks intimidate the opposition.
Dunks rally the crowd.
The Rest Is Just Talk
So, go ahead, anti-Heat brigade...
Tell us what Miami doesn't have.
Tell us where you think your team is better.
None of that matters.
As the Bulls proved in the 1990s....
As the Lakers proved in the early 2000s...
If you have two of the top players in the league, and nobody has an answer for them, the rest doesn't make much of a difference in the end.