Wednesday, August 4, 2010
15 Strong Part 2, when the sequel is better than the original
The original 15 strong had Riley on the bench, but I would trade the fuzzy feeling that I get when I see his slicked hair pacing the sideline for our current roster in a heartbeat. The announcement that Patrick Beverley has received a two year fully guaranteed deal has placed the Heat at the regular season 15 man roster limit. Kenny Hasbrouck and Shavlik Randolph bring the total to 17, but their contracts are not guaranteed. Miami could still add three more as the camp limit is twenty.
However, this article is about the 15 guaranteed deals, because as of today that is your 2010 Miami Heat roster. Walk up a mountain, to the top of a building and just scream from the top of your lungs like you are Chris Bosh at the Three Kings introduction. Riley's vision has come full circle and an amazing team has been assembled. Can it be improved? Will it be improved? Yes and yes. In fact, I expect a new addition or two by the team the playoffs begin, but that is a story for another day. These guys have all earned the right to be at the ground floor at what should be a multiple championship core (not two, not three... you know what I'm getting at).
I would not expect too much action now because the free agent market is pretty bare and only Mario Chalmers can be traded to clear a roster spot between now and December 15th, so let's see where we stand:
C - Anthony - Ilgauskas - Magloire - Pittman
PF - Bosh - Haslem - Howard
SF - James - Miller - Jones
SG - Wade - House
PG - Chalmers - Arroyo - Beverley
Pittman is the most likely to be wearing a suit until he gets into game shape. If he develops quickly it could put Magloire's spot in jeapardy, perhaps opening up a slot for the recovering prospect swingman Da'Sean Butler. Another possibility that might be worthy of opening up a spot for is somebody like Roger Mason and even Tracy McGrady could be intriguing if he is willing to rehab with Tim Grover throughout the season, earning minutes as he goes. That is also a matter for another blog, back to these guys...
The bottom of the roster options on this roster may not be the most exciting for some of us greedy fans, but everybody could play an important role in route to the franchise's second title this coming June. I don't think I am being a homer, because I called the Lakers repeating after they signed Artest. People were going back and forth about breaking the chemistry, his being a headcase, etc. I calmly rejected all arguments and said, we've been here before, this is like when Phil Jackson added Rodman to the Bulls... what do you know, I was right and so was half of the population - don't think I am special because of that pick. Just saying, this is one of those moments, like when the Pistons added Rasheed Wallace. The only difference about this talk about "final pieces" is that ours was LeBron James.
Think about that for a moment. If you follow the chronology our core was Wade and Bosh, and then the next day we added LeBron. In two days, the history of the franchise was forever changed. Miami has just made the leap into the elite franchises of this league and we don't completely understand what has happened yet. The role players have arrived and half the nation (or more) is still in denial. So, go ahead, think about upgrades if you like, but your 15 strong championship squad has already been delivered. Smile.