Are the Miami Heat the most versatile team in the NBA?

Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat are about as close to full health as they have been all season. With that, are they one of the most versatile teams in the NBA right now?

The Miami Heat have dealt with what has seemed like one injury after another to their core players through the first third of the season. They have had Goran Dragic, Derrick Jones Jr., and Jimmy Butler all miss time with injury, while Justise Winslow has missed nearly the entire season with two separate injuries.

While the back and the head are necessary to play at all yet fickled spots for injury as far as recovery, with Justise experiencing concussion issues and back bruising, poor luck has played a part as well. While injury wasn’t a part of the following, James Johnson has seen himself possibly re-emerge into the rotation, while there may even be hope for Dion Waiters in the future.

With everyone almost back into the fold and apart of the rotation on a more permanent basis though, it begs of a question. Are the Miami Heat one of the most versatile teams in the NBA?

The answer lies around many factors, but the first must be the definition of versatile. In sports and specifically the NBA, versatile can have a myriad of definitions. It can mean the ability to have multiple players switch across many different positions or guard many different positions.

It could mean a team being able to beat you on either side of the floor, offensively or defensively, while it could also mean that they can beat you multiple ways from one side of the floor or the other. Whether that be out-scheming or out shooting you on offense, owning the paint or locking down the perimeter on defense, or some combination of both aspects, that can also describe versatility.

In the days of heavy statistics and metrics like in today’s NBA, there are surely a ton more ways to describe how a team can be “versatile”, but one of the ultimate ways lies in something that the Miami Heat can do. The Miami Heat can throw several different lineups at any given team, where all of the lineups can be specifically geared towards one thing or another. There is no team in the league that can do this with more variance than the Miami Heat.

Let’s go over just a few of them for clarity and example. If the Miami Heat were absolutely being manhandled, beat up by physicality, or owned in the paint, Coach Spo could choose to go “big”. A lineup of this nature could look like Justise-Jimmy Butler-Derrick Jones Jr or James Johnson-Bam AdebayoKelly Olynyk or Meyers Leonard.

That is a pretty sizeable lineup of guys. If coach Spo wanted to go “small”, he could go Goran Dragic-Kendrick Nunn-Jimmy Butler-Derrick Jones, James Johnson, or Justise Winslow-Bam. If he wanted to go “big-small”, he could go Goran Dragic-Justise Winslow-Jimmy Butler, James Johnson or Derrick Jones Jr.-Bam.

If he wanted to go “shooting” he could go Kendrick Nunn-Goran Dragic-Tyler HerroDuncan Robinson-Meyers Leonard. If he wanted to go “defensive madmen”, then he could go Justise Winslow-Jimmy Butler-Derrick Jones Jr-James Johnson-Bam.

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The point here is that the options and lineups are pretty limitless, and not just pointlessly, but to a specific principle and/or objective. So, to answer the question, the Miami Heat are one of the most versatile teams in the entire NBA. We look forward to seeing them tinker with these combinations and hopefully all the way to the Larry O’Brien.