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Five Stars: 2010-11

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The latest era of great Miami Heat basketball commenced with the arrival of the much-heralded "Big Three" in South Beach.

Big Three
Big Three
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Heat opened a new era of winning in Miami with the advent of the "Big Three," when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the ever-present Dwyane Wade in South Beach. After a 5-4 start, they would go 53-20 over the rest of the season to finish with the best record in the East at 58-24. They would eliminate the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics, and the Chicago Bulls in five games each through the first three rounds of the playoffs before getting shut down in six by the revenge-minded Dallas Mavericks.

First Star

LeBron James 2124.6

James is a 6'8", 250 lb. basketball nightmare from Akron, Ohio. Born on December 30th, 1984, he was chosen with the first overall selection in the 2003 NBA Entry Draft, right out of high school by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He made seven all-star teams over his last seven seasons in Cleveland, and left the franchise as the all-time leader in several offensive categories. He averaged 40.3 minutes and scored 27.8 points with 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks per game, appearing in 548 overall. He also played in 71 playoff games over that time, stepping up to average 29.3 points, 8.4 boards, 7.3 helpers, 1.6 steals, and 1.0 blocks in a staggering 43.5 minutes per night.

Amid fanfare the likes of which hadn't been seen since Marino-era Miami football, LeBron James made his Heat debut along side of also-perennial all stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. In 79 starts at small forward, he played a total of 3,063 minutes (NBA sixth), scoring 2,111 points (NBA second) with 554 assists and an NBA-ninth 124 steals to lead the Heat in each category. He ranked second with 590 rebounds and fourth with 50 blocked shots. He also led the NBA with an 8.2 VORP, a 27.3 PER, and 15.6 Win Shares, coming in a close second to Wade with an NBA-sixth best 31.5% usage rate. He was all-NBA and all-NBA Defensive First Team selections.

James averages per-game were in line with his overall statistics, at an NBA-sixth 38.8 minutes, an NBA-second 26.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and an NBA-10th 1.6 steals. He ranked in the top 10 in field goals and free throws made and attempted, sinking 758-of-1485 from the field for an NBA-ninth best .552 two-point shooting percentage. He made 92-of-279 from long distance (.330) and 503-of-663 from the foul line (.759).

James totaled 31 double-doubles and four triple-doubles through the season for the Heat, scoring in double figures in every game and scoring 30 or more 35 times. On January 9th, he scored 44 points on 17-of-26 shooting, making three-of-five from deep and adding 13 rebounds, six assists and a pair of steals in a 107-100 win against the Portland Trail Blazers. On December 3rd, he lit up the Orlando Magic for 51 points on 17-of-25 shooting, again making three-of-five from long-distance with 11 rebounds and eight assists as the Heat took a 104-100 win. In a 117-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers on February 8th, he racked up 41 points with 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Even in his worst performance of the season, on February 6th in a 97-79 win against the Los Angeles Clippers, he had a dozen points with six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

James' PER dropped to 23.7 over the postseason, but he still led the world with 3.8 Win Shares and 922 minutes on the floor over 21 games. He played 43.9 minutes through the playoffs, scoring 23.7 points with 8.4 boards, 5.8 helpers, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks. Miami lost only once to each team through the first three rounds before dropping a six-game decision to the Dallas Mavericks. In Miami's deciding Game Five elimination of the Boston Celtics, James scored 33 with seven rebounds and four assists as the Heat took a 97-87 home victory. On May 26th, he scored 28 with 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks to help Miami eliminate the Chicago Bulls, 83-80 to advance to their second NBA Championship series.

Second Star

Dwyane Wade 1884.1

For the first time since the 2004-05 season, Wade didn't earn the top star in Miami. He did appear in his eighth straight Five Stars, and probably would have been the top star on most teams. He started 76 games at shooting guard for the Heat, ranking second on the team with 37.1 minutes, an NBA-fourth 25.5 points, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game and fourth with 6.4 rebounds. For the first time in his career, he made half of his shots, draining 692-of-1384 for a shooting percentage of exactly .500. He also made 63-of-206 from outside for a career-second best .306 success rate from deep. He made 494-of-652 from the foul line. Like James, he also ranked in the NBA's top 10 in field goals and free throws made and attempted.

