Now that the NBA season is officially over, and THE CUBE on TNT is the only game in town until basketball resumes, it’s the right time reflect on the state of Heat hoops.
After a tremendous season, Miami was narrowly edged out in their quest for yet another championship. It’s time for the franchise to choose: Rebuild or Retool. Although it sounds crazy to even contemplate blowing up a squad that was in the Finals just a year ago, it’s unlike the Heat to stand pat and try to play a similar hand two seasons in a row.
I believe that the Heat should take note of what’s happening out West. The Phoenix Suns are a talented, exciting team that somehow seems to make positive roster moves year after year. If not a wholesale roster swap, could the Heat benefit from a trade, or even an annual series of trades with the savvy Suns?
Look how much the wheeling, dealing Suns improved this year with the strategic addition of Jae Crowder. Why couldn’t Miami do the same next year? Or what if the Heat were to break with tradition and give up draft picks for a veteran player that can help them right now? A package of future draft picks traded to the Suns might be an innovative way to upgrade at point guard.
The Heat could also consider a fresh approach to on-court strategy. Small ball anyone? Zone defense? Those are the kind of surprises that will catch future Heat opponents flat footed.
While the Suns are rising, last year’s champion seems lost. Depth is nice, but today’s NBA is a league built around superstars. Deploy a crunch-time superstar, or go home early. The Lakers apparently didn’t get that memo because if the best player on your squad is LeBron James, you’re not going to make it against a team with any decent star level player on its roster.
I can already feel the momentum surging in Miami, but never forget what the Heat are really famous for; Building around the draft. That’s why I for one, can’t wait to see what Riley has planned for Draft Day this summer. It’s going to be epic.
P.S. I was just kidding about THE CUBE on TNT. It’s probably not even a really really good show.