Jun 15, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) shoots as center Chris Bosh (1) looks on during practice before game five of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting the Next Breakout Player for the Miami Heat

This coming basketball season is going to be one of the most important one’s in Miami Heat franchise history.

Life without LeBron.

It’s going to be tough, but the Heat did their best to recoup in free agency. Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger are big pickups for the Heat, but which player is going to breakout?

They call him JeBron McJames or, formerly, Josh McRoberts.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

McRoberts played last season with the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) where he averaged 8.5 points, 4.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. Also, McRoberts saw career highs in three-point percentage (36%) and assists per game (4.3) during the 2013-14 season. In the playoffs (one series), McRoberts averaged 11.5 points, 3.8 assists and 6.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 48 percent behind the arc.

McRoberts’ Skills and Weaknesses

McRoberts is a skillful passer and dribbler, who utilizes the pump-fake to penetrate towards the hoop.

This video perfectly sums up how gifted of a passer McRoberts is.

Furthermore, McRoberts is a player that can be trusted on the floor.

Amongst eligible power forwards, McRoberts ranked 14th in turnovers per game (1.1), which is very low considering he averaged more minutes than the 13 players in front of him. Also, McRoberts’ 4.01 assist to turnover ratio is good enough to rank him first among power forwards.

Charlotte Hornets coach, Steve Clifford, was very high on McRoberts.

“Not many guys of his (6-foot-10) size make the game easy for his teammates the way he does. Not just offensively, but defensively, too…..you can’t soft-sell this: It’s a hit,” Clifford told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

What’s really intriguing about McRoberts is his athleticism. He is an underrated dunker, who has had his fair share of poster dunks. Unfortunately for Heat fans, his best dunk of the year occurred in the playoffs versus the Heat.

McRoberts does have some weaknesses, however.

McRoberts is not a very good rebounder for his size. He ranked 36th in rebounding among eligible power forwards, so don’t expect him to be a double-double threat as far as rebounding is concerned.

Also, McRoberts is a defensive liability who lacks low post strength and agility. McRoberts ranked 30th in blocks per game (.59) amongst power forwards, which is a far cry from the Anthony Davis’s (2.82) and Serge Ibaka’s (2.7).

Overall, McRoberts brings superb passing, sub-par rebounding and bundles of energy to the Heat. It could be much worse.

Stat Projections

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

2014-15 NBA Season: 11.4 points, 5.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds, .63 blocks, .89 steals 

  • 49% field goal percentage, 40% three-point percentage, 77% free throw shooting

This will be, by far, the best team McRoberts has ever played on. Dwyane Wade will be able to thrive on backdoor cuts and pick and rolls with McRoberts. McRoberts will open the low post up for Chris Bosh with his ability to stretch the floor. The Heat will be able to wreak havoc on the fast break, even without LeBron.

Overall Outlook

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

McRoberts would be a great fit in the starting lineup alongside Chris Bosh. Both would be able to stretch floor, allowing athletic wings in Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng to attack the basket. McRoberts is a player every team needs; a stretch forward who can pass the ball and attack the rim.

Heat Nation, get ready for the McBob show.

Tags: Chris Bosh Dwyane Wade Josh McRoberts Lebron James Luol Deng Miami Heat

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