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Miami Heat and their hired help

5/5/2011

In 2008, the Boston Celtics won the NBA Finals by bringing in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce. By assembling a group of three future Hall of Famers, Boston became a model for this year’s Miami Heat. Both teams were built from the outside: Boston through trades and Miami through free agency.

The Heat, though, are built far more from the outside than the Celtics were and are now. This season’s Heat had 42 percent of its minutes being "homegrown" -- played for the Heat historically. Wade, Joel Anthony and Mario Chalmers are the main contributors who have played significant time for the Heat this year and years past. In terms of wins contributed to the Heat, 44 percent have come from the homegrown sources, with the external sources of Mike Miller, Mike Bibby and Eddie House contributing fairly little.

Past 10 NBA Champions
Homegrown Percentages

In contrast, the 2008 Celtics were homegrown once you look past Allen and Garnett, having 58 percent of their minutes from homegrown players. Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Tony Allen played a lot of minutes and had their entire careers in Boston to that point. This year’s Boston team, with its midseason trade, actually cut its homegrown minutes by its end-of-season roster to 57 percent, less than in 2008 and good for 23rd this season.

These are two "for-hire" teams, but Miami is far more that way right now. In fact, the percentage of wins that come from homegrown sources would be the lowest of the past 10 champions -- if the Heat do win the title.

But Miami doesn’t have the lowest percentage of minutes coming from homegrown sources among the past 10 champions (see chart). The only champion that was lower? The 2006 Heat. These are the players they had who had mostly played elsewhere: Shaquille O'Neal, Gary Payton, James Posey, Jason Williams, Antoine Walker. Wade carried them so that 57 percent of their wins came from internal sources, but they got a lot of minutes from players "for-hire."

Other "hired help" notes:

• Team with the most minutes this season that are homegrown? Oklahoma City Thunder, 85 percent. If the Thunder face the Heat in the Finals, it will be a major contrast in how teams were built.

• Team with the highest percentage of its wins that are homegrown? San Antonio Spurs, 87 percent. (Given that Oklahoma City’s general manager came from the Spurs, it shouldn’t be a surprise that both teams were similarly constructed.)

• Team with the lowest percentage of its wins coming from homegrown sources? New York Knicks, 33 percent. Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Amare Stoudemire and Ronny Turiaf had significant contributions elsewhere before arriving in New York.

• In the West, the remaining team with the most minutes and wins coming from "for-hire" sources? Dallas Mavericks, 43 percent of minutes homegrown and 48 percent of wins. Jason Kidd, Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion and DeShawn Stevenson all having significant time and contributions elsewhere.