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!
Tom Haberstroh (3:01 PM)
Happy Monday, folks. The Spurs are in town and tip off is in less than 5 hours. Let's get right to the questions.
Is bosh the X factor on this team? It seems when he is attacking the rim, we are abetter team.
Tom Haberstroh (3:03 PM)
Hard to say Bosh qualifies as an X Factor candidate, but the Heat are far more potent when he isn't afraid of the paint. Watch him in the pick-and-rolls tonight against the Spurs. He's diving more which pressures the defense and forces them to make difficult decisions covering LeBron James or Dwyane Wade who are handling the ball.
Who do you have winning tonite?
Tom Haberstroh (3:04 PM)
Sheen. Err, Spurs.
IF they get Haslem back at full strength for the 2nd round, do you think he can make a difference v. Boston and Chicago?
Tom Haberstroh (3:07 PM)
It's a big IF. He's a big upgrade over Juwan Howard, but I don't see him worth more than a win down the stretch. He's shooting jumpers at practice now, so he's further along than I imagined at this stage.
Best 1st round matchup for the heat, Atl, NY?
Tom Haberstroh (3:09 PM)
Atlanta. The Hawks are in a spiral right now. Check out their defensive efficiency numbers recently. Atrocious.
Chris (San Diego)
What's your thoughts on Bibby? I still don't quite understand it. Apart from his 3pt ability, Chalmers is the better player. Was Bibby just an upgrade over Arroyo?
Tom Haberstroh (3:12 PM)
Bibby is a steady hand. And you can't just disregard the three-point ability since that's precisely why he's on the floor next to the Big Three. Now, defensively, I think Chalmers has the upper hand but I think Spoelstra's eyeing Bibby to take over the starting role soon.
What happened to James Jones?
Tom Haberstroh (3:13 PM)
Great question! http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/5251/james-jones-demotion-by-circumstance
Tommy(Los Angeles,CA) [via mobile]
If the ECF does actually come down to heat vs celtics, what do you see happening and what will be the determining factor of the outcome in that series? Thanks for your time!
Tom Haberstroh (3:15 PM)
Bottom line, the Heat need their shooters to show up. Heat's 3-pt percentage vs. BOS this year? 22 percent. For a team that relies on floor spacing and kick-outs, there's no bigger obstacle than cold shooting from downtown. Bibby helps that.
Axel (Miami, FL)
What are the Heat gonna have to do to stifle the Spurs offense and avoid a repeat of last time?
Tom Haberstroh (3:18 PM)
For one, they can't be afraid to venture outside the paint on defense. The Spurs got wide open looks on the perimeter from start to finish. Sure, the Spurs were on fire, but the Heat were dousing them with lighter fluid. For more, hit up today's edition of '5 things to watch' that Kevin Arnovitz and I put together. http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/5233/san-antonio-at-heat-5-things-to-watch
Out of the so called Big 3 who is the most important player and needs to have a superb playoff performance in order for the Heat to win go further?
Tom Haberstroh (3:21 PM)
I'm going to say Chris Bosh. LeBron can pick up Wade and vice versa but there's no big on the Heat that can pick up Bosh in the post if he's off. Bosh rediscovering his attack game is like acquiring someone at the trade deadline. It's that important to the Heat.
Kevin T (Pasadena, CA)
Regarding Boston-Miami... Although Bibby will help the 3pt%, don't you think Rondo will eat him alive?
Tom Haberstroh (3:24 PM)
Defending Rondo has, is, and will be a team-wide effort. That said, I think you'll see LeBron and Chalmers on Rondo more than Bibby.
Do you think Lebron has finally figured out THE FACT THAT WADE SHOULD BE THE CLOSER ???
Tom Haberstroh (3:24 PM)
Peter, your cap lock is on.
Do you think LBJs late game failures are starting to get inside his head now?
Tom Haberstroh (3:26 PM)
I don't. We forget that these guys have taken hundreds and hundreds of clutch shots in their lives. The latest one won't be any different than the 178th. Part of being a world-class athlete is having a refresh button upstairs.
If Nash takes a paycut like some other Heat players and moves to the sunshine state, are they instantly a 70+ win team?
Tom Haberstroh (3:29 PM)
Funny, I was gonna ask "What are you smoking?" even before I saw your name. Forget it -- Nash is under contract through 2011-12.
jamal (queens new york )
what is the most realistic pick the heat may get this off season that will really help ?
Tom Haberstroh (3:31 PM)
By sending away picks in the sign-and-trades for Bosh/LeBron, the Heat kissed away their chances at investing in the draft. They'll probably go for another Dexter Pittman-type who can be a long-term project.
edizz1e (Queens, NY)
Can the Heat assemble a quality team without having any valuable trading assets and with the new CBA to come? The only option to improve their team is by adding veteran players who are at the end of their careers.
