The Heat hardly a clear championship contender

Last summer when I was on MVN.com, I did a series of posts on various players that I called the “Win Resumes”.  Two of the players who factored in the series were featured prominently in today’s sports headlines — the Miami Heat’s newly minted dynamic duo of  Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.  So I thought it was a good time to dust off each resume to see what the combination might be capable of producing.

Click here for Dwyane Wade

Click here for Chris Bosh

You can supplement Bosh and Wade’s numbers by looking at their respective teams win charts from this season (Here for Wade; Here for Bosh).  You’ll get about the same story if you do, basically.

The bottom line is I don’t know how much  better, if any, Miami is after this summer’s moves, provided LeBron does not join the group.  What I’m trying to say is I hope Miami fans are not measuring a spot for another Golden Ball just yet.  There’s still a lot of roster augmentation they need to do first.

Dwyane Wade is clearly a player capable of superstar production, but they already had him.  He should provide his usual “somewhere between Kobe and LeBron” win production, provided his breakneck style  doesn’t get him hurt.  When he’s hurt, as his numbers show, he’s ineffective. But he’s a pretty reliable double digit win producer.

Bosh, on the other hand, has never shown that he’s anything more than a really good player.  He doesn’t produce mega wins like Dwight Howard or a healthy Kevin Garnett, or even an inspired Carlos Boozer.  He has never even flirted with the magical 1.000% winning percentage that is the mark of an elite player.  Bosh is just a very good win producer, but then again so was Udonis Haslem.  They just produce in different ways.

And Bosh certainly doesn’t improve Miami’s defense to championship level.  He didn’t play on a single above average defensive team.  So there won’t be the kind of synergistic effect you got when Kevin Garnett joined the Boston Celtics.

At the moment, with the four men currently on the roster, the Heat can expect to receive about 30 wins, give or take, with 39 “player games” used.  That leaves 43 player games to fill, and about 25 more wins they need to add if the Heat are to going to get to the magic “55 wins” that is the historic minimum you need if you expect to be a serious championship contender.

So simple math tells you the team still has to hire additional players who are above replacement level.  They need talent capable of producing a cumulative winning percentage of  .581%.  But in order to sign Bosh they’ve now left themselves with an awfully tight budget with which to do so.  (Or maybe not, I have absolutely no understanding of the NBA’s “Alice in Wonderland” collective bargaining regime).

So I don’t know if the Heat should be popping any champagne corks just yet.  In fact, I don’t even think they are the most improved team among today’s movers.   I think that would be the Chicago Bulls (provided Boozer doesn’t flake out).  The Bulls are borderline championship material at this moment (and not because of Derrick Rose).  And they are one nauseatingly self indulgent superstar away from having a monster, monster lineup.

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3 Responses to “The Heat hardly a clear championship contender”

  1. palamida Says:

    All the reports say “our” gut was wrong: LBJ is in fact headed to Miami.
    Funny how they all denied meeting (prior to July 1st) and discussing their future plans. I guess the reports of those “summits” were true as well.
    Wade, Bosh, Lbj, Chalmers, possibly Haslem. That’s a contender all right :p
    That off course is only 5 guys. Beasley is the only other guy they have under contract and obv, not for long.
    A question: Couldn’t the Heat simply get rid of Beasley’s contract which would mean they would have under 1m (Chalmers) as the only player under contract. Then they would sign Bosh+LBJ and FA (veterans, bench, etc.) and only then when they have used the entire cap (about 58m) on all of the above, resign Wade and Haslem using their Bird rights?
    they would have a salary roll of 58m+20m (wade)+ 6-8 (Haslem).
    Well above the luxury but I’d bet the ownership would sign off on that.
    Is that possible, or am I completely misunderstanding something here?

  2. brgulker Says:

    here’s still a lot of roster augmentation they need to do first.

    I’m not a huge Pat Riley fan, but something tells me that he knows they’ve got more personnel work to do before they’re ready to make any real noise. It probably takes 1-2 years, though.

    • tywill33 Says:

      I’m not comfortable with the whole pseudo collusion aspect of these signings, although I guess its their right. It feels rigged though.

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