Thoughts on the Dexter Pittman trade

Mike Ehrmann

Dexter is gone. Let's talk about what it means, if anything at all.

Since the day the Miami Heat selected Dexter Pittman in the second round of the 2010 draft, the story has been about his constant battle to lose weight, or at least enough to satisfy the Heat's strict expectations for conditioning. Listed at 6-foot-11 and over 300 pounds, Pittman has come a long way with his weight from his days in college at Texas, but every year, we would hear a similar story about him trying to get his weight down. It was never enough though, and it also has to be said that he was a limited talent, and because of these things, the Heat moved him for a trade exception.

So let's tell the whole story of the Heat's tenure with Dexter Pittman, which isn't about his career numbers of 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds on 47 percent shooting.

It's about so much more. The good, the bad and the ugly (really ugly).




Those three videos pretty much are the only three things any of us will remember about Dexter Pittman after this. Sure, he was having a good season in the NBDL and has had success there before, but he's made zero impact otherwise. It's a good thing that he stepped up for his team by taking a hard foul on Lance Stephenson for giving LeBron James crap in last season's Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, but he was too excessive, so even that he didn't get right.

There are actual basketball reasons to why this didn't work, of course.


Heat personnel head Pat Riley is a size fetishist.

I think most basketball minds have been ingrained with that obsession because of the old cliche that you can't teach size. The problem is, the league has changed to a degree, and size doesn't' mean anything if it's not good, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra seems to be a little more progressive about it. I'll take the shorter, smaller guy who is skilled and can play big over the lumbering 7-footer who clogs my lane incessantly and can't stay out of foul trouble. Dexter Pittman was that.

The Heat's defensive philosophy is based on aggression. Watching them defend is like watching sharks feed on seals in Seal Island. They love to trap, run wide up-and-over hedges on screen and rolls and take pride in being on a string and having precise rotations. This type of thing does not fit the Pittman's of the world, or the Eddy Curry's, and the list goes on.

But that defense is a beauty to watch when Chris Bosh, Chris Andersen, and Joel Anthony are manning the center spot. They are athletic and quick. They can do what the Heat defense demands.

The Heat made an exception for Shaquille O'Neal when he arrived in 2004, which is logical because his impact would dwarf any defensive adjustments the Heat could get away with. But unless we're talking about a game changer, the Heat have a defensive philosophy that works, and getting bigs that fit into that system, like a recent prospect they signed for the season in Jarvis Varnado, is a better idea than signing a guy just because he weighs 300 pounds.

So here we are. The Dexter Pittman experience is behind us now, and we won't miss it.

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