LeBron James at the Point: Miami Heat's Answer to What Ails Them
When Pat Riley pitched LeBron James on the scenario of playing for the Miami Heat this summer, he sold him on the premise he could be like Magic Johnson on Riley's legendary Laker teams of the 80's.
Well it's time to unleash LeBron at the point full-time. Let him be Magic.
Carlos Arroyo doesn't look like a good fit on this team. It's not too early to tell a piece that doesn't have a home. He isn't a spot-up shooter and can't keep anyone in front of him on the defensive end. Arroyo's defense has been a glaring weakness.
This fact was never more obvious than in the opener at Boston. Although he gave Rajon Rondo a ton of space, he still got beat to the hole whenever Rondo wanted.
Granted Rondo is one of the quickest, if not the quickest guard in basketball. Still, there are a bunch of speedy point guards in this league and Miami needs someone to halt penetration and keep them outside. Patrick Beverley would have been proficient enough to do that, but he is no longer on the team.
When LeBron and Wade are on the wings, the Heat need a guard who can shoot the ball. That's it. They don't need the guy to initiate anything, just be a spot-up shooter. The key to allowing Wade and James to play at their best is spacing.
With Arroyo on the floor the defense can suffocate inside and make things difficult for James and Wade to get to the hole. He doesn't scare the defense one bit from the perimeter, but does have a solid mid range jumper.
With shooters like James Jones, Eddie House, and Mike Miller, when he returns, the defense has to make a decision. Do they continue to clog the middle or get beat from the outside? If Miami is hitting shots from the outside the defense is done, finished.
That is why it's critical the Heat have shooters on the floor at all times, especially when both James and Wade are on the court together.
LeBron has the skills of a point guard anyway. He is one of the best passers in the league, although his 17 turnovers through the first two games don't indicate that. Imagine a lineup of James, Wade, and Miller (when he returns) on the outside with Bosh and Haslem inside.
It's pick your poison.
When you have a man that is 6'8", 270 who has the skills to play anywhere, you put him at the spot that causes the most disruption. Isn't point guard that position? Imagine any point guard in the league trying to stick LeBron or Wade one-on-one! Forget about it.
This isn't a traditional NBA roster. There isn't a need for a traditional point guard.
The Heat turned free agency upside down this summer. It's time to turn the league upside down with LeBron manning the point.
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