Chat about the Miami Heat
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, we will dip into the world of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami Heat, as our gang from the "Heat Index" stop by to chat.
Brian Windhorst, Mike Wallace, Tom Haberstroh and Kevin Arnovitz all contribute to ESPN.com's home for everything Miami Heat. The Heat Index is a part of the TrueHoop blog network.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Grant Yokoshima (Mountain View, CA)
With Mike Miller back in the mix, do you think the 'Big 3' will be able to make Miller an integral part of their attack, or just another insurance policy in case of injury?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:03 PM)
Grant: I think Miller will become increasingly important down the stretch. Erik Spoelstra has stated he's unwilling to make Miller a backup PG, per se, but said today he sees Miller facilitating the offense with Wade and James.
Which miami lineup is the most effecient? Is it Lebron-Wade-Bosh-Ilgauskas-Chalmers?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:05 PM)
Kyle: Right now, among the Heat's most-used lineups, Chalmers-Wade-James-Bosh-Dampier is the Heat's most efficient lineup, believe it or not. What's most amazing is that, among the Heat's 15 or so most used 5-man lineups, not one of them is getting outscored. So it's a matter of degrees.
Marcos (Santo Domingo DR)
any chance the heat make a trade before the deadline??
Kevin Arnovitz (3:08 PM)
Marcos: There's just aren't a lot of tradable parts of Heat's lineup. Don't expect anything.
With Lebron shifting to the 4 position, do you see Miller, Wade and Lebron all in the game at the same time? Or do you see Miller in for only Wade?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:10 PM)
Mark: I really think we'll see some Miller-Wade-James combos down the stretch. All 3 guys can handle the ball, and all can playmake. With Bosh out there, it's a lineup that's virtually impossible to defend, even if you have defenses sagging off, say, Joel Anthony
Seriously, how do they cope with Boston's bigs (and maybe LA's) in a seven game series. I've never heard that explained.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:12 PM)
Doug: It's a good question. The Heat don't have the conventional size to match up. But they're fast. And LeBron has been defending bigs of late with Bosh out and has done an admirable job, which makes sense because he's the size of Karl Malone. Joel doesn't give them much offensively, but when you watch what he's been able to accomplish against guys like Amare Stoudemire, it's pretty impressive.
CW (Miami, FL)
Was Mike Miller's performance saturday the exception or the rule?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:13 PM)
CW: It was exceptional in a literal sense, but he's better than the 25 percent shooter he's been. Miller is a matchup nightmare because of his size and versatility and I don't think that will be the last 20+ point night you're going to see from him.
Is Lebron the best PG, SG, SF, PF and C on this miami heat team?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:14 PM)
Azzy: Yes, no, yes, no, yes.
Considering the HEAT's lack of a young, scoring center they can depend on to defend big men, but also be able to score, do you think possibly signing DeAndre Jordan in the offseason is a possibility? Would the Clips let him go? Also, Dexter Pittman is playing respectably well in the D-League, averaging 15ppg and 8rpg, would it be smart to recall him and start giving him some minutes? He's very agile and has a good bball IQ.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:15 PM)
Ramiro: Clips are pretty committed to DeAndre Jordan.
According to basketball reference, this year 75% of Bosh's shots are perimeter jumpers and only 25% of his shots are in the paint. Historically, Bosh has never been this much of a strict jump shooter, on average he took about 60% jumpers and 40% of his shots in the paint. What do you believe is the reason for this rather large discrepancy? Bosh was signed to give us a post presence and provide inside scoring.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:17 PM)
Marcos: Heat are running a 'corner' offense, not unlike what Rick Adelman runs and with a lot of Triangle-like qualities. Bosh is the most important player in that scheme -- and will facilitate the offense from that high post area (similar to what Chris Webber did in his prime). That's one reason you're seeing him take most of his shots at the elbow.
Carlos Arroyo (Miami)
Chalmers??? Really??? He is not even a PG. We had a couple of bad game and now I am the scape goat. Sorry but I am the best PG in this team.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:19 PM)
Carlos: I feel your pain. You've been steady and limit your turnovers and you rarely take a poor shot. But the Heat are a better defensive team when 'Rio is on the floor. The numbers don't lie. And right now, that's where Spo's attention is.
I saw that Nene had the Heat on his wishlist to play for; is there any possible way for that to work out this season, or would he have to e signed under the new cba?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:20 PM)
Matt: New CBA, Old CBA...Unless Nene is looking for pro bono work (or close to it), he's going to have a hard time inking with the Heat.
