Heat Won’t Stand Pat In Quest To Repeat

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The Miami Heat are the NBA champs and with all their key players coming back (apologies to Ronny Turiaf), they’re the clear favorite to repeat.

That doesn’t mean the Heat could just stand pat this summer. As Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes, Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra remember the 2006-07 season, when complacency doomed the team’s bid to win a second straight title.

The first time the Heat defended a championship, in 2006, that defense began with players reporting to training camp out of shape and ended with the Heat being swept out of the first round of the 2007 playoffs, to go three consecutive seasons without winning a playoff series.

“This year has been different than it was in 2006, when we won that title,” Spoelstra said of what has been a six-week whirlwind since finishing off the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals. “It seemed as if that celebration lasted all the way up ’til training camp.”

Spoelstra recounted how the Heat this offseason have gone from their championship celebration to the NBA Draft to the free-agency period that so far has netted the team Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to summer league in Las Vegas and now to this tour alongside video coordinator Dan Craig.

“If we learned one thing from the 2006 title, it was that you need to continue to reinvent yourself and improve as a basketball team,” Spoelstra said. “That year we brought the exact the same team back, we thought it would be the same path and same journey. It never is.”

Adding Allen and Lewis is a nice way to restock the cupboard. But it also pushed the Heat further toward a completely positionless roster. Imagine a lineup of Allen, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Shane Battier and Chris Bosh out on the floor together next season. Who’s playing what position there?

But that’s the way the Heat — and to some extent, the rest of the league — is going.

“The more we played positionless, the better we were,” Spoelstra told ESPN last month. “The more we tried to play conventional and force that type of game, it wasn’t a good formula for us.”

For Spoelstra, the key was Battier. As evidence, the Heat outscored their opponents by almost 12 points per 100 possessions when Battier and James were on the floor together in the postseason. And Miami’s most-used lineup in the playoffs was Mario Chalmers, Wade, James, Battier and Bosh, with James playing power forward defensively and often playing point guard offensively.

Next season, Spoelstra will have even more flexibility. And if the Heat don’t win a championship, it won’t be because they stood pat.

47 Comments

  1. Kingdom says:

    THe heat are now the most versatile and deadly team in the league
    they have an extremely deep roster and they dont need a bigman
    they have joel and pittman for defense , they dont need offensive big man cuz thats not their play style
    HEAT NATION AND LEBRON JAMES WILL REPEAT
    LEBRON WILL WIN HIS 4th MVP AND 2nd FINALS MVP

  2. All You HEAT HATERS sound pathethic! Ray ALLEN will make Miami Heat unbeatable. Who are you going to double team? who are you going to leave wide open. I hope no Lebron, Wade, Allen, or 100% MID RANGE SHOOTER in Chris Bosh or even knock down 3 baller rashad lewis

  3. lets go says:

    lakers gotta gget past thunder first

  4. sasasasas says:

    Its Gonna be James,Allen,Wade,Lewis and Bosh durinG cruncH time

  5. BIgnate says:

    I think the argument about having a big man who can score in the low post is vastly over rated. If we look at the two last nba finals you realize that none of the teams had a low post big man. Dallas had no low post threat other than dirk but he is more of a high post/pick n pop/shooter type bigman as well as bosh. The thunder had perkins (no post game) n Ibaka who was mostly their for defense and mid range jumper. All those teams made it to the finals with out a true low post scorer so I feel a low post bigman is a nice addition but you can live without. I mean think about today’s game is not a low post type of game like back in the day. Today’s game is about pick n roll/pick n pop with bigman who can spread the floor and move their defenders away from the paint allowing the guards more room to drive n operate. So the heat will be fine and if they every need post scoring they can always look to bron bron.

  6. lakers all the way says:

    it won’t be a repeat this cuz lakers have a master point guard who can make any center or forward look like an all-star

    • simply_me says:

      if well see Heat v.s Lakers in the finals.positionless will become a problem for the heat since lakers are a lot different than OKC.they have two 7 footers who roam the paint offensively and with the addition of Nash easy buckets will always be there. so goodluck heat fans and can’t wait to see the match up this coming season

  7. Tony from Sydney says:

    if Lakers vs Heat in the final, i’d like to see the laker punish the heat for playing positonless, i am OKC fan btw

  8. trade1 says:

    The heat need a real big man, period!!!

