Miami Heat Power Forward Preview: Josh McRoberts Brings the Horns


Analyzing Last Year’s Performance

Playing with five teams in seven years, Josh McRoberts landed broke out last season in Charlotte. It seemed coach Steve Clifford finally figured out how to use McRoberts, a specialty big who has shooting range and passing skills, but not necessarily much to offer on the low block.

McRoberts averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. You can tell by his short chart, via, that McRoberts chooses his shots wisely–rarely shooting from mid-range and preferring attempts from either beyond the three-point line or near the rim.

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How LeBron’s Departure Impacts His Role

Like Danny Granger, McRoberts signed with the Miami Heat with the intention of playing with LeBron James. It’s plausible that under this scenario that McRoberts would have came off the bench with LeBron playing power forward with the Heat replacing Shane Battier with another wing-oriented player.

Now that LeBron is gone, McRoberts and Bosh fill out the front court and will make up the framework of the offense. Together, the two bigs form a perfect horns set, which places both big men on opposite high posts in order to stretch the defense and make room for slashing guards–such as Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Shabazz Napier, James Ennis and Shannon Brown–to get to the basket.

However, both Bosh and McRoberts have recently ditched the mid-range shot in favor of the more valuable three-pointer. The Heat will likely spread the horns formation to get the two out to the perimeter, thereby creating even more room.

Projections for this Season

The question is, did Clifford hold McRobert’s Secret Stuff in Charlotte, or can Erik Spoelstra get similar production out of him? If he can (and I suspect he will), look for some of the same from McRoberts, around nine points, four assists and six rebounds per game while creating the perfect horns formation to help Wade and the gang get to the basket.

“Why I’m Excited” – David Ramil

This guy is gonna be a fan favorite by mid-season, mark my words. It’s not just the beard and hair (which are fab-you-lous, by the way) but McRoberts can throw the alley-oop or be on the receiving end of a good lob at the rim. He hustles, makes ridiculous passes and hits from outside. He’ll be a great teammate. He’s got his limitations, no doubt. But you’ll take the bad because the good can be fun as hell to watch. Just don’t call him “McBob” ‘cause he hates that.

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