The Miami Heat recently signed point guard Mike Bibby after he accepted a buyout from the Washington Wizards, but I can't understand why his addition to the Heat's roster is so much cause for excitement.
Before this article is cast aside as another example of Miami Heat hate, please let me explain my position.
Bibby is an offensively gifted player, and although his 9.1 scoring average this season is much lower than his career 15.4 average, he is still able to get hot and score points in bunches.
Miami does need help at the point guard position, since defending elite point guards has been one of their most obvious weaknesses thus far this season.
But when the Heat released Carlos Arroyo and signed Bibby, they actually got worse in that aspect because Bibby's 9.1 points per game cannot mask the fact that he is one of the worst defensive guards in the NBA.
Bibby was a lot younger—and a lot quicker—back in the early part of the decade, but the one constant between now and then is that whoever he was defending was also going to have a big offensive night.
Bibby was the only player I could think of that was capable of making Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher look like a bona fide star.
Defense has never been a part of Bibby's game, which makes the Heat's decision to sign him even more puzzling since point guard defense has been the glaring chink in their armor.
Miami has been one of the league's best defensive teams this season, averaging 42.8 rebounds per game, holding opponents to 94.4 points per game and allowing the opposition to shoot 42 percent from the field.
Turnovers usually spell doom for the opposition since the speed and athleticism of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are capable of turning any miscues into easy points.
But the Heat have struggled to defend against teams in spurts, and they have been unable to contain most elite point guards at all.
In the Heat's latest loss to the New York Knicks, guard Chauncey Billups used his size, experience and timely scoring to lead a 15-0 surge before halftime, and later hit a big three-pointer in the fourth quarter to basically seal the game.
The only win the Heat have against the NBA's top six teams in the league standings is against the Lakers, and the Lakers are the only one that does not have an elite point guard.
Miami was obviously unhappy with Arroyo, and he had proved to be ineffective on defense as well, but Bibby is by no means an upgrade.
Mario Chalmers will likely end up playing most of the minutes at the point guard position, because the Heat will soon figure out that Bibby's 9.1 points per game are not worth whatever he will surrender to whoever he is defending.