Temperature Gauge: Ranking The Miami Heat 2010 Training Camp Roster
Wait, so you mean to say the Heat are that good with just two-thirds of their constellation of stars?
That was supposed to be their weakness. Miami was expected to crumble if one of their "Three Kings" went down.
The pundits and cynics said they had no depth and were just an injury away from having no chance. Well, that train of thought may need to be readdressed.
The Miami Heat took on the Detroit Pistons in their exhibition opener on Tuesday night. What transpired should be very encouraging for Heat fans.
Despite having Dwyane Wade go out just three minutes into the contest, Miami was still able to beat up on the Pistons en route to a 105-89 victory.
The win showed that Miami, even without one of its three main parts, can still boast the league's best duo. That's right; even without Wade, Miami would still have the NBA's best one-two punch in LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
That has to be terrifying to every other team in the league.
So we know they're talented at the top, but how does the rest of the Heat roster look? Who is a lock to make the team, and who's just in camp as another body to throw out on the court?
With that in mind, we now take a look at how the Heat players in camp rank 1-20.
20. Mickell Gladness
Mickell Gladness set an NCAA record by blocking 16 shots in one game.
Currently he finds himself as one of the likely odd men out when Miami trims its roster from 20 to 15. Gladness averaged 10.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks as a senior in 2007-08, but went undrafted.
He spent last season playing in Holland, and has since spent time in Hartford, where his wife grew up.
19. Jamaal Magloire
How the mighty have fallen.
Magloire, who was once an NBA All-Star, now figures to be in a battle just to make the Heat's final 15. The "Big Cat" is still capable of banging down-low, but isn't the player he was earlier in his career.
If he makes the roster, expect for Magloire to be wearing street clothes on the bench most nights and serving as an enforcer in the games when he actually plays.
18. DaSean Butler
DaSean Butler may be much better than this ranking indicates, but no one knows how he'll bounce back from a horrific knee injury which he sustained while at West Virginia.
Expect for Butler to probably have to spend a season overseas in Europe to work on his conditioning, game, and rehab.
17. Anthony Mason Jr.
Anthony Mason Jr. was brought to camp with the expectation that he would just be another body for Miami's coaching staff to use during the preseason.
After one game in a Heat uniform, the outlook/prospect of him making the final roster has drastically improved. Mason Jr. provided Miami with energy and hustle off the bench last night, and this is something that the team can use.
16. Shavlik Randolph
The Heat staff has spent a good deal of time working to improve Randolph's game.
Entering camp, many felt Shavlik would be cut because of the log jam at the center and power forward positions. However, it would not be a shock if Miami chose him over Magloire and Juwan Howard, based on his play in the Las Vegas Summer League and his versatility as a big man
15. Kenny Hasbrouck
Kenny Hasbrouck is good enough to make most Heat rosters, but this year it's a little different.
For Hasbrouck to make the team, he must prove he is one of the three best point guards in camp. That won't be an easy thing to accomplish, seeing how he has Heat starters Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers ahead of him along with veteran sharpshooter Eddie House.
14. Juwan Howard
Juwan Howard was supposed to be a member of the Miami Heat a long time ago.
At that time, he was expected to serve as a focal member of the Heat's championship-contending team. Juwan is no longer valued as highly as he was then, but last year he proved that he can still play and contribute.
If Howard can do for Miami what he did for Portland, then the Heat have themselves a suitable role player coming off the bench.
13. Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley is ready for the NBA.
He won't give you 13-18 points a night, but he is good for 10 points to go with eight assists and 1-2 steals per game. Beverley isn't a shooter, but he can drive the lane.
His main attributes are his basketball IQ and defensive presence. Look for Beverley to push Arroyo or House for the final point guard spot,
12. James Jones
Look for James Jones to surpass his past performance as a Heat player this year.
Jones is healthy and looking to regain the form that made him a valued role player/shooter in Phoenix and Portland. Jones would be valuable to Miami in serving as a substitute for LeBron and Wade.
11. Zydraunas Ilgauskas
Ilgaukas is a great guy for Miami to have.
He is a team player who will never cause any locker room distractions. He also happens to be a good friend of LeBron, which doesn't hurt.
Look for Big Z to play 18-20 minutes a night, and to help Miami extend defenses thanks to his great mid-range shot.
10. Dexter Pittman
Don't look now, but Miami may have found their future center.
Dexter Pittman has the personality and attitude to be an NBA star. Now, whether he has the work ethic and discipline is a different question all together.
The guy is massive and makes for a practically immovable object in the paint. Where once there was some doubt as to whether he'd make the team, it now seems as though "Sexy Dexy" will be in uniform for Miami come opening night.
9. Eddie House
"Eddieeeeeeeeeeee you treat me like animal, I want half."
Sorry, went a little "Raw" there for a second. Eddie House is more than likely to make this Heat roster.
The veteran sharpshooter will provide Miami with a capable point producer off the bench.
8. Joel Anthony
Joel Anthony is the prototypical center for this newly-formed Miami team.
He's a big man content to do all the dirty work when it comes to grabbing rebounds and getting blocks. Anthony doesn't require plays to be run for him in order to get his points.
That's a good thing, seeing how the low-post offense is going to flow through Chris Bosh.
7. Carlos Arroyo
Arroyo will compete to be the starting point guard for Miami this season.
After unseating Mario Chalmers as the Heat's starter, Arroyo set out in establishing himself as one of the league's best in assists-to-turnover ratio. Arroyo should thrive in an offense with so many weapons at his disposal.
6. Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers regressed last season after a stellar rookie campaign.
He has the athletic ability to help Miami on both ends of the court. In order to do so, he must improve on his sophomore slump of a season.
Look for Chalmers to take his game to another level just like Rajon Rondo did in Boston after the Celtics acquired their "Big Three."
5. Udonis Haslem
He's gritty, hard-nosed, and the Heat's team captain.
While Wade may garner the attention as the face of the Heat franchise, Haslem works quietly behind the scenes as the team's heart and toughness.
No one sacrificed more to stay with Miami than Haslem. A native of South Florida, Haslem felt it was best to stay in Miami and win titles than to leave to play elsewhere and double his salary.
4. Mike Miller
Mike Miller is the fourth member of the Heatles.
If that's the case, then he will be playing the role of Ringo Starr. That being the unheralded member in an ensemble cast of stars.
Despite the lack of media attention given to him, Miller will be every bit as important a piece to Miami's success as any of the "Three Kings." His ability to drain threes at an above-average percentage will make the Heat's offense practically unstoppable.
3. Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh is viewed as the third wheel in Miami.
Despite that, he has taken to his new role on the Heat, and is set to be their focal post player. While many feel that his numbers will take a dip now that he is playing alongside two other stars, look for Bosh to improve in his rebounds, blocks, and shooting percentage, while only averaging two points less per game.
2. Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade is going to have his way in the NBA this year.
With LeBron commanding so much attention, look for Wade to enjoy more scoring opportunities than ever before. Granted, he might not have the ball in his hands as much, but he will also avoid being double teamed like in the past.
With man-to-man coverage, expect Wade to improve on both his points per game and shooting percentage.
1. LeBron James
Steve Smith said he expects LeBron to average a triple-double for the season.
While he might not reach such a plateau, one should expect LeBron to put up some lofty numbers. James will likely finish the season averaging 25 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
Those numbers will be good enough for him to compete for a third consecutive league MVP award, not that LeBron cares about that. James' sole goal for this season is to win his first ring.
If he does, then James can sit on his throne and actually back up his name of being the "King."