Plenty of intriguing options on the Heat
First, Miami stands at .500, with six up and six down. In fact, the Heat have been a bit unlucky. Wednesday night, for instance, they lost in part because the Raptors were 9-of-13 from 3-point range. Second, for the season, the Heat are +3.6 in point differential, which is good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference. (Before the loss to the Raps, they were actually at +4.5, fifth in the whole league.) While it is true they have played one of the league's weakest schedules thus far, they are a team that is still coming together. Their third best player, Michael Beasley, is a rookie; they are starting another rookie, second-round pick Mario Chalmers, at point guard; and their center, Udonis Haslem, is only 6-foot-8 and does not block even a shot per game.
Rather than a roster that doesn't add up, look at the Heat as a place to find what might be untapped value. Shawn Marion owners are probably starting to feel pressure to deal him because he has been largely disappointing in the early going. For those of you who don't own him, now might be a good time to buy low (though the window might be closing after last night's 20-point, 14-rebound showing). Chalmers seems like a disappointment already even though he was drafted in the second round and is currently owned in less than a quarter of fantasy leagues, but he's worth a prospective look because he's the Heat's best option at the point and should improve as the season wears on.
Finally, playing with a superstar isn't easy for players at first. Wade is on the top of his game right now, which means he's pretty close to being the best in the league (except that LeBron James is so good right now that there can be no debate). Trying to play alongside that sort of talent can be daunting at first. I'm encouraged at how Miami has remained in the mix in the early part of the season, and it seems to me that as the players become more comfortable, we could see a ton of fantasy production from them.
Under the Boards
|• Dwyane Wade, Heat: 40 points, 3 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 blocks versus the Raptors.|
• Chris Kaman, Clippers: 25 points on 11-for-13 shooting, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocks at the Thunder.
• Caron Butler, Wizards: 32 points, 4 3-pointers, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals at the Hawks.
|• Tracy McGrady, Rockets: 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting, only 1 rebound and 1 assist versus Dallas.|
• Derrick Rose, Bulls: 1-of-8 shooting from the field, zero rebounds, 1 assist and 3 turnovers at Portland.
• Joe Johnson, Hawks: 7-for-22 shooting, 7 turnovers versus Washington.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.