Ok, first off, it is entirely too early to write off the Heat as they trail the Celtics 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals. They started the series with 2 wins in a row and there is a chance they can finish with 2 straight. However, I think the C's close it out tomorrow night in Game 6 and advance to the NBA Finals for the 3rd time in 5 seasons.
I'll spend time on podcasts, shows, and articles discussing the future of the Celtics. Does KG come back? What happens to Ray Allen? What will the bench look like? Will Brandon Bass want to return? Etc. But right now let's take a quick look at the NBA's Super Villian: Miami Heat.
Did you know that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony, Shane Battier, James Jones, Norris Cole, and Ronny Turiaf (player option) are all under contract NEXT SEASON. So if there is going to be turnover on the roster it will have to come via trades and buyouts. That's 11 players, which would make it much easier said than done to "blow it up."
In my opinion, LeBron is still the best player in the game. Wade is Top 10 but on the decline. Bosh is the worst multiple time All-Star in the business (he doesn't suck, but let's not confuse him with the elite power forwards.) Chalmers isn't bad, however there are so many talented point guards he's still in the middle of the pack, at best. The rest of the supporting cast is trash; 3-point hopefuls (Miller, Jones, Battier) and big man du jour: (Anthony, Haslem, Turiaf, Howard, Pittman). But perhaps the worst of the non Big 2.5 is Erik Spoelstra.
Good news for Spo? There are some great "Resume Builder" software out there on the web and it's free.
The easy move for the Heat is to can the coach. That will happen, but should they simply stop there? In a word, no.
You're not trading LeBron James. That would be insane. Call him not clutch, afraid of the moment, not a leader, whatever you want, but you do NOT deal him. In order to to really shake things up you then look to Wade and Bosh. The fact is the Heat would be a better team centered on a nucleus of LeBron and Bosh instead of LeBron and Wade, but would Miami dare trade the best player in their franchise history?
A Chris Bosh + stuff for Dwight Howard + stuff might make sense. The Heat get a dominant rebounder, some post presence, and an anchor on their defense. But would Orlando give up 1-year of Howard for 2-years (plus some player options) of Chris Bosh? Depending on the packages being offered to the Magic, they might have to at least consider it. Miami would have a legit Big 3 (and another guy who's afraid of the moment.)
If Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were Batman & Robin then LeBron-Wade-Howard would be the Joker-Two Face-Mr. Freeze (or substitute anyone you like, maybe Riddler, Penguin, Bane, Scarecrow, etc. Batman really did have the best villains... and these three are the Top 3 villiains in the NBA.)
The ineffectiveness of LeBron and Wade playing together (overall) can not be overlooked. Do these two really complement each other? For every 90 foot alley-oop pass or Sportscenter Top 10 play, there is a 100 times where one will watch the other dribble for 10 seconds and force an off balance jumper. Maybe having two of the best wing players on the same team isn't the best formula. (The fact that they made the Finals last year and still have a chance this year, without having any sense of an offense and a crap coach speaks to just how talented these guys are.)
As crazy as LeBron-Wade-Howard would truly be, I think Miami is better off dealing the face of their franchise in Wade, and seeing what they can get to pair with LeBron-Bosh (and a coach with a clue.)
Their season is not over. But when it is (unless it ends in a title) it will be an unbelievably fascinating off season in Miami. Dare I say, even more intriguing than the summer of 2010?