5 Changes the Miami Heat Must Make This NBA Offseason
This past season can be considered nothing less than a failure in the eyes of the Miami Heat organization by coming so close to being champions and ultimately falling short. The team is now faced with the task of locating the players that will help complete their roster in hopes of returning to the Finals this year. Hopefully, with better results this time around.
If the Heat find the proper guys to fill out their lineup and complement the Big Three, they could be a serious force in the NBA for a long time. There are also a few internal changes that Miami could make with the guys they already have.
Let's see what the Heat can do to put together the ultimate team, do what it takes to win a championship and quiet their haters.
Find a Proper Point Guard to Bolster the Back Court
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Alternating between Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers as point guard of the Heat might have worked last season, but it just won't cut it next year.
Miami desperately needs to find the right guy to bring up the ball and run the plays efficiently or their offense will continue to be a one-man show depending on which one of D-Wade/LeBron/Bosh has the ball. The question is where the answer to this problem will come from.
Bibby still has some game left in him, but I don't think he is deserving of the starting spot anymore. Either Chalmers has to be handed the reins and allowed to mature into an NBA point guard, or Miami needs to look to free agency to fill the void. J.J. Barea and T.J. Ford are two names that pop up as solid choices for the Heat PG job. They could be the answer.
Whatever Miami decides between Chalmers or bringing in someone new, the point guard spot is something that must be changed ASAP.
Find a Center Who Can Block, Rebound and Score
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Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Joel Anthony and I believe he was a major part in the Heat's run to the Finals, but he isn't perfect. Sure Anthony knows how to block better than anyone one the team, but in 75 games played for Miami this past season, he averaged exactly two points per game.
If Miami really wants to win the championship they are craving they need a big man who is a threat just as much on the offensive side as he is on the defensive one. While I'd like to see Tyson Chandler take his talents to South Beach, I think picking up Samuel Dalembert is the perfect solution for this problem. Especially since his whole career has been on sub-par teams, Dalembert would love to come to a club who is already a contender before he gets there.
Out With the Old, in With the New
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Sure every team needs some veteran presence to help the young players adapt to and deal with playing on a team filled with superstars, but the Heat seemed to have taken that idea bit too far.
The four oldest players on the team, Ilgauskas, Dampier, Howard and Stackhouse are all at least 35 years old and play like it. Big Z averaged the most points per game between all four with a staggering total of five.
If the Heat drop these guys and fill their bench with younger, more dynamic players it could up the tempo of their entire style of play and give them the extra kick they need.
Develop Dexter Pittman
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The NBA draft has so much intensity with only 60 players being taken by NBA teams and how difficult it is to break the lineup on the team that picks you. Especially if you're drafted 32nd overall. I'd hate to see a guy with a 7'6" wingspan who averaged 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks per game for Texas go to waste.
Miami needs to take the time this offseason to train Pittman and make him into a legit backup for whomever steps in as the starting center this season. Pittman isn't a lanky 6'11", but he's got some meat on his bones and could be a solid force in the post if the Heat work him enough. I'd like to think that having a big body coming off the bench would be something the Heat could really benefit from, so this should be on their to-do list in the coming months.
Sign Shane Battier
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One of the top free agents in this year's crop, Battier would be a perfect fit as a sixth man and optional starter for the Heat. He can defend, shoot threes, pull down boards, provide leadership and most importantly, give you an 80-game season doing all of those things.
Sure, Battier and the Grizzlies had a great run last year, but teams won't be surprised by them next time around and they could be stopped short. Battier would be one of the key pieces to help make the Heat a championship team and would be helpful right the moment he arrives.
Most importantly, Battier is not a guy who demands the ball, but rather makes use of it when he gets it. Perfect for Miami.