In ABC’s postmortem last night of the NBA Finals, a bespectacled and perplexed Jeff Van Gundy, seemingly at a loss for words, wondered aloud if perhaps LeBron and Wade can’t co-exist in Miami, and whether or not the franchise should consider trading one of them, like maybe for Dwight Howard.
“I think that Wade and James, going forward, they have to evaluate: Is that the best compliment they could be? Or should they make a play for Dwight Howard using one of those two guys, to get a more balanced team? That’s for the offseason.”
Obviously, it was a knee-jerk reaction (but Jason Whitlock thinks blowing up the Heat is a good idea). Van Gundy must have forgotten how the Heat blazed through the first three rounds of the playoffs, going 12-3 against Philly, Chicago (best record in the NBA and MVP), and Boston (most experienced team in the East and had been to the Finals two out of the last four years).
This was only year one of the “Big Three” experiment. It was basically Bosh, Wade and LeBron, plus an injured Mike Miller, a serviceable Udonis Haslem, and a bunch of guys who weren’t as good as LeBron’s supporting cast in Cleveland.
On the radio this morning, Steve Kerr talked about maybe trading Chris Bosh (that’s been mentioned before), but what does that solve? Financially, the Heat are in a bind, and that noose could get tighter after the lockout is solved.
The Heat would never trade LeBron James, but remember, D Wade won a title in Miami with an aging Shaq, the perimeter defense of James Posey, and a mediocre supporting cast of Antoine Walker and Jason Williams. It’s tough to imagine the Heat trading Dwyane Wade, but he’s 30 in January and plays in a reckless attacking manner in which injuries tend to happen (see 07, 08). But he’s the heart of the Heat, and trading him would be like the Cardinals trading Albert Pujols.
The Heat are close. No massive overhaul is needed. I’m surprised we didn’t see more of James Jones in this series. Everyone’s made it clear LeBron hates to post up, but if you put him on the block, put Miller and Jones (or Chalmers) at the 3-point line, and have Bosh on the other side with Wade, you’ll have spread the floor out and Dallas would have been forced to make decisions. Do they double LeBron? When Wade cuts, do you double him? Can you leave Bosh open? Or do they just take their chances letting Miller and Jones fire away?
Problem is, Miami was slaughtered defensively by Barea and Terry, who were simply too quick for for Chalmers and James. Miami’s help defense on the interior was non-existent, and when it arrived, rotation was poor and they gave up offensive rebounds at all the wrong times.
But do you really blow up a team or panic because of one series in which your star player choked?