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I know that the 2013 trade deadline has passed but the Miami Heat could have gotten a whole lot better before the deadline. The Miami Heat are on pace to make another run for the NBA Championship without a question. The Heat are a offensive powerhouse but compared to last year their collective defense has been subpar. To start, I will break down the starting lineup:

C: Chris Bosh: Chris Bosh is an explosive option on the offensive side of the ball. At 6'11, 235 pounds, Bosh is a better perimeter player than he is a post-up player. Bosh prospers on pick & rolls where he may set a screen, come off the screen and knock down a mid-range jumper. On the defense end of the ball, Bosh is able to defend pretty well on most possessions but he lacks the aggressiveness to defend the best bigs in the league.

PF: Udonis Haslem: UD is average on offense at best at this point in his career. His jump shot has diminished and so has his ability to score much in the post and I think the reason for this is because of lingering injuries. On D, big UD is still valuable, although he struggles in the post with more physical bigs like he did in last years playoff series vs Boston's Kevin Garnett and Indiana's David West. Although worn down and not as effective, he is still tough and is an enforcer of a competitor.

SF: LeBron James: Not much of a description needed here.. He is more dominant this season, more hungry for another title, and more ready to make a run at consecutive titles. Like he said when he joined the heat, "Not one, not two, not three.."; you get the point.

SG: DWayne Wade: In my personal opinion DWade has been slowed by injuries.. Here lately, I would say that he has not been Flash but more so of a spark in a sense but only because of injury. At more than 85%, Wade is still one of the most explosive players that has come into the league to play the game. At 6'4, 220 pounds Wade is a big threat at the SG position and is never afraid to drive into the lane to challenge any opponent with a vicious dunk. http://youtu.be/YckTXZ3WjA0 Check one out for yourself..

PG: Mario Chalmers: To be completely honest with you, I do not think that the guy that they call Super Mario is that super at all.. For a player that has been in the league for five years, I do believe that he is doing quite well averaging 8.3 points per game over those five years but he is not the right piece for the Heat. He has being pulled form the starting lineup on numerous occasions because of his inconsistent play and lack of play-making ability at the 1 position. Chalmers at best is a role-player but for now he is the best option for the Heat if they choose to stand pat.

With that being said, as I stated earlier the Heat could have improved before the trade deadline. I will present several scenarios that would have made them a better contending team, not only this year but for years to come. The Heat are one of the best teams in the league as they are now but these moves would have made them more competitive.

NBA 2010 Free Agency: The move to retain DWayne Wade and bring in LeBron James was brilliant on the part of the Miami Heat organization but the signing of Chris Bosh I don't think was the best. This was not the best move because at the time the Heat had Jermaine O'Neal as center and Joel Anthony that would take over after O'Neal went elsewhere. Miami was needing more than anything a legitimate center, which would have made Tyson Chandler the complete fit. Tyson would have added a super boost to the Heat's frontcourt and would have given them the interior defense and rebounding that they desperately needed. The Heat also gave up much too quickly on Michael Beasley. Beasley was/is very undisciplined as a player but with the right team and the proper leadership, Beasley could have flourished. Just think of the starting lineup of Chandler, Beasley, James, Wade, and Chalmers/anyone else more suitable. Chandler went on to win a title with the Mavericks this season, Michael Beasley had sparks with the Timberwolves but he fizzled quickly. The Heat signed Chris Bosh and although he played well, I think the Heat would have been better suited to win in 2010-2011 with different options. Luis Scola would have made an effective frountcourt combo with Chandler as well.

Trade Scenarios 2013: Presented here are three trades that would have made the Heat much more difficult to beat.

1. Miami: Chris Bosh, Mike Miller, Dexter Pittman, Norris Cole for Minnesota: Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Jose Juan Barea

This would have been a blockbuster trade for the Heat. Kevin Love is not happy in Minnesota, which could cause contention with management if not handled with the proper regard. Pekovic is a free agent after this season but he is most likely very hungry to play for or sign with an immediate contender. Pekovic is a force to be reckoned with in the low-post and he is mobile enough to defend any center in the league and some power forwards. Love is an offensive powerhouse and a reliable defender. The combo of Love and Pekovic would have been dynamic in Miami, with so much attention on James and Wade on offense; this would have made it very difficult for opponents to crowd the lanes because Love could stretch the floor with his knock down shooting. This would also leave Pekovic waiting and ready in the post to dominate. J.J. Barea would be point guard insurance behind Chalmers or another suitable option.

2. Portland: LaMarcus Aldridge, J.J Hickson, Eric Maynor

This would also have made a very effective move for the Heat. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the best big men in the league and he scores in bunches. He can score in the paint but is a more effective perimeter scorer. J.J. Hickson on the other hand is becoming more of a threat on offense and he is pretty fluent on defense. Eric Maynor would provide the backup minutes at the point.

3. Miami: James Jones and Jarvis Varnado for San Antonio: DeJuan Blair

This is not a blockbuster trade but is one that would have provided frontcourt depth and toughness for the Heat. Blair is a decent rebounder and he is a hard-nosed active competitor.

After the trade deadline signings: Delonte West, D.J. White, DaJuan Summers and Raja Bell or Anthony Parker

Delonte West has most likely fallen out of favor with a lot of coaches, other players and fans alike but West could still make any contending team better. His ability to score and create shots would look good for the Heat. Maybe this is and option that the Heat should consider this year during the second half of the season and going into the playoffs.

D.J. White has not quite developed as an elite NBA player and he may never develop as an elite player but he has a lot of potential to be a big contributor. At 6'9, 235 pounds D.J. White when given the chance can score the basketball but he would provide much needed interior defense.

DaJuan Summers was drafted by the Pistions but was not developed. I don't think that would be the case for him now, he is averaging double digits for the Maine Redclaws. Summers would be a valuable addition for the Heat at the 4 or 3. He is a good penetration player that can find his way to the basket pretty easily and because of his athleticism it would not be a good idea to leave him unattended to.

Raja Bell or Anthony Parker would bring another spot up shooter for the Heat behind Ray Allen and Shane Battier as reserves. Bell is a better defender than Parker but either would provide an extra push on both ends of the floor for the Heat.

Other considerations: Greg Oden, Ben Wallace, Craig Smith

The Heat are looking really good to go on to the playoffs, advance to the finals and win another title. As a Heat fan, this is food for thought about how the Heat could only get better for seasons to come. As you read this post, I ask that you would be open minded and leave feedback, responses, and comments. What do you think about the scenarios that I discussed to make the Heat better.? Do you have any moves in mind that the Heat could make to get even better? As you read this post and start to post comments, I have one last thing to say; "let's go Heat!"

This is a fan-created post on HotHotHoops.com. The opinions here are not necessarily those shared by the editorial staff at Hot Hot Hoops.

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