Miami Heat Lose 3rd Straight: Can They Stay Healthy Enough for Championship Run?

Chris SaxContributor IJanuary 15, 2011

Dwyane Wade's injury history can't be too comforting for Heat fans
Dwyane Wade's injury history can't be too comforting for Heat fansDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

First Mike Miller went down and he was out for three months until his recent return. Then we saw Udonis Haslem fall to injury and he has yet to come back. But who cares about those two? There are only three players that need to be healthy in order for the Miami Heat to win. And that's what happened. The Heat still continued to pull off win after win and managed to achieve 30 wins on the season.

There's a slight problem though. Those three players that need to stay healthy in order to win are becoming unhealthy. LeBron James suffered a sprained ankle during a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday. Then Chris Bosh also sprained his ankle tonight in the Heat's third straight loss, losing to the Chicago Bulls 99-96.

Dwyane Wade has been dealing with pains of his own all season, with a wrist injury at the beginning of the season, a hand injury towards the end of November and a sore knee at the end of December. So the question remains, is this team deep enough to survive an injury to one of Miami's big three?

So far the answer to this question is no. The Heat have been without LeBron for two games and have lost both, one of them being a 28-point blowout from the Denver Nuggets. At the beginning of the season, when Wade was playing through injuries and struggling to play at a consistent level, the Heat had just a 9-8 record.

Here are some stats for you. The Heat average 101.8 points per game; 18.7 of those points comes from Chris Bosh, 24.9 comes from Dwyane Wade and 25.4 comes from LeBron James. That's 18.4 percent of the points coming from Bosh, 24.5 percent from Wade and 24.9 percent from James. That means that the big three are contributing a total of 67.8 percent of the team's points each night while the other nine players on the team contribute only 32.2 percent.

So who picks up nearly 25 percent of the team's points when one of these players is injured? Eddie House? Mike Miller? I don't think so. Yes the remaining, uninjured players of the big three can take some of the slack but that would be asking one of them to contribute to nearly half of the team's points each night.

You may say that it is easy to point out these problems now and that injuries may not occur during playoff time. But unfortunately for Heat fans there is a solid chance that injuries could be a factor come playoff time.

Each of the big three averages over 35 minutes per game. The Heat can't afford to rest them too much because of their lack of depth. Relying so much on only three players can seriously increase the chances of them breaking down around the playoffs. Especially when one of those three has an injury history like Dwyane Wade does.

The Heat have a lot to think about. They may be missing both LeBron and Bosh in their next game, both with sprained ankles. The lack of depth has to be a worry, especially when you must rely so heavily on only three players. An injury to one of the three near or during the playoffs could prove to be detrimental to Miami's championship dreams.