On paper Miami had a center with the potential to become generational. One raw on talent but with the desire to become Alonzo Mourning one block at a time. A power forward who could play at least three positions while stretching the floor with his jump shot and occasional three pointer. A wing player who could guard the best offensive weapon from the other team. A shooting guard that will go down as one of the best of all time with his athleticism and will to win. Lastly this line up would be finished out by a freshly added point guard that was crafty enough to compliment the game of all four players on the court while being a threat to score if all else fails.
You read all this and you see the perfect line up. Five players who could take this team to the Eastern Conference Finals when healthy. Then the other day happened. The day where happiness turned into hopelessness. Where the worry from off the court out weighed any result on the court. The day the Miami Heat became "Paper Champions."
On paper everything we've seen for the 2014-2015 season is just a glimpse of the 2015-2016 season. On the court this will most likely be a roster that might limp into the playoffs as the last seed and quickly be dispatched by the Atlanta Hawks or Washington Wizards. I for one have a feeling that when this season is over, there will be an actual collective sigh of relief more than there will be of disappointment.
The options till the Heat get to that ending aren't pretty when it comes to big replacements either. Andre Blatche from China? The Sun Sentinel confirmed that Micheal Beasley has been working out at the AmericanAirlines Arena too. Maybe Andrei Kirilenko if he happens to be in the United States anymore? To replace traded bodies, the Heat signed a guy who hasn't played in the NBA since 2012 and his last major highlight was him changing his name from Bill to Henry.
Undermanned and overwhelmed by injuries, it must be appreciated that this is a franchise too proud to wave a white flag or ever utter the word "tank." This mindset is what brings in fans to enjoy the competition of games even though the team is sitting 8 games under .500. There's plays of potential but more time needed to develop. The latest examples of this have been the development of Shabazz Napier and the spark of Mario Chalmers going back into his role as the sixth man resting Dwyane Wade. The energy provided by Chris Andersen and toughness of Udonis Haslem makes you anticipate the effect of Josh McRoberts. That's your bench only. You have to be excited for what is to come but patient through the process of it not being able to see this potential anytime soon.
On paper this team was supposed to make a 30 game push and at least land at the sixth seed, all starting with the dismantling of the Knicks on Friday. Instead games without Bosh will be more like the results like the one on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
So after four NBA Finals runs at the Championship, the Heat are now faced with "what could of should of would of" possibility. Champions on paper. With that being said, beware of what is to come next year. Because if the Heat are healthy and cohesive as a unit....an NBA Championship won't just be limited to paper.