Heat Need 5 Questions Answered

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How will the Heat’s style of play be different in 2014-15?

The lack of a Flying Death Machine changes the whole dynamic of the Heat on offense. LeBron’s ability to break defenses down, while using his strength to go strong to the basket (unless guarded by JJ Barea) or to kick it out to open shooters with little reaction time is a luxury the Heat don’t have on this team.

Miami will probably run everything through Bosh up at the elbow or foul line and rely on movement to get open looks. They’ll probably run more pick and roll with Bosh and Chris Andersen, as both are effective in this area. Mario Chalmers will be tasked with setting up the offense (“I’m the captain now”), but is going to have to be careful with the basketball. Deng and Josh McRoberts will have to space the floor.

But the Heat can still create headaches in the half court. Wade has been deadly in the post and the paint (check out his shot chart from this past season) as he can out-muscle most guards. With Bosh and McRoberts hanging out around the arc, this brings their bigger defenders with them, allowing Wade to work and/or finding somebody like Deng cutting to the basket.

This team will win or lose games on the strength of their defense. LeBron’s absence won’t allow them to be overly aggressive with their rotations, so they’ll probably rely on more man-to-man and picking their spots on double teams. Miami got slaughtered in the Finals because of the Spurs ball movement, so this LeBron-less Heat squad will have to stay home on opponents.