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Wade played 2,823 minutes and scored an NBA-seventh 1,941 points with 346 assists, 111 steals, and 87 blocks, ranking second in each category while placing third on the team with 485 rebounds. He was just a sliver less efficient than James, racking up an NBA-third 25.6 PER, an NBA-fourth best VORP of 5.7, an NBA-sixth 12.8 Win Shares, and a team-best and NBA-fourth 31.6% usage rate. All this, and he still made the All-NBA second team, losing out to Kobe Bryant at shooting guard.

Wade totaled 10 double-doubles through the season while finishing in double digits 74 times, including 57 performances of 20 or more points and 25 of 30 or more. On January 27th, he scored 34 points on 14-of-22 shooting, with a season-high 16 rebounds and five assists as the Heat dropped one to the New York Knicks, 93-88. The amazing thing is that judging by GameScore, it was just his 26th best game of the season. On December 28th, he scored 40 points with nine rebounds, two helpers and two steals in a 106-98 win against the Knicks. The next night, he made 17-of-24 from the field for 45 points, with seven rebounds and two steals in a 125-119 loss to the Houston Rockets. His best game of the season was on March 25th in a 111-99 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, in which he scored 39 on 15-of-26 shooting, with 11 rebounds, eight assists, five blocked shots and three steals.

Wade stepped up in the postseason, raising his PER to a team-best 26.3 and averaging 24.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks in 39.4 minutes. He added five more double-doubles to his total for the season, and never scored less than 14 points. In Miami's May 11th 97-87 Game Five win against the Celtics, he dropped in 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting with 10 rebounds, five helpers and four steals.

Third Star

Chris Bosh 1397.1

Chris Bosh, known alternately as "Boshasaurus," is a 6'11" 235 lb. left-handed power forward from Dallas, Texas. Born on March 24th, 1984, he played his college ball at Georgia Tech for one season, scoring 15.6 points with 9.0 rebounds in 31 games as a freshman. He went in the first round of the 2003 NBA Entry Draft to the Toronto Raptors, with the fourth overall selection (right after Carmelo Anthony, right before Dwyane Wade).

In seven seasons with Toronto, Bosh earned most of the franchises' records, with 10,275 points, 4776 rebounds, and 600 blocked shots. He made the All Star team in each of his last five seasons there. He averaged 20.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 blocks in 37.0 minutes per game over 509 contests. During the 2010 offseason, he was traded by Toronto to the Heat for two first round picks (one of which was traded back to Miami) and a trade exception. The picks were spent on Jonas Valanciunas and Norris Cole

Bosh's first season with the Heat would see his PER drop from 25.0 to 19.4 as he adjusted his game from being an offensive first option to a supporting role. His PER, Win Shares (10.3), VORP (1.7) and usage rate (23.5%) all ranked him firmly in third place on Miami's roster. He made his sixth straight all star team on the strength of his efforts, starting 77 times for Miami at power forward and playing a team-third 2,795 minutes. He was first on the team with 641 rebounds (and 141 offensive boards), ranking third with 1,438 points, fourth with 144 assists and 59 steals, and fifth with 49 blocked shots.

Bosh played 36.3 minutes per game, making's "per 36" statistics all but redundant in his case. He made 524-of-1056 shots from the field (.496) and just six-of-25 from deep (.240), which is surprising in hindsight considering his current long-distance game, but at the time was par for the course. He also drained 384-of-471 free throws (.815). He averaged 18.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 helpers, and under a steal and a block per game.

Bosh totaled 28 double-doubles through the season, and finished in double figures 74 times. He scored 20 or more points on 34 occasions. On November 17th, in a 123-96 win against the Phoenix Suns, he scored a season-high 35 points on 12-of-17 shooting, making all 11 of his free throw attempts and adding six rebounds and four assists. On March 14th, he led Miami with 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting, making all 10 of his foul shots and adding a dozen boards and two steals as the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 110-80. Two weeks later, he dropped in 31 points with 12 rebounds and three helpers in a 125-119 victory against the Houston Rockets.

Bosh averaged 18.6 points with 8.5 rebounds and just over an assist per game in the postseason. He was at his best on May 22nd, in Miami's 96-85 Game Three win over the Chicago Bulls, when he scored 34 points on 13-of-18 shooting with five rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Fourth Star

Mario Chalmers 452.5

Rio played in 70 games for the Heat in 2010-11, ranking a distant fourth on the team with 1,579 minutes on the court. He started 28 times for Miami at point guard, but ranked third on the team with 177 assists. He also had a team-fifth 447 points, a team-third 76 steals, and 146 rebounds. He made 155-of-388 from the field (.399) and 83-of-231 from outside (.359), also converting 54-of-62 free throws (.871).

