For those of you who lived under a rock in 2010, Chris Bosh and LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat to join forces with Dwyane Wade to form the first ever 82-0 team.
...or so we thought.
The dream team has turned into the nightmare team.
As of November 13, 2010, the Miami Heat are at a disappointing 6-4, worse than teams like Golden State, New Orleans and Cleveland (just kidding).
To their defense, their four losses (Boston twice, Utah, New Orleans) had a combined record of 28-7 as of tonight. Their five wins (New Jersey twice, Philadelphia, Orlando, Minnesota) had a combined record of 20-36 as of tonight.
For those of you with mathematical ability, that's a total 48-44 record of their opponents, good enough for home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference in the first round. If you didn't catch my drift, that was a joke.
"But why have the Heat struggled?" You may ask. Well, the title answers that question.
First and foremost, the Heat should be given more time to gel. Bosh, Wade and James have been used to being "El Hombre" for so long that it is a tough transition to share the court. Our "now" culture has not given the Heat enough time to do anything.
As commonplace in the NBA, this is not a unique problem the Heat are facing. A lot of the offenses can be easily accused of being too stagnant or one on one oriented.
However, the Heat should do better given their superior talent.
There are three things that typically happen on offense for them: the ball awkwardly stays in one person's hand with everyone else just standing there like statues, somebody (i.e. Wade or LeBron) forces a drive to the basket or Chris Bosh gets the ball in his "spot" while scenario No. 1 plays out.
Obviously, these three things contribute to a lack of ball movement and lack of good, open shots. This is bad.
Here are three solutions the Heat should consider to increase their offensive output from 102 points per game, ranked No. 12 in the NBA.
1. Run a LOT more. They have two terrors on the break—Wade and LeBron, unleash their freakish athleticism. Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony are also very mobile post players. Carlos Arroyo (or whoever the point guard is) can just pass the ball up the sides to Wade and LeBron. More chances to score leads to more points. More points lessens the pressure on defense.
2. Run some kind of motion offense. Right now, they run some kind of isolation-based offense. This is not good for a team with multiple stars. Players like Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem need to set good screens for LeBron and Wade. This way, LeBron and Wade can have momentum as they drive in. Bosh can also be more involved.
3. Move LeBron to PG. Once you think about it, it makes perfect sense. It allows him to be a facilitator instead of a scorer. In addition, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can be freed up to score more. Replace Carlos Arroyo with James Jones, Eddie House or a returning Mike Miller. If a shooter starts, it can free up Wade's and LeBron's drives to the basket. He should average a triple double based on his "talents" (pun intended).
These solutions will allow the personnel to shine. Also, it will put less pressure on LeBron and Wade to carry the team night in and night out. A team-based offense can pay dividends down the road when LeBron or Wade are having an off night.
What can I say? They have dedicated their team to defense. To their credit, they are an excellent individual defensive team. Wade, LeBron and even Joel Anthony are above average individual defenders. They allow 92.6 points per game, good for No. 4 in the league.
However, there is one problem I observe with the Heat. They are in the middle of the pack in terms of rebounding, enjoying a plus 1.3 advantage on the boards.
There is one specific person I want to call out on the boards—Chris Bosh.
Bosh has struggled with his offensive game, averaging 14.8 points per game. He averages a measly six rebounds per game. For a near seven-footer, this is mediocre to say the least. He is actually tied with second on the team with rebounds with LeBron James.
It's pathetic because in Toronto, he averaged a little less than 9.4 rebounds a game. That's when he was the undisputed No. 1 option on offense. Now, he needs to know his role and rebound the ball.
The Miami Heat are better than what their record has indicated. However, they can be infinitely better. If they play together, team rebound and run more on offense, this team can become the team we were all expecting them to be.
Hope you didn't waste your time reading this article.