Many fans along with “so called experts” out there are saying Miami’s lack of a bench will be a problem. That it will prevent the Heat from securing the Eastern Conferences top seed. This same group then exclaims that Miami’s lack of depth will become an even larger issue come playoff time.
I decided to tackle this topic on two angles, with one proving the lack of depth is more myth, than reality. Assuming one of the “Trinity” (Wade, James, and Bosh) will be on the court at all times, the Heat can see themselves with a worst case scenario with a lineup of
PG – Carlos Arroyo SG – Mike Miller SF – James Jones PF – Chris Bosh C – Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Even this worst case scenario would be a tough match up for opponents. That line up would offer several mismatches becuase of it’s size advantage. You would have 4 players on the court who are 6’8 or taller, and two great 3-point shooters in Jones (41.1% from 3 last year) and Miller (48% from 3 last year) to surround Chris Bosh who can demand a double team in the post. This lineup would not only be expected to hold a lead, but against an opposing team’s bench would be expected to increase the lead.
Let’s even assume Chris Bosh was on the bench with Wade and James. Udonis Haslem fits right into that PF position giving the Heat a group of five veterans with a combined 44 years of experience, who for 6 minutes, can keep the momentum going for the Heat.
The recent additions of Juwan Howard, Jamaal Magloire, Eddie House, and others evens strengthens the bench with more veterans who can provide positive minutes when needed.
The other angle I decided to take on this is the fact that the Heat really won’t need their bench in the playoffs too often.
This team should secure the #1 Seed with at least a few games to go in the regular season. This would enable the “Three Kings” and others to get some needed rest before the playoffs begin. I also feel it is safe to say that the Heat can take care of the #8 seed within five games, giving them as many as four days to rest before the second series of the playoffs would tip-off.
This rest will be unparalleled by any other team, where the battle for seeding may come down to the last day of the season, and the first round match-ups will be much more competitive than the one the Heat are likely to face.
Also to be noted is that these guys are used to playing huge minutes in the playoffs anyway. Dwyane Wade played 43.5 minutes a game in the NBA Finals as he led the Heat to the Championship back in 2005-2006. What is to say that even if everything with the Heat went wrong, that Wade, James, and Bosh can’t all play 42 minutes a game in the Playoffs? If they all took their six-minute breaks separately, two superstars could always be on the court at the same time.
The Miami Heat have put together a team that can rely on their veteran bench at anytime, even though they most likely won’t have to.