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Miami Heat Items, 10/15: Framing the Debate

The Heat are in full spin mode on the center situation. The latest strategy: if you don't have a viable starter at a position, simply abolish it.

But Sunday's 94-92 exhibition loss to the Nets at least was a forward-thinking start.

Michael Beasley, Udonis Haslem and Shawn Marion were on the court together for the first time.

For first-year Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, it was a taste of what could become a staple.

So if Udonis Haslem is in the starting lineup next to forwards Shawn Marion and Michael Beasley, that doesn't mean he's playing center. He's just a third forward who happens to fill the center's role in the half-court offense and guard the other team's center. But he's not a center, alright? I just said that. Were you even listening?

Ira Winderman's advancing that "three-forward' concept, although he slips later in the piece and says Haslem will play a lot of minutes at center. But he clears it all up with this:

For now, it appears Haslem will rotate to center, with Spoelstra seemingly to intent to make it work with (Mark) Blount or perhaps (Joel) Anthony opening in the middle.

Thanks for that clarification, which in no way confuses and frustrates me way more than I already was.

  • The Herald has a welcome bit of news about Alonzo Mourning: "Mourning's race to return is on but think of it as more of an intense run as opposed to a sprint. Mourning is working hard to come back but he also is being careful not want to overdo it and wind up having a setback. Mourning said he is about a month ahead of schedule and should be able to gauge if he can come back and how long it would take him to get in game shape by mid-to-late December."
  • Former Heat center Shaquille O'Neal is running his mouth again. Add Steve Nash to the list of alienated current and former teammates, perhaps? Miami's got 99 problems, but at least Shaq ain't one.
  • Shaq does make a good point about getting shooters contracts over their head. Jason Kapono and Damon Jones come to mind - I'm just glad neither of those deals came from the Heat.
  • Darnell Jackson, the Kansas forward drafted by and traded from the Heat this summer, is turning heads in Cleveland. Could it be that our discarded and overlooked second-rounder (Jackson) will be a better player than our acquired and much-hyped second-rounder (Mario Chalmers)? Because I wouldn't like that at all.
  • If major NBA free agents may be influenced by the idea of playing in a big shiny futuristic building in an awesome part of a metropolitan area that is the center of world commerce, the Nets are becoming a lot less attractive.
  • V-neck-clad streetballer succeeds where Mario Chalmers failed.