Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Erick Dampier? Joel Anthony? No, no, no. The question? Is this the right man to be the Miami Heat's go-to post guy?
The Heat are on a four-game losing streak and a large reason why is their blatant lack of a post presence. Sure they have managed to compile a better-than-decent record and score fairly well, but a necessary part of a good team is that man in the middle and their current roster doesn't provide that.
Big Z can shoot, Dampier's not terrible defensively, Anthony makes a very good back-up and Haslem is undersized, underachieving and currently hurt.
But to be the perfect fourth guy, to play alongside Chris Bosh and get assists from Carlos Arroyo, to be the brick wall on defense that this team has needed takes something more.
Current State of the Heat's Big Men
The starting center for the Heat is Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a 7'5" wimp. He cannot rebound, cannot play post defense and his main offense asset is a decent jumper.
Backing him up and getting a lot of minutes is Joel Anthony. He's 6'9" and 245 pounds, under-sized for a center in the NBA. He works his tail off on the glass, fighting hard for his almost four rebounds a game. He has virtually no offense however.
He maintains a not-so-wowing 1.8 points per game, and while his defense is good, it's not stellar. Erick Dampier was brought in to replace an injured Udonis Haslem, and while he is a good defensive guy and can be solid on the glass, he's a non-factor on offense and isn't getting the job done.
Other guys who don't get playing time but are large include: Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard and Udonis Haslem who may return soon.
Chris Bosh Is NOT a Center
Simple solution: Wait until Haslem returns and move Bosh to center, or let LeBron James play power forward and move James Jones or Mike Miller into the starting small forward spot. But no.
Chris Bosh is not strong enough, big enough or good enough to play center successfully. He managed to make it look legitimate in Toronto, but on a team where his scoring is needed as well as his defense, matching up with the power forwards of the NBA suits him much better.
What Must Be Done
The Heat cannot go after another undersized post. Or a skinny one. Or one who isn't tough enough to battle with the likes of Dwight Howard and Tim Duncan. No More Big Z's or Little J's (no offense Mr. Anthony or Mr. Magloire, you're just not good enough).
Rookie Dexter Pittman looks perfect for the job, he played well in the D-league and is thick to say the least. If he can learn the role of a starting center, he has all the assets the Heat need for the job.
Players on Different Teams To Look At
There are still some players to keep an eye on for the Heat to maybe make a move for. It would probably entail shipping off either Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, maybe Joel Anthony or James Jones or Eddie House.
Names that seem to shine through are the newly injured Marcus Camby of the Portland Trail Blazers, a guy who always goes hard in the post and is solid both offensively and defensively. Or Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies—his numbers don't wow but he does play alongside a fairly selfish Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay.
Or possibly a Brendan Haywood of the Mavericks, a kind of guy who gets the rebounds, plays lock-down defense, and if he must, can make it happen on offense too.