While Miami Heat may have very well satisfied their fans with the acquisitions they’ve made this summer, there is still is one glaring hole left.
Shooters are essential in today’s NBA. We’ve seen the league average percent of three point field goal attempts increase gradually over the last few seasons. Last season, three pointers were attempted more than one-fourth of the time.
We’ve witnessed players cashing in on huge deals simply because of their shooting ability. Teams clearly have gotten the message: In order to compete for a championship, or even make the playoffs, shooters are necessary — Now obviously there will be some exceptions to that premise, but very few if any.
Let’s take a look at the team rankings in three pointers made last season, courtesy of NBA.com.
Now if you haven’t already noticed, the majority of playoff teams are above the league mean (635 three pointers made). The few playoff teams that are below the league mean are elite defensive teams. Don’t believe me? Check out the team defensive rating rankings, courtesy of NBA.com.
What does this have to do with the Heat? Well, for one, the Heat aren’t going to be an elite defensive team. They are devoid of a true rim protector, not to mention the absence of LeBron James‘ defensive presence. Yes, Luol Deng is a good defender, but he doesn’t offer the defensive versatility that James did. I expect the Heat to be formidable at best on the defensive end of the court. This is why shooters are imperative if the Heat have any postseason plans.
The Heat have had some snipers pass through. Guys like Ray Allen, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis, Shane Battier, James Jones, and Eddie House. The Heat had these guys in conjunction with some starters that can knock down the three. This was a huge factor in the Heat’s success. I mean, imagine if the Heat didn’t have some of these guys. Would we be looking at four consecutive finals appearances with two championships?
Outside of Mario Chalmers, Shabazz Napier (shot 41 percent from three last season at the University of Connecticut), and maybe Josh McRoberts, the Heat don’t have any consistent three point shooters. We hope guys like Danny Granger can find the stroke he exhibited earlier in his career, but that’s not a guarantee. Guys like Chris Bosh, James Ennis, and Norris Cole, can knock down a couple threes, but can’t be consistently relied on for that. Needless to say, this roster is in dire need for some snipers.
Because of the demand for shooters there aren’t many guys left. Barring any trades here is a short list of some cheap shooters out on the free agent market.
So long shooters are acquired, the Heat will have the potential to be one of the better offensive teams in the league. Put that in conjunction with a solid defense and you have a team that can compete with the best.
Tags: Miami Heat