Breaking Down the Minutes

That trade that we've spent the summer expecting, the one that would infuse some clarity into this muddled roster, hasn't happened yet. That doesn't mean it won't, of course. But if this is the Heat team we'll be watching this season, what exactly are we going to be looking at?

For all the talk of this team's holes at point guard and center, there are a lot of players on this roster who deserve a share of the game's 240 available minutes. Get past the star power up top, and the Heat has an awful lot of similarly-skilled players scrapping for time. The roster screams for consolidation, a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 trade that cashes in spare parts for a foundation piece and frees up space on the second unit.

If that doesn't happen, here's one man's assessment of how it should break down:

That trade that we've spent the summer expecting, the one that would infuse some clarity into this muddled roster, hasn't happened yet. That doesn't mean it won't, of course. But if this is the Heat team we'll be watching this season, what exactly are we going to be looking at?

For all the talk of this team's holes at point guard and center, there are a lot of players on this roster who deserve a share of the game's 240 available minutes. Get past the star power up top, and the Heat has an awful lot of similarly-skilled players scrapping for time. The roster screams for consolidation, a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 trade that cashes in spare parts for a foundation piece and frees up space on the second unit.

If that doesn't happen, here's one man's assessment of how it should break down:

CENTER
Udonis Haslem 24
Jamaal Magloire 12
Joel Anthony 12
Mark Blount SPOT

POWER FORWARD
Michael Beasley 30
Udonis Haslem 4
Shawn Marion 14

SMALL FORWARD
Shawn Marion 18
James Jones 18
Dorell Wright 12

SHOOTING GUARD
Dwyane Wade 35
Dorell Wright 5
Daequan Cook 8
Yakhouba Diawara SPOT

POINT GUARD
Mario Chalmers 24
Marcus Banks 24
Chris Quinn ???

TOTAL MINUTES:
Wade 35
Marion 32
Beasley 30
Haslem 28
Chalmers 24
Banks 24
Jones 18
Wright 17
Magloire 12
Anthony 12
Cook 8

An exercise like this only proves that Miami's current roster is unwieldy. The only way to better allocate the minutes would be to put Wade at point guard for spells, limiting Banks' and Chalmers' (and maybe Quinn's) minutes, freeing up more time for Jones, Wright, Cook and possibly creating a regular role for Diawara.

Another option - and this is very unorthodox -would be a baseball-style platoon among the bench spots. With that approach, Magloire would get the bulk of the backup minutes against larger centers like Eddy Curry of Zydrunas Ilgauskus, while Anthony would get the call against more athletic 5s like Dwight Howard and Al Horford. Likewise, shooters Jones and Cook would get extended time to spread the floor against good defensive teams like Detroit and Boston, while strong defenders/rebounders Wright and Diawara would play more against teams with strong penetrating wings like Cleveland and Washington.

Or, the short version of this post: MAKE A TRADE!

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