Miami Heat: Old School Vs New School: Who Would Win?
The Miami Heat are entering their 22nd season in franchise history and this one figures to be one of, if not the most, exciting ever.
Thanks to their off season acquisitions, the Heat are poised to be title contenders for the next six years.
With the talent that has been assembled, Miami has what amounts to a mini-Dream Team of sorts.
Fans could argue that the Heat now has the greatest one-two punch in league history.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are bona fide super stars. Add Chris Bosh and Mike Miller to the equation, and you have two proven quality players as sidekicks to the dynamic duo.
With all the talent that has been put together by architect Pat Riley let's take a moment to compare how the New Miami Heat would fare versus a squad of the best Old School Heat.
To throw in a twist, we'll also add a team of Heat renegade/guns for hire players.
For the sake of making all teams the strongest they can be, the 2010-11 Heat would have Wade at point guard.
Also think of these teams as all being at the peak of their playing abilities.
This team would be extremely well balanced.
You'd have a strong defensive presence at center. A tall and productive power forward along with three capable scorers at your three, two and one positions.
Strength: Overall balance and great long range shooters.
Weakness: Players able to score/create off the dribble.
Center: Alonzo Mourning
The first Miami player to ever have his jersey retired by the Heat, Alonzo is a two-time defensive MVP who at one point was the the second best center in the NBA.
He gives you a great shot blocker and rebounder who can also score with his back to the basket.
Power Forward: Rony Seikaly
The first-ever player drafted by the Heat, many people may overlook Seikaly, but at his best he was a rebounding machine who could also score with his arsenal of low-post moves.
Mainly used as a center during his career, Seikaly also played plenty at the power forward spot.
Small Forward: Glen Rice
Glen Rice would have been the first Miami Heat All-Star in franchise history if he hadn't been traded for Alonzo Mourning.
G-Money was a potent scorer who had a sweet long range stroke.
His defense isn't great but he offsets that with his ability to put up points in bunches.
Shooting Guard: Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones was the Heat's scoring leader for several seasons while in Miami.
A South Florida native, Jones would give this team its best perimeter defender and another capable scorer with a nice jump shot.
Point Guard: Tim Hardaway
Tim Hardaway at his prime was a great baller who could easily break your ankles with his cross-over dribble.
"Tim-Bug" would offer this team a solid point guard capable of controlling the offense.
He also has a lethal three-point shot to help give an outlet to post players Seikaly and Mourning.
Athleticism on this team would be plentiful.
With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade you'd have two of the best players in league history.
The team would be able to run up and down the court at a furious pace. You could easily see them fast breaking like Pat Riley's "Show-Time" Lakers used to.
Strength: Athleticism, perimeter defense and speed.
Weakness: Rebounding and low post defense.
Center: Zydrunas Ilgauskas
At his best Ilgauskas was an All-Star center who could hold his own with most of the leagues best big men.
He has a great mid range jumper for a player of his size. This would enable the floor to get spread allowing players such as Wade and James to pick apart a defense.
Power Forward: Chris Bosh
Long, lean and an athletic machine, Bosh is a five time All-Star who would man the four spot for the new look Heat.
He isn't the best defender around but is solid. He can score consistently thanks to his mid-range jumper and low-post moves.
Small Forward: Mike Miller
Mike Miller is a good all around player. He can play some defense, can get some boards and can score off the dribble too.
His main asset on this squad would be his ability to hit threes.
With Wade and James on the floor, he'd need only set up in a corner and wait for outlet passes in order to pop in some open looks.
Shooting Guard: LeBron James
An athletic specimen, James is a superstar at only 25 years of age. A two-time NBA MVP, James is an anomaly.
Never before has the league had a player this big and strong yet still quick and agile.
James is also a solid on defense and can create for his teammates thanks to his great court vision.
Point Guard: Dwyane Wade
Originally used as a point guard during his rookie season, Wade still runs the point in crunch time for Miami.
A tenacious competitor, Wade has a knack for getting in the paint and drawing contact.
He is also a great off the ball defender who offers weak side support for his big men down low.
Wade uses his speed, instincts and play making ability to give opponents nightmares on how to defend him.
This is a team of players that only spent two to four seasons with the Heat. The team would boast one of the most dominant centers to ever play the game.
It has a long, lean and versatile power forward. A couple of balanced players at the two/three spots and one of the best defensive point guards in league history.
Strength: Low post dominance and a great defensive minded point guard.
Weakness: Not a single great three-point shooter on the squad.
Center: Shaquille O'Neal
A monster, a behemoth, an unstoppable force. Those are all some of the terms that can be used to describe Shaq in his prime. The man was basically uncontainable.
He would toss aside opponents like a bowling ball would pins.
O'Neal's presence would give the Cast-Aways the best center of any of the three squads and a strong advantage in the paint.
Power Forward: Lamar Odom
Odom is a multi-faceted player who can play any position on the court. From center to point guard, Odom has the necessary tools and skills to get the job done.
His size would help complement Shaq's in the paint and he would bring a lot of intangibles to the court for the Cast-Aways.
Small Forward: Jamal Mashburn Or Antoine Walker
Take your pick at small forward with either Mashburn or Walker. They're both from Kentucky.
They both were able to play multiple positions.
They both had really weird looking/big heads.
In either case, you'd have a player capable of scoring with their back to the basket or facing it.
Neither was a great defensive player.
Shooting Guard: Steve Smith
Originally a point guard in the Magic Johnson mold, Steve Smith later played at the two and three. He is a good ball handler who can play decent defense.
He, like Odom and either Walker or Mashburn, is a versatile player capable of playing several positions.
Point Guard: Gary Payton
Call him the "Glove", "GP"or "Pickpocket Payton," whatever the case Gary Payton was a great defender.
At one point in his career he was good enough to lead Shawn Kemp and the Sonics to a Finals appearance where they actually gave the Michael Jordan-led Bulls all they could handle.
Imagine what he and Shaq in their primes might have looked like.
I'm torn between all three squads. Shaq and GP give the Cast-Aways a great combo.
The New School team has the most explosive team thanks to Wade and James in the back court.
The Old School team has the best balance and long range shooting.
I guess the best thing to do is leave it up to you the fans. Since I can't add a poll to the slide-show, vote in the comments section on who you think would be the best.