Miami Heat Blunders: 10 Reasons Why They Should Have Signed Erick Dampier
The Miami Heat may be feeling themselves a little two much. Pressed with a need for a quality center with size to combat the bigger teams, they passed on attaining a 6’11” and 270lb behemoth of a man. That man is Erick Dampier, former starting center of six consecutive 50-plus win teams.
It’s hard to say if it’s just confidence in the current players set to mind to man the position, or if Pat Riley is just taking a stance on not letting others determine how he builds his team. Whatever the reasoning, it may very well creep up to haunt the Heat.
There aren’t any teams that can match the talent of the Heat perimeter players. However, there’s a huge size and talent gap in regards to the Heat’s front court. Especially at the center position!
The Heat has several players currently that don’t project well in regards to being starting centers in a playoff setting. Yet, Pat Riley seems content with staying on the path he’s set for the Heat. This may change midway through the season.
But if it doesn’t, here are 10 problems the Heat can face because of it.
10. Heat Need Size That Is Proven
There aren’t many centers his size currently playing who have played in 57 playoff games in the past six years. Sure aren’t any on the Heat roster currently. Matter of fact, the four current centers on the roster weren’t even starters last season.
Teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Blazers, Magic, Spurs, Rockets, and Bucks will look to take advantage of the center match-up.
9. Heat Need Muscle On The Low Block
The Biggest asset that Dampier brings is his muscle and bulk. He is a player that can clog the lane and actually push players off the block.
With the exception of Jamal Magloire, the Heat doesn’t have that kind of player. I’m sure Riley is banking on Dexter Pittman becoming that player, but he is only a rookie and too much is riding on this season to bank on a maybe.
8. Heat Need a Low Block Threat Offensively
The Heat centers will get a ton of easy looks near the basket because of the attention LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will command. All they will need to do is plot themselves in front of the rim.
The current Heat centers aren’t as proficient as Dampier at scoring easy baskets. He has four consecutive seasons of shooting above 60 percent from the field.
7. Heat Need Defensive Rebounding
Currently the Miami Heat has just one solid defensive rebounder and that’s Jamal Magloire, the team’s third team defender. Dampier could have easily filled that void for 20 to 25 minutes per contest.
The Heat are banking that Joel Anthony will do a good enough job on the defensive glass. Well, he won’t. Defensive rebounding isn’t his strong suit and the Heat will pay for it when facing the better teams.
6. Heat Needs Offensive Rebounding
The Heat seems to be under the impression their stars aren’t going to have off nights or that the team isn’t going to miss many shots. They lack players that are regarded as good to great offensive rebounders.
Joel Anthony is respectable at it but far from top tier. With Dampier, they would be getting nearly three per game in under 25 minutes per game.
5. Blazers Trio Of Seven-Footers
Everyone is sleeping on the Blazers but they could come out the Western Conference if Greg Oden can remain healthy. The size and skill he presents is enough to dominate a team that has both James and Wade because they attack the painted area so much.
Dampier would have provided the size needed to lean on and tire out the young man who missed nearly the entire season due to injuries.
4. Keeping Up With Andrew Bogut
The Milwaukee Bucks will compete for a top four seed in the Eastern Conference this season. Andrew Bogut will be the biggest reason why.
Bogut is arguably the most offensively polished center at his position. His ability to play over smaller centers could hurt the Heat more than they know.
He’s also a great help defender, without a big body to keep him occupied on the low block, he’d be free to roam the paint and detour shots.
3. Controlling Andrew Bynum
The Heat better hope that the Lakers don’t decide to feature Bynum because their current group doesn’t stack up well against him.
The Heat doesn’t have a player strong enough to counter the physical abilities of Bynum. With Dampier, they’d have the size and strength to make thing difficult on him.
2. Dealing With Dwight Howard
What Happens to Miami should they face the Orlando Magic and a possibly much improved Dwight Howard?
They no longer have Jermaine O’Neal who could counter Howard somewhat. Dampier provides a size and strength that could make Howard work harder than any other Heat player.
Though it should be noted that Joel Anthony has a good track record against Howard.
1. Celtics Trio Of Centers
It is bad enough Kendrick Perkins tends to have monster games versus the Heat. Now Miami has to deal with the size and skills of Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal.
With Dampier they would have had a player with a proven track record of being able to slow both players. With Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskas they have two players that could possibly end up in foul trouble early and often.