    All the shooting, drive n dish is nice, but in the long run, life could be a lot easier if two things happen..
    Bosch takes his talents into the paint or they get a big man that can score in the paint… why work so hard on offense everytime down the court from a drive n kick, when you can take a few possessions off with drop inside and score.. plus defensively a BIG will come in handy.. then I would proclaim them repeats.. otherwise, hold on tight, cause there’s 5 teams that can win the nba title…. can’t wait to see it all unfold…

    allen and lewis = lebron/wade on the bench getting rest, which could be scary come playoff time with fresh legs, thats the most important part about acquiring these two, lebron/wade/bosch could play less than 35 min a game all year now…

  9. Shepdogg25 says:

    Both Ray and Rashard are great pick ups and it will be a reunion for them(seattle supersonics). They will be a positionless team, BUT they could use a talented big man. They missed out on Camby, but Jermaine Oneal, Joel Pryzbilla, and Birdman r still out there. Im sure they’d take less to win a ring.

  10. W/E says:

    its obvious that the heat have no competition in the east, it would be a big suprise not to see them in the NBA finals for another consecutive year

    • are Human cause I believe Heat have few NYC cause depth! Detroit cause of the Twin towers Drummond and Greg! Nets now one of best offensive teams! Boston got SIZE! Bulls still a good team with rose or not! Wiz will not be surpised if Heat and Wiz go 2-2 in the division! and RAPS We are still mad about Bosh and WE awesome If andrea bargnani is health and we have size

  11. HeatfanINny says:

    After seeing whos leading the USA team in the olympics……. Heat will more likely be in the finals next season, its just a matter of who will they play from the west. If you dont think this is true youre not being realistic. I think Lebrons ring counting just started. and we will see a four-peat.

  12. Berries says:

    Can’t wait for that game. Lets see if rondo will give a handshake to ray

  13. SensibleScot says:

    Lewis and Allen give so many more lineup options.

    (Offense) Wade, Allen, James, Lewis, Bosh
    (‘Bench’) Chalmers, Allen, Battier, Lewis, Bosh
    (Speed) Chalmers, Wade, Allen, James, Anthony
    (Tall) James, Battier, Lewis, Bosh, Haslem

    I really think Lewis will have a great season with the amount of space he’ll get. He’ll help Bosh too.

  14. kicka$$ says:

    Heat will cruise its way in the east, not much threat there.. unlike in the west were teams have beefed up you have the LAL, OKC SAS, LAC, DAL or even MIN & MEM all are can be title contnders

  15. pbaphilly says:

    I think either way the heat is still the team to beat next season,Of course the Ray Allen addition makes the heat a more dangerous team inside & out,Bcuz both James & Wade can drive in the paint anytime they like,they dont really need to shoot more jumpshots now,just drive & kick to their shooters then…BANG!!! another repeat…MIAMI!!!

  16. Cons23 says:

    First game is against the Celtics. Let’s see what happens. Exciting is an understatement!… Go BOSTON!!! Let’s make Ray wish he never left.

  17. Fefe (Nets) says:

    To all guys criticizing Spoelstra… he proved you wrong, especially some Heat fans who, when their team lost, directly jump into criticizing him saying he is bad. Now you are happy and saying he is a good coach. He was even if they lost last year.

    Anyway Heat are favorite to be in the NBA Finals again, but nothing is done in advance. (Recent) history proved that being too sure is key for defeat.

  18. Rhedz says:

    This would be my line up if i was spoe…

    1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th

    Hamilton / Anthony / Pittman / Hamilton
    Bosh / Lewis / Bosh / james
    James / battie / lewis /battie
    Allen / miller / james / wade
    Wade / Chalmers / cole / harris

    1st = Balance of height and shooters / Key players: James, Allen, Wade
    2nd = Shooters / Key Players: battie, Lewis, Miller
    3rd = going big / Key players: James, Chalmers, Lewi
    4th = For the kill / Key Players: All Except Hamilton

    • dattebayo says:

      The Heat have only 2 spots open for Harris, Hamilton, Howard and Curry or any other free agent out there. What makes you think they will pick up Hamilton and Harris and that Hamilton will be a regular part of the Heats lineup?

