The Miami Heat are a few roster spots short of going to war in the NBA Eastern Conference. There is no question LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh will be starting, but there will be two more spots left on the floor though. While Zydrunas Ilgauskas will likely start at center, the question is who will take the fifth?
Some people are expecting Mario Chalmers to start at point. They believe he will be walking the ball up the court and sit around the three point stripe waiting for a chance to spot up and let the shots fly. Let’s call this the 2008-09 Orlando Magic model. The Magic let Jameer Nelson take the ball up the court and put it in Hedo Turkoglu hands so he could use his size and vision to get Dwight Howard the ball inside and Rashard Lewis the ball for open looks.
The advantage here is the Heat will have great defense on the perimeter and Wade and James get operate with the ball in their hands as the main initiators on offense without having to fight through full court pressure for 40 minutes a game.
Other people are expecting Wade to move to point, Mike Miller to start at the two, and James to start at the three. Wade and James still get to run the offense, but one of them has to carry the ball up the court. This is not as bad as it seems. There are still two players available to move the ball up the court. Also, Miller is a better outside shooter than Chalmers.
This means the Heat should be able to pour on heaps of points in the first two quarters, have the starters walk their way through the third and give the second round draft picks a whole quarter of garbage time in the fourth quarter. Conversely, this hampers the Heat’s ability to defends since Miller would be covering the two, and his foot speed is somewhat lacking to cover the most athletic position on the court.
I personally would like to see Miller start. I just do not know how other teams would match this offensive onslaught. Wade, James, and Bosh all need to be double covered, so one player will always be open and I would always rather that player be Miller than Chalmers.