Chalmers averaged just 6.4 points with 2.5 assists, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game, playing 22.6 minutes per night. He had a 10.3 PER, a 15.0% usage rate, 0.8 VORP, and 2.9 Win Shares. He finished in double figures 17 times, including on January 22nd, when he came as close as he did all season to a double-double, scoring 10 points with nine assists and four rebounds in a 120-103 win against the Toronto Raptors. On February 8th, in a 117-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers, he scored 16 points with three steals and two assists. He scored 14 points on six-of-seven shooting on February 22nd, dishing four assists and grabbing three rebounds as Miami topped the Sacramento Kings, 117-97.

In the postseason, Chalmers appeared in all 21 games, racking up a 12.5 PER on a 24.3 minute-per-game diet. He scored 7.8 points with 2.1 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. His best game of the second season came on May 7th, when he scored 17 points on seven-of-nine shooting with four rebounds, three helpers and three steals as Miami downed the Boston Celtics, 97-81 in Game Three action.

Fifth Star

James Jones 399.7

Jones, a 6'8", 218 lb. combo small forward/shooting guard, was born in Miami, Florida on October 4th, 1980. He played four full seasons of collegiate hoops with the Miami Hurricanes, averaging 11.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 27.5 minutes average over 122 contests. The Indiana Pacers selected him in the second round of the 2003 NBA Entry Draft with the 49th overall choice.

Jones played in 81 games over two seasons with the Pacers (16.7 minutes, 4.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, .394 three-point percentage). He then played two seasons for the Phoenix Suns (151 games, 20.8 minutes, 7.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, .382 three-point percentage) and a season for the Portland Trail Blazers (58 games, 22.0 minutes, 8.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, .444 three-point percentage). On July 9th, 2008, Jones signed a free agent contract to come to Miami.

Jones bought a valuable and extremely specialized game to the Heat, that of a skilled long-distance shooter. Over six seasons with Miami, he made .408 of his long-range attempts, sinking 283-of-694 to rank second on Miami's all-time leader board (minimum 500 attempts) to Damon Jones (225-of-521, .432). His first two seasons with the club would see him make 28-of-82 (.341) three pointers in 76 games.

Jones really broke out for the Heat in his third Miami season, leading the team with 81 appearances, including eight starts at small forward. He was fifth on the team with 1,549 minutes played, fourth with 475 points, and also pitched in with 160 boards, 43 assists, 29 steals, and 19 blocks. He made 146-of-346 shots overall (.422), with a tangibly better field goal percentage from three-point range (123-of-287, .429). He made 60-of-72 shots from the stripe (.833).

Like Chalmers, Jones per-game stats were nothing special to write home about. He averaged 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 19.1 minutes per game. He clocked in with an 11.1 PER, a ridiculously low 12.0% usage rate, a team-fourth 4.7 Win Shares, and a 1.1 VORP. Oh, and he also won the NBA 3-Point Shootout:

Jones did not earn any double-doubles for the Heat, and only finished in double digits on 13 occasions. On October 27th, in a 97-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, he scored 20 points on seven-of-10 shooting, going six-of-nine from outside. On November 2nd, he scored 17 points with six boards in a 129-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Exactly a month later, he went six-of-eight from the floor and five-of-seven from deep for 18 points, with six boards in a 118-90 triumph over a dispirited bunch of Cavaliers from Cleveland.

Jones played in 12 games off the bench for Miami through the postseason, shooting .459 from outside and averaging 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. In his finest performance of the season, including the regular season, he made five-of-seven shots from outside and all 10 of his free throw attempts for 25 points in a Second Round series opening 99-90 win against the Boston Celtics.

The Rest

Zydrunas Ilgauskas 302.8

Joel Anthony 270.7

Eddie House 241.1

Mike Miller 199.7

Carlos Arroyo 195.1

Erick Dampier 150.3

Mike Bibby 138.6

Udonis Haslem 125.8

Juwan Howard 112.0

Jamaal Magliore 41.4

Jerry Stackhouse 6.8

Dexter Pittman -1.2