Miami Heat Grades: Taking a Look at Every Player on the Roster in South Beach
Critics all at once will turn to the 43-19 record that the Miami Heat currently possess and call it a lost season.
To be honest, most basketball fans knew they weren't going to break Michael Jordan and the Bulls' 72 win season.
When LeBron James took his talents to South Beach the whole world was watching, and nine months later we still are watching.
I will take a look at every player on the Heat roster and assess letter grades based on their performance during the 2010-11 season.
Without further adieu, I hope you enjoy.
Thanks for reading!
Joel Anthony's hustle and defense goes widely unnoticed, but it is ever so present in Miami.
People point to his dismal offensive stats (1.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 20 minutes per game) and declare him mediocre, but the fact of the matter is that he is a great post defender.
Throw in the 1.4 balls that he swats to Cuba every game and you have yourself a defensive demon.
Carlos Arroyo was the starting point guard for the Heat for the first half of the season.
Problem is, he never really had that fire in his game that Miami had been hoping for. In 49 games this year, Arroyo averaged a measly five points and two assists.
I think even I could have two more assists per if I was playing with LeBron, Wade and Bosh.
He has played in just two games since being snagged by the Heat, but Mike Bibby can and will make an impact come playoff time.
For now the second-tier point guard has to earn his time.
Chris Bosh was selected to his sixth consecutive All-Star Game in February, and why shouldn't he have?
I've heard around the blogosphere that Bosh didn't deserve the bid and that the only reason he was selected dealt with the supporting cast that he is surrounded by.
The 26-year-old Georgia Tech product still averages 18.2 points and 8.2 rebounds, though, so nothing to worry about here.
Look at it this way: how would someone else perform while being the third option in Miami? Sure, Bosh has had some awful shooting performances lately (one-for-18) but he still is a great player who is having a fabulous season.
Being 6'1" and 24 years of age, Mario Chalmers is the runt of the Miami Heat in terms of height (although tied with Eddie House) and youth.
Since taking over the starting point guard role, the former KU Jayhawk has done an okay job.
He is currently averaging over six points and two rebounds per game.
I remember playing a video game, Kobe Bryant NBA Courtside, when I was seven and seeing Erick Dampier as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
13 years later the former Mississippi State Bulldog is still in the NBA.
This year, however, he isn't doing too much, and in 15 minutes of play is averaging 2.5 points and 3.2 boards per game.
I miss the Courtside Dampier.
It doesn't seem quite fair to give the 30-year-old hometown hero, Udonis Haslem, a grade because he hasn't played in a while.
So I won't.
Just know that before his injury he was averaging better than eight points and rebounds in a reserve role for the Heat.
Ever since Eddie House came into the league 11 years ago with the Heat I knew he would be destined for a shooting reserve role somewhere.
But that's about it.
In his first year back in South Beach after an eight-year hiatus, he is still as good a shooter as he's ever been, and he's still had that same reserve role.
House is averaging 6.6 points per game while draining an astounding 97 percent of his foul shots.
Mario Chalmers is to baby as Juwan Howard is to old man.
You have to love analogies in the middle of articles.
Regardless, the 38-year-old who was a member of Michigan's Fab Five years ago is putting up two and two in his 10 minutes of playing, but not doing much productive otherwise.
In his first season since following LeBron to South Beach, Zydrunas Ilgauskas has taken on the role of starting center, and really hasn't disappointed like many thought he would.
I'll bet you didn't know that his 14-year string in Cleveland prior to this season was one of the five longest current (at the time) tenures in the NBA.
Although just playing 16.8 minutes per game, Ilgauskas swats one block, adds five to the scoreboard and pulls down 4.4 rebounds.
What can I say about King James that I haven't said before?
He is the most gifted and most athletic player in the NBA's recent history, and plays some defense on top of it all.
He is second in the league with 26.3 points per game, dishes out an amazing 7.1 assists and grabs 7.5 rebounds per game, good for second on the team. He is truly having a spectacular season, his first since taking his talents to South Beach.
Miami's title hopes hinge greatly on the upcoming success of LBJ and the rest of the Heatles.
Adding to the success of this year for Miami, James Jones went out and beat Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to take home the Three Point Shootout trophy at All-Star Weekend.
He sticks true to his valuables in his game, and is swishing 41 percent from beyond the arc to go with 87 percent from the charity stripe.
In all, he is averaging six points in 19 minutes for the Heatles.
Doesn't it seem that half of Miami's roster has already seen the better part of their glory days?
Add 32-year-old Jamaal Magloire to the list.
This season the 6'11" center has played mediocre basketball in eight showings (totalling just nine points), earning a failing grade.
Mike Miller ultimately could be the X-factor going into the playoffs for the Heat.
In 25 games this year he hasn't performed exactly as promised, averaging six points and five rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
He needs to continue to raise his 41 percent average from downtown if he wants to be a contributor in Miami's deep playoff-hopeful run.
Every Batman needs a Robin.
Fortunately for LeBron James, he does not have a Robin—only another Batman.
Wade and the King are two of the game's top five players, and are nightmares for opposing defenders.
Wade, a Marquette University graduate who recently turned 29, is averaging 25.5 points, 6.8 rebounds (incredible considering his 6'3" frame) and better than four assists per game. He has great defensive intensity on top of that.
He and LeBron (and perhaps Bosh) will ultimately determine how this franchise will be in the coming years.
A great season for Wade equals a great grade for "Flash."