When is it Pittman's turn to plug a hole in the ship? He's been playing well in the D-League, he's got good hands and is pretty huge. I don't see the risk in giving him a couple of minutes here or there.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:22 PM)
Andrew: Dexter is a long-term play at this point. He's not going to help much this season. But the Heat have only Joel Anthony signed beyond this season, so Dexter will continue to be a developmental project. And that's fine -- both for the Heat and Pittman.
What happened to the Heat's defense? It's not the same as it was when they played the Lakers
Kevin Arnovitz (3:24 PM)
JRich: Injuries have hurt them. When the rotation was tight, everyone knew their precise roles on every defensive coverage. Bosh might not seem like a stellar defenders, but he was anchoring a lot of that pick-and-roll D and doing a nice job. Now you have 3s playing the PF. PF and C combos who have never played together, guys like James Jones out of their normal position, etc...The Defense is the first thing to suffer under those circumstances.
it seems that the heat play better when either lebron is in or wade but not together also they do not seem to run set plays. thoughts?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:25 PM)
Colton: He bites his lip, but Spo has ceded a few possessions per game for those guys to freelance. It's a Faustian bargain, but one he has made nobly.
Regardless of the heat turn around from the early season slump. I still think they need a point guard! I think the offense is too free right now with no real structure and that will hurt them in the playoffs! Do you agree on that assessment?
Kevin Arnovitz (3:28 PM)
DES: I'm not hung up on the need for a pure PG, so much as well-defined sets that foster distribution. The Heat were getting that before the injuries. Spo had developed a nice diet of stuff that didn't require usual point-guard-ish playcalling. They were getting it with their corner offense, with LeBron and D-Wade on pistol action. A lot of creative stuff. With James, Wade and Miller on this team, I think it's an overstated problem that doesn't require much of a solution.
Kevin:How do you compare Mike Miller to James Jones as a defender? Jones has drawn so many charges this year, but Miller also looks like a good help defender...
Kevin Arnovitz (3:30 PM)
Chris: Both make solid decisions. Miller has a little more size, which can be helpful on mismatches, but I think they both do nice work in that department and, like you said, in help situations.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:31 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. I'm checking out. Now entering the game, in his first season with Heat Index from Wake Forest University, Tom Haberstroh...
andy garcia (miami)
why isn's coach spo getting any love for coach of the year. everyone had him losing his job at first, then they got hot and won 21-22.... yes he has superstars but that doesn't automatically mean wins....
Tom Haberstroh (3:34 PM)
I don't think Spoelstra has gotten enough credit for managing the Big 3's expectations and getting them to work together. With that said, I don't think he'll get much love for COY since it tends to go to the coach who oversaw a team that exceeded expectations. Not exactly the Heat.
Andres (West Palm, Florida)
What do you think are the chances that the Blazers don't resign Oden and the Heat pick him up with the mid level exception? Would it even be smart for the Heat to pick him up due to his injury record?
Tom Haberstroh (3:36 PM)
Andres,The question is, will we even have a mid-level exception? The new CBA will dictate that but I think the Heat should definitely keep a close eye on Oden, regardless. Joel Anthony isn't the long-term answer.
Why is Dampier not playing more did Spoelstra forget his impact in the Laker game?
Tom Haberstroh (3:39 PM)
Andxxx,Think of the Heat's center rotation like a baseball bullpen. Spoelstra will pick and choose according match-up and recently, Dampier hasn't matched up well. He works against the size on the Lakers' front-line but not against the mobile bigs we've seen recently vs. Raps, Hawks, etc.
Tom: How do you think the Heat have adjusted, personality-wise, to such a unique group of players? Do you think they have good locker room chemistry? Why or why not?
Tom Haberstroh (3:42 PM)
Bennie,Hard to judge since it's my first season covering a team on the ground, but I've been impressed so far. Especially with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James batting for the supporting cast when they struggle. They give them a vote of confidence rather than blaming them for their struggles.
Chad Hollenkamp (Cincinnati)
Lebron for MVP is gaining a lot of steam lately. I didn't think he had a chance because of the numbers decrease from last year but I think the Portland game got him over the hump (Not just the offensive performance but the fact that he could guard Andre Miller on the game winning shot and then switch to 7-foot Camby in OT) Not to mention the Cavs struggles without him. Thoughts?
Tom Haberstroh (3:44 PM)
Chad,LeBron fills the top 3 pillars of MVP: Big numbers, winning team, and observable value. I will say this: he may win it by default since there isn't a home run MVP candidate yet.