  19. hmm.. says:

    I think these free-agency pick-ups look great on paper but in reality…
    Ray had a decent regular season but in the playoffs he was poor, shooting 30% from 3 and 70% from FT. (from a guy who averages 40% and 90% over his career). I know he was as banged up as anyone in the league, but at his age will the recovery be smooth? im unsure. Example A: Mike Miller, great player but unable to repeat his performances with memphis after he took his talents to south beach. And rashard was simply poor last season shooting less the 25% from deep. And yet again miami get older.
    Great player with great careers but will they be able to contribute well this upcoming season.. i can’t say

  20. Benson says:

    What about Yi JianlIan, he could be a big help for the heat as a sub to Chris Bosh

  21. @Barchieram u a moron, Indy got no chance against two headed NYC teams or chi-twon or old Boston. So what makes u think they got chance again miami? Miami will rule next season if they stay healthy n I think wade n James will play a lot less minutes having ray n Lewis who can play around twenty minutes. I think Miami will play wade, James, bosh less minutes to keep them fresh for playoff. Miami is the booosssss believe it.
    Gaaaaah!

    • uoykcuf says:

      Indy might not be able to get around heat but I am pretty sure they can get through chi-wonton. Rose is out for 9 months? Deng is having surgery after Olympics and their bench all gone and ADHD Nate is there now? As for boston, sad to say this but they are done. Indy might have a tough series but they are going to win.

  22. Lakers-R-Us says:

    Ray Allen will help the Heat! will spread the floor with his shooting! Still don’t know why he left Boston but he will definitely help the Heat!

    • Mike_Kelly7 says:

      He left because he wasn’t happy about not getting his starting position back after his injury and the overall way he treated. He also didn’t get along with Rondo.

  23. Markymark says:

    @benny: sorry man, but most of your comments about Ray Allen were just cuckoo.

    1. ray allen is a mistake! he makes their offense rather stagnant… — Ray is among the best off the ball offensive players of all time. I’d put him second to only Reggie Miller. How could his style of play make Heat’s offense stagnant? C’MON.

    2. ..although chalmers isn’t quite the shooter ray is he can create a shot…and defense!!! and i will restate once again DEFENSE!!! everyone on the starting roster has good to great defense…

    — Ray might have lost some of his speed and vertical ability, but he, definitely can still create shots for himself, if he wanted to. And let me point this out — Ray doesn’t need to create shots for himself. He just needs to be a great off the ball offensive player and find his spots on the floor and be ready to catch and shoot when LBJ or DWADE facilitates. I doubt if Miami hired him to create shots. Let’s be sensible.

    — ON DEFENSE. Ray has the experience and defensive IQ to be able to defend the elite 2s and smaller 3s in the league. I doubt if you’d question if I’d say he could still go at it with guys like Mamba and the Truth.

    3. including their bench players, ray will be a liability for the style (positionless??) of the heat. — Ray is, hands down, an upgrade over Shane, Jones, and Mike. I doubt if he would have a problem with the position-less style of the Heat.

  24. LeBrondo Kings of Miami. says:

    Well LeBrondo dint hapn, but LeBray (?) is good enuff. 2012-13 is gunna b epic

  25. dattebayo says:

    The Heat still need to pick up a big Center. If Bosh injures himself again, they have no other big man on the roster and they can’t always win by playing small. Haslem and Anthony are solid defenders but they don’t have enough size or length against Hibbert, Howard, Bynum, Gasol and all the other 7 footers in the league, they will also have problems with guys like David West or Nikolas Pekovic. The Knicks, Lakers, Utah, Grizzlies and other Big teams will be tough challenges even with Bosh, let alone without him. I hope Curry worked his behind off and got more into shape so they can resign him and actually use him.

    Picking up Lewis and Allen was great, especially since Jones and Miller are still undecided about retiring, but the Heat should use 1 of their 2 open roster spots for a Center. I am not sure what kind of Centers are still out there. Kaman, Camby, McGee are already signed, Birdman shouldn’t be an option, that probably only leaves Curry and Pittman…

  26. OKC FAN says:

    the HEAT are done………..no more……………no joke…………

  27. Lakers-R-Us says:

    The Heat are really good! And without a good big in the middle! Credit Lebron James! One heck of a player! I’m a Laker fan but I give credit where it is due!

