The Big Three may have not have been able to deliver in the NBA Finals last season, but perhaps the Big Five can. Coach Erik Spoelsrta has put this lineup – one with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in the backcourt and Mike Miller, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem in the front court – on the floor in the fourth quarter and the quintet has responded by closing out the Philadelphia 76er and the Toronto Raptors.
Against the 76ers, who have the fourth-best record in the NBA, the Heat ran with these five and went on a 15-0 run to take the lead back up to 20, after Philly had whittled it down to 5 points. I certainly would not want to have to devise a defensive strategy to diminish this lineup’s effectiveness. LeBron is a new breed of point forward and he can create on the perimeter along with Wade. Together these two average 12.1 assists and score 50.3 points. Though it may be a bit early to deem this a success, I can understand why this appeals to both King James and D-Wade.
Both players prefer the perimeter. In Wade’s case, that is acceptable. He may play like a Spartan warrior, but he is the size of a guard. LeBron has the bulk of a middle linebacker, so almost every one with any understanding of the game of basketball wants him to post up, given his peculiar athleticism. By assigning James the point guard role, he does not have to answer those critics and gets to play where he is comfortable.
Yes, this may stunt his growth as a superstar (yes, I am suggesting he can get even better). However, he will eventually make the move toward the post, just as Dirk Nowitzki did. In the meantime, until a head coach emerges who can command his respect, it is useless to try and force that kind of maturity.
There are three other basketball players on the court when Wade and James reside in the backcourt. Miller’s hand is finally healed and he is once again a deep threat. Bosh demonstrated just how good he can be in the last year’s playoffs. Haslem has the Robert Horry/Derek Fisher gene, meaning he hits big shots and is generally in the right place at the right time. Before these five can be declared undefeatable it remains seen if the superstar backcourt can handle a dominant point guard, the kind that is supposed to be evolving quickly and taking over the league. Find Miami Heat tickets to see just how effective these five can be. The Heat have John Wall and Brandon Jennings on the upcoming schedule to put this five to the test.