Do you think when Haslem gets healthy the heat will ever use a line up of Wade, Miller, James, Bosh, and Haslem
Tom Haberstroh (3:45 PM)
MC,Yes. And I'll have the popcorn ready.
We've seen the Heat struggle against zone defenses run by teams like the Mavs and Blazers. Come playoff time, do you think more teams will start to play more zone against the Heat? If so, how will the Heat adjust?
Tom Haberstroh (3:47 PM)
Tranimal:You could say that a well-disciplined zone is a pseudo-Kryptonite against the Heat. The numbers bear this out, too. I expect teams to show more zone as the season wears on but I don't see the Celtics or Magic employing it. They are too good in man already.
meech (akron,ohio )
whats the best lineup the heat can put on the floor nightly
Tom Haberstroh (3:49 PM)
meech,I may be alone in this, but I think Miller-Wade-James-Bosh-Anthony. Haslem could change that when he comes back but who knows how he'll be?
Brett (Fargo, ND)
You hear all of this talk about the point guard position for Miami and the names thrown along with it...why not D-Wade at PG?!?!
Tom Haberstroh (3:51 PM)
I don't think the Heat need a traditional PG on the floor, but I also don't believe Dwyane's the best option to bring the ball up. He'll be the first to tell you that.
Do we possibly have one of the worst benches in the NBA?
Tom Haberstroh (3:53 PM)
James,Yes, but I also think Bentley's don't have the best off-road tires.
Kevin Arnovitz (3:53 PM)
Loath as he is to say it in a live SportsNation chat, Mr. Haberstroh has become a Joel Anthony convert.
meech (akron,ohio )
what do you think the difference in the heat season would be if there were not any injuries early this season
Tom Haberstroh (3:55 PM)
meech,Wade's preseason injury hurt more than people think. The Big Three's Figuring It Out phase that plagued them early on could have been finished by season's tip-off or at least shortly thereafter
Bob (Ft. Lauderdale)
Do you think Wade and LBJ will start employing the pick and roll together
Tom Haberstroh (3:59 PM)
Bob,Count me in as one of those who wants to see more of it. Waiting for the first Dwyane-to-LeBron lob a la CP3-to-Tyson Chandler.
Can someone paint a scenario where the Heat get a good relatively young Center next year? (nene, perkins, oden???)
Tom Haberstroh (4:02 PM)
Memo13,We need a fortune-teller to tell us what the new CBA looks like. Then we can start the painting. But seriously, Eddy Curry. (Not seriously).
Kevin (Harrisonburg, VA)
I know you guys have touched on this, but do you think we will be seeing more of the James-Wade-Miller-Bosh-Z/anyone lineup? That seems to be the most deadly lineup for them if they can work as a team
Tom Haberstroh (4:05 PM)
Kevin,I think Mike Miller's performance on Saturday night made a big case for more Miller lineups. I think we'll see more of that one -- and units without a traditional center.
Thomas (Santa Clara)
Tom, do you know a good place to find +/- or oncourt/offcourt trends or (monthly) splits? Something like that would make it easier to compare lineups and how a team is adapting to playing together.
Tom Haberstroh (4:08 PM)
Thomas,Not that I know of. I usually do my own analysis using basketballvalue.com data. Takes a lot of jiggering but that's the way to go. Aaron Barzilai, the site's founder and Grizzlies consultant deserves a medal from the basketball community.
Can we see a Chris Paul to Miami sign and trade hook up in 2012?
Tom Haberstroh (4:09 PM)
Tommy,Us Demon Deacon-types tend to band together but I'll just get this out of the way: Not happening.
I mean c'mon who is baeting this team in a 7 game series, is there any data out there to bring me down to earth?
Tom Haberstroh (4:11 PM)
Ray,You can start with the best point-differential in the NBA.
John Bta. (Heat's City Center)
Want to hear your opinion about the heat using the exception they got from Haslem injury to get another player? What position you think they should get if any?
Tom Haberstroh (4:12 PM)
John Bta,I believe that ship has sailed. The expiration date already passed.
Tom Haberstroh (4:13 PM)
One more before I head out...
This year there seems to be a lot of possible veteran buy outs, who out there would be a good fit......troy murphy seems like a perfect fit for the Heat!
Tom Haberstroh (4:17 PM)
Frankly, I think the Heat are done with integrating new pieces into the lineup. And on that note, that's a wrap. Thanks all for joining us. Hit us up again this time next week!