Tom Haberstroh (3:35 PM)
I think you're overstating it. The Heat will likely be priced out of the Nene and Marc Gasol sweepstakes this summer, but there are plenty of bigs on the market who aren't in the twilight of their careers. With LeBron and Bosh entering their primes, I wouldn't be too concerned about the Heat getting too old.
Wouldn't starting Bibby hurt Chalmers' (the PG of the future) confidence? Thanks!
Tom Haberstroh (3:38 PM)
Chalmers is coming up on his 25th birthday. His ceiling as a borderline starter has been reached. Don't be surprised if the Heat don't re-sign him this summer when his contract expires.
Chalmers>Bibby do you agree?
Tom Haberstroh (3:40 PM)
Bibby has the slight edge, but I think Bibby>>Arroyo which, from a roster management standpoint, may be the real question here.
Do you think biby wil arn the starting PG?
Tom Haberstroh (3:44 PM)
I do. On Sunday, Spoelstra was asked about whether he likes Bibby coming off the bench and he responded, "Right now, yes." That's coachspeak. He can't say "No, but I have to integrate him slowly" even if that's what he wants to say. Notice that Bibby finished out the Lakers game with the Big Three. That's the playoff lineup and it will depend on how fast the opposing PG is (Rondo, Rose, etc).
Realistically, how far do you see the Heat going this post-season? I know they can win the championship, but is it likely that they will?
Tom Haberstroh (3:47 PM)
With all the great teams we have today, I don't think anyone is a favorite. I picked the Heat to start the season and I'm gonna stick by it.
Do you think Mike Miller is about to improve in the post-season?
Tom Haberstroh (3:50 PM)
He's running out of time. The Heat were counting on him to be a much bigger cog in the lineup next to the Big Three. He hasn't separated himself from James Jones based on merit.
Can any of you Miami slicks tell me if Eddy Curry is going to play for the Heat.
Tom Haberstroh (3:51 PM)
No. No. No.
I know you said Nene or Marc Gasol were the preferred targets for the Heat, but it's gonna be tough to sign one of those guys. So, which big man free-agent are the Heat most likely to get if they can't convince one of the above two to take a major paycut?
Tom Haberstroh (3:54 PM)
Sam Dalembert is a name to keep an eye on. Speaking from experience, he won't have any trouble finding excellent Haitian cuisine here in Miami. The Heat should monitor the Greg Oden situation, but I think he stays put in Portland.
Would Dalembert be a significant upgrade at center?
Tom Haberstroh (3:56 PM)
Yes. Low-usage, excellent rebounder and shot-blocker. Good fit here.
How do you think will miami defend dominat big men like Howard in the playoffs?
Tom Haberstroh (3:58 PM)
Just like they have all season. Stick a big body on him (Dampier) and defend the perimeter.
love all your articles at the heat index. keep up the good work...
Tom Haberstroh (4:00 PM)
Bob, the check's in the mail...
Isn't that what Dampier is for?
Tom Haberstroh (4:01 PM)
Dampier has no bounce left. His rebound rate has been sliced in half since last season.
Which team do you think the Heat match up better against, Chicago or Boston?
Tom Haberstroh (4:04 PM)
Great question. I think Boston's 3-point arsenal makes a big difference and there's a mental component there as well.
Tom Haberstroh (4:05 PM)
etjkdwgeyugouq: Manu says hello.
Is Bibby a real solution at the PG spot, or just Mr. Right Now
Tom Haberstroh (4:06 PM)
Long-term? No. Short term? No brainer.
Connor (New York)
Who should get the ball at the end of the game? AKA Closer?
Tom Haberstroh (4:09 PM)
Has there been a hotter buzzword in sports than "closer" in basketball? You'd think this was a Marlins chat if you saw how many "closer" questions I'm getting. My answer: whoever has the better matchup. That's not skirting the question -- it's just the rational perspective. It's a coach's greatest problem to have: give it to Dwyane Wade or LeBron James? Don't forget, folks, Wade has struggled this season, too.
In the LBJ/Wade PnR with Wade as the ballhandler- does LBJ dive to the rim and what is Bosh doing during all of this ?
Tom Haberstroh (4:10 PM)
Chilling in the corner.
Tom, regarding tonights game, what do the Heat need to do defensively to stop the Spurs?
Tom Haberstroh (4:13 PM)
Close out on shooters and keep Tony Parker in the first gear. And keep Steve Novak off the floor.
Tom Haberstroh (4:14 PM)
Alright, folks. Thanks for all the questions. Heat-Spurs 8 pm ET. Until next time...