If it works, don’t try to fix it. Playing small-ball in the NBA Finals worked pretty well for the Miami Heat, who never really relied heavily on whoever has been playing center before the switch, which means LeBron James will continue to play as the team’s power forward while Chris Bosh continues his transition into a full time center.
It’s not just words and saying – you play there, you play here. Bosh is adding six-seven pounds of weight on his 6’11 frame to endure a full season of playing at center. Bosh was listed at 235 pounds (107 kilograms) last season. This is all to benefit from the mismatches on both ends of the floor playing with LeBron James at power forward creates. He seems to have no problem guarding big men, while it’s very problematic for the big guys to step outside on either him or Bosh, as Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins struggled to do in the NBA Finals.
Not just the Thunder are in the minds of the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers will be playing to paint players next season in the starting five – Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, with James spending time guarding the Spaniard in the Olympic games. Trying to make the most of the arrival of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, the Heat will probably play less and less with a “true” center next season, hoping that LeBron James’ new found toughness and inside-prowess will be enough to carry the load alongside Bosh, who usually prefers to stay a bit further away from the basket, although he too showed a new aggressive approach to the game once he returned from his abdomen injury.
Champions should never stay idle in the postseason, and despite showing they might be too good for anyone, even the young and uber talented Thunder last playoffs to go with their added toughness, the Heat were pretty active in the postseason. They brought in two new sharpshooters, one of them of legendary renown. Lewis, while not a $20 million a year kind of player, will add plenty from the bench at 3 or 4. Allen will just have to adjust to the sixth man role, although there’s a good chance he’ll take it better than he did with the Celtics, as there is no Rajon Rondo around him to make him angry.
Until the season begins, just like College Football does, without the graduating players this time, the Miami Heat should be considered as the favorites to win the title. They’ve proven they have what it takes to handle experience, size, speed and talent while experiencing some sort of personal growth and adjustment from their biggest star and head coach. Until proven otherwise by the Lakers and/or Thunder, this is the team to beat.