With Udonis Haslem down, Pat Riley has some holes in his roster. What should he do?
David Aldridge: Don’t panic. The worst thing he could do is make a reflexive trade or coaching change. It wouldn’t hurt, though, if Miami played faster.
Steve Aschburner: It’s kind of lame for Miami to be wringing its hands now over the loss of Udonis Haslem. Sure, he’s a tough, “glue” sort of player that good teams covet. But this was supposed to be a team about stars. If Chris Bosh really was as good as his great free-agent adventure had many folks believing, Haslem might not even have been re-signed (Bosh is supposed to be a 20-10 big man, right?). If LeBron James supposedly is capable of playing four or even five positions, then using his legit power-forward size to fill in for Haslem shouldn’t be an issue. Good luck to them, by the way, with the Erick Dampier signing. Big body, old legs, six trips to playoffs (three beyond first round) in 14 NBA seasons.
Fran Blinebury: Just like Commissioner Gordon, he flips the switch, turns on the Bat Signal and waits for Erick Dampier to drive up the Batmobile. Really, there aren’t many options. Do you like Shavlik Randolph better? The Heat are really in a bind since the only players on their roster who are eligible to trade right now are Mario Chalmers and Dexter Pittman. Maybe the best option is to trust Udonis Haslem‘s fate to a faith healer. Is it too early to start thinking about next season?
Art Garcia: Off the top of my head, I count three pretty valuable trade assets. Imagine the holes that could be plugged by dangling oh, say …. never mind. Wouldn’t be surprised if Riles steps back into the coaching box while making some additional minor moves in the short term, like the Erick Dampier signing. Or maybe Pat, tired of not having any fun right now, retires and moves to South Florida.
Scott Howard-Cooper: He’s made the move he can make – Erick Dampier. The Heat have limited trade chips and limited spending options, so it’s not like Riley had many places to turn. And they are fortunate to be able to make this turn. Dampier was the best of the free-agent centers, and he was close to being off the market a while ago.
Shaun Powell: Signing Erick Dampier is all you need to know about the state of the Heat’s inside game. Or he can ask Ilgauskas and Bosh to do stuff that’s not in their nature (get traffic rebounds and flex some muscle). Dusting off Juwan Howard and/or Jamaal Magloire is a reach, as well. Face it: Miami needed Haslem a lot more than anyone thought.
John Schuhmann: He gets Erick Dampier, who will give the Heat a little more of an inside presence, but who isn’t going to change things much. It’s not like they can run their offense through him. You just have to hope that Dampier can help on the boards. Either way, the Heat need LeBron James or Chris Bosh to get under the basket and do some of the dirty work. And they simply need to defend better.
Sekou Smith: Pray for a speedier than normal recovery for Haslem and sign whatever big body (Erick Dampier works for now) he can to try and ride out this storm until the Heat can get healthy. With all the chatter about him taking over for Erik Spoelstra, that’s the one thing I’m convinced he should not do. The Heat have much more pressing issues than who is coaching the team. Riley needs to find a floor director for his stars and he needs to do it now. If he doesn’t want to turn those duties over to Dwyane Wade, he has to find someone else to handle that role. Because the way they’ve operated up until is obviously not working.