Mar 30, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Knicks forward Josh Harrellson (55) dunks the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
The Miami Heat added some much-needed depth in the middle with Monday's signing of free agent Josh Harrellson. He's been linked to Miami for quite some time, and I've felt that his rebounding and 3-point shooting make him a nice fit for the Heat. The burly Kentucky product has good size for a center, with a 6-foot-10 frame and a 275-pound body.
It's likely that Harrellson will make the 15-man roster. The challenge for Harrellson is to become more than Erick Dampier, Ronny Turiaf and other centers who gave taken a carousel ride with Miami. Dampier and Turiaf soaked up minutes during the 82-game grind of the regular season, but hardly played once the postseason started. Chris Bosh's full-fledged embrace of the center position even turned Joel Anthony into a spectator during the 2012 playoffs.
The 23-year-old's shooting gives him a skill that many others don't have. But if he wants to establish himself as a niche player in the postseason, he needs to prove that he can hold his own defensively. It's plausible that the Heat could face the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. Can Harrellson offer his bulk to defend Andrew Bynum and drag the second-best big man out to the perimeter on defense? If so, Harrellson may find a home in Miami.