  28. Izzy says:

    This season is going to be crazy!!!!!

  29. Barchieram says:

    I have to say that the biggest threat to the Heat in the East has to be Indiana because of their ability to pound it into the block. Unlike last year, if this year, they continue to involve Roy Hibbery and David West, then they have the chance to beat the Heat, especially with Chris Bosh and possibly Shane Battier/LeBron James playing defense on the down low positions, or even Joel Anthony.

  30. thespectator says:

    this is going to be a great nba season, no shortages in games, players (for the most part) coming back healthy and ready to go, not to mention a lot of new faces on new teams. Should be an excellent season coming up

  31. theking0522 says:

    This team is soooo much better than the previous two years. This is a deeper team and a better team. Now we have one of the best benches in the league. We won’t have to hear the critics talk about how weak Miami’s bench is anymore. Norris Cole is going to be better this year and he proved he is not afraid of the moment, like he proved it in the playoffs. Bosh will be healthy and remember that guy called Wade? Wade got his knee surgery (the same procedure Kobe went through) and he is going to be better than last season. This team is better in every aspect of the game. Get ready for another parade!!!!

  32. benny says:

    i luv ray allen but ray allen is a mistake! he makes their offense rather stagnant…..although chalmers isn’t quite the shooter ray is he can create a shot…and defense!!! the shooting skills of battier, chalmers and jones is all is needed to nullify any need for ray. and i will restate once again DEFENSE!!! everyone on the starting roster has good to great defense…including their bench players, ray will be a liability for the style (positionless??) of the heat.

    i dare anyone to say other.

    • dattebayo says:

      Ray Allen is not a defensive liability, thats BS. Clearly he is older and not All NBA Defense, but it’s not like they expect him to be that. All he will need to do is stand behind the 3 point line and constantly space the floor, the same he did for Boston for 5 years. He will get enough looks to matter and he will be able to play off Wade and Lebron, which shouldn’t be a new role for him.

      The only problem is, this might kill Chalmers in some ways, because Ray will get more minutes and there is still a Norris Cole on the bench. Or maybe Wade and Bosh will play less minutes so Lewis and Allen can play. Who knows what Spoelstra will think of, maybe we will even see Wade, Allen, James, Battier and Lewis out there together at times…

    • forgetting someone says:

      i will dare to say other (pretty sure you forgot the word wise).

      The Heat are a driving team with great kick out ability to open 3 point shooters.. who better then the best 3 point shooter ever? the fact that you think mario and jones nulify a need for ray brings question to your bball knowledge.. Defensively Ray has played for a top 5 defense for 5 strait years and has covered and won titles with boston where he guarded the likes of kobe, joe johnson, manu, wade, and every other 2 guard on a nightly basis.. he is old now and shouldnt be expected to be as effective but hes got a lesser load with the heat then he had with boston.. Having Ray Allen as ur 4th or 5th option is no where close to a mistake.. if anything replace ray in ur comment with rashard lewis

      • JesseO3 says:

        Amen@forgetting someone!

        Ray is a GREAT addition to the Heat.

        And benny obviously knows little to nothing.

  33. Broderick says:

    Neither Bosh nor Battier defend the block well. Offensively great but if someone slows it down and plays tough in the paint it’s a problem

  34. GetWellSoon D.Rose says:

    smh….Lakers vs Heat in NBA Finals….Heat are mos certainly going to repeat this year….

  35. Bob M says:

    I wouldn’t exactly say “position less” about the Heat. Ray Allen isn’t going to get you 10 boards a night and Dexter Pittman isn’t a top notch pick and pop player. What the Heat have is a bunch of versatile players that can play inside/out or outside/in. They can press hard and attack or shoot 3’s in a half court set. The only Achilles’s heel is polished half court game. That will come in handy when they have to turn down the tempo and get other people involve besides Lebron and D Wade. However, it’s a small Achilles’s and the Heat should be just fine.