LeBron’s gone. Most of us know that. Nevertheless the Miami Heat have quietly had a great offseason, you know except for that losing the best player in the game part of it. But have the moves they made to date this offseason, still allow them to contend for an NBA Title without LeBron James?
First let’s recap what the Miami Heat did this offseason to rebuild their roster after LeBron left. They signed Josh McRoberts, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Danny Granger, Luol Deng, Chris Anderson, Mario Chalmers, and Udonis Haslem. Additionally they drafted point guard Shabbazz Napier at the request of LeBron James.
There starting lineup should look only a little like this: Chalmers (Napier might take this spot if he impresses), Wade, Deng, McRoberts, and Bosh. Not a bad starting 5, but is it enough?
Deng is a nice replacement to take James’spot in the lineup and McRoberts can also be a great addition. Granger should help off the bench and provide some offensive punch, with Anderson supplying the vitality off the bench. But this team is not adequate to contend for a title.
They can contend for the weak Eastern Conference Finals, but the Bulls have improved this offseason and if Rose can return to form (I’ll reveal Rose in a later article), they is highly recommended the favorites to win the East. And if the Pacers can stop fighting each other and return to the shape these were before they imploded during mid-season, then they will also be viewed contenders. And then we’ve the Cavaliers with LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
But, after those three, it is spacious, and the Heat have adequate a roster to contend with the Bulls and Pacers in an eight game playoff series. But they could not out play an elite playoff team from the Western Conference to win the Finals even if they get there. The Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Rockets, and possibly the Warriors and Blazers might have better rosters than the Heat and would be considered the favorites to win any 7 game series.
The Heat simply do not need enough fire power to consitently put themselves in postion to win night in and night out. Wade continues to possess knee problems, Bosh has yet to prove himself to have the ability to be “the guy” on a team after he left the Raptors. Deng is a nice 2-way player, but from then on you have mostly mediocre to slightly above-average players and it has been proven that for a team to compete for a name they must have at least 2, probably 3 superstars/great players.
The Heat don’t have even 1 as of this point. Maybe if Wade can stay healthy, and Bosh can play like he did in Toronto (like he said he desired to prove he still could, which explains why he choose in which to stay Miami and be “the guy” with LeBron gone, rather than to become listed on the Rockets and play with James Harden and Dwight Howard and be another wheel again) then they could have the ability to boast 2. But even that’s not guaranteed. And chances are they would need to make it after dark Bulls,Pacers, and Cavaliers to get to the Finals.
So would they have the ability to contend for a Eastern Conference Title? If they all stayed healthy and Bosh can regain his star form, sure. The Eastern Conference remains terrible anyways, why not. (Heck, I will say the Wizards are Eastern Conference contenders; that doesn’t mean they’re Title contenders.) But can they contend for the NBA Title without making huge improvements with their roster? Not a chance.