Chat about the Miami Heat
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, we will dip into the world of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami Heat, as our gang from the "Heat Index" stop by to chat.
Brian Windhorst, Mike Wallace, Tom Haberstroh and Kevin Arnovitz all contribute to ESPN.com's home for everything Miami Heat. The Heat Index is a part of the TrueHoop blog network.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Tom Haberstroh (3:02 PM)
Greetings, folks. Just got back from today's practice. Lots of stuff to go through after the Heat wrapped up their 11-game "gauntlet" stretch. What's on your mind? Let's get right to it...
David Raleigh,NC [via mobile]
Why isnt bosh getting the ball more in the paint? we know you got outside shooters and slashers. lets see bosh get more chances to post people up. thanks GO HEAT
Tom Haberstroh (3:05 PM)
It was a legitimate gripe in the game's leading up to Portland but now his teammates (LeBron especially) are looking for him there on the block. But Bosh was smart to point the finger back at himself in his post-game venting. He can't blame popping after a pick-and-roll on anyone but himself. Now he's orienting himself more on the block and it's paying off.
Why do they not start Bibby when he is the more experienced player?
Tom Haberstroh (3:06 PM)
He will be starting on Wednesday in Detroit. Hit up Heat Index for my story on Bibby today. If you ask me, I don't think Mario gets his job back even if he's healthy.
Eric (Cedar Rapids)
Since I get the sense Rose isn't your MVP, how do you define the award: best player, most valuable to team's success, best player on best team?
Tom Haberstroh (3:09 PM)
It's a good question. I may be in the minority on this but to me, the best player is also the most valuable player in the game. I had a GM tell me earlier this season when Derrick Rose was playing his best ball that LeBron James is the MVP every year as long as he's in the league. For me, the test is whether you'd rather have LeBron James this season or Derrick Rose this season. There's your answer.
Brandon (Raleigh, North Carolina)
If the Heat continue to build a stronger home court advantage in these last 5 home games (we all know how bad the home crowd has been for them, arriving late and sometimes not cheering if the heat are down by 10 or more.), is it realistic to think they have a real shot at winning a championship this year if they already own the 4th best road record? Also amidst all the hoopla they still have the best Point Differential at +7.1 which everyone on here says is the best predictor for playoff success.
Tom Haberstroh (3:10 PM)
Of ALL the indicators for playoff success, the one that holds the most power is point differential. Not road record, not record against .500 teams, not home record. Yes, the Heat have a shot and a very good one, but I don't consider them the favorites.
Hey Tom! Who is your favorit player to talk to and interview from the Miami Heat and why?
Tom Haberstroh (3:12 PM)
James Jones. He's articulate, insightful and an intellectual. Like him, I have a background in finance so we have a lot to talk about outside of basketball. This is my first year on the ground so having him so open and well-spoken has been a real pleasure. For the best quote though? Eddie House. Funny dude.
So, winning 5 of 6 took some heat off Spo, and losing Chalmers now is a blessing in disguise, to get Bibby some much needed time, but will they be able to catch Chicago and Boston?
Tom Haberstroh (3:14 PM)
John Hollinger says the Heat have a 5 percent chance at the No. 1 spot. I think that's about right. The schedule eases up but the Bulls have a pretty easy slate as well. (The link to Hollinger for those wondering: http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/playoffodds)
Wade has made a few 3's in recent games. Isn't that the worst thing that can happen? With the options they have he should only shoot them in desperation. But he tends to shoot them in what he feels are "swing" moments, when a solid possession would be more effective.
Tom Haberstroh (3:16 PM)
LeBron isn't the only one guilty of the heat check. I've asked Spoelstra about the ill-advised 3s that LeBron and Wade sometimes take and he said they are "rhythm shooters" so you let those go. I think that's just a nicer way of saying, "I'm not going to tell them when not to shoot." And I think there's something to that, actually.
Do you think that the heat will be better off with bibby running the point? Chalmers is definitely prone to some bonehead plays but he is quick and plays hard on defense. I am excited to have an experienced pure point guard starting now but I am pretty nervous with his inability to guard anyone with speed.
Tom Haberstroh (3:18 PM)
Yes, the Heat will be better off. Remember, during playoff time, the Heat will use LeBron and Dwyane Wade on Rondo and Rose when they need stops and it's never just a one-on-one effort in this league. Actually, with the way Rondo's playing lately, even Bibby can shut him down.
Abhishek DV (Bangalore, India)
Sample-size-wise, how concerning is the Heat's 0-6 record vs. the Bulls/Celts, considering the fact that the road to the finals probably goes through both those teams? And probably on the road, at that.
Tom Haberstroh (3:21 PM)
I look at scoring margin rather than record since that has been a better fortune-teller historically. Average loss of 4.3 points and anecdotally they were in every single game down to the wire. Heat can't be happy with the losses but they can't be devastated either. They're all so close.
Assuming Nene is a pipe dream. Are there any available bigs who can score with thier back to the basket who would come at the mid-level (if there is one)? Dalembert isn't much to get excited about.
Tom Haberstroh (3:24 PM)
Marc Gasol comes to mind but even he will be out of the Heat's likely price range. The rub: everyone wants a 7-footer with a scoring game. Heat will have to hope someone eats money a la Big 3, Haslem and Bibby. There's a precedent there at least.
Tom, doesn't your/Arnovitz's ritual of posting the 5 things to watch before every Heat game clash with your theory of Arbitrary Endpoints? What if there are six things to watch? ;)
Tom Haberstroh (3:25 PM)
Ha! What if there's only four?
With the Knicks 7-8 with the Melo experiment, Why isn't he getting the backlash that my lover/baby daddy LBJ got? Just so unfair!!
Tom Haberstroh (3:28 PM)
1) Carmelo isn't from Denver; 2) He didn't have a TV special; 3) Melo isn't as good as LeBron. 4)No midseason pyrotechnics at MSG.
are the celtics and maybe the rockets the only teams that can prevent the heat from going undefeated the rest of the way?
Tom Haberstroh (3:30 PM)
Don't sleep on Philadelphia. Legitimately good team. Better than New York.
Noor (Northamptonshire, England)
Hi Tom. Most of the the talk about the Heat in free agency has been about them using their mid-level exception on a Centre. What are the possibilities for an upgrade at Point Guard? Is there anyone available or would the Heat consider using the mid-level on a PG if the right player is around?
Tom Haberstroh (3:32 PM)
From what I'm hearing, the center position is the priority. As Mike Wallace just pointed out on Twitter, don't be surprised if the Heat resign Bibby if he does well down the stretch.
Tom, I hate to say it, but the time has come to put Mike Miller to sleep. Every time I glance at a box score, his plus/minus is appalling. Minus 20 vs Denver? Frightening...a cool $30M down the toilet.
Tom Haberstroh (3:36 PM)
They won't put Miller down so to speak since there's still too much upside there. Here's what is amazing about Miller: he's shooting 38 percent from 3. The expectations are sky-high apparently. I doubt Miller will make his money's worth this season but that's due to health more than anything. The guy is 70 percent right now.
For me, Tyson Chandler is the dream center for this Heat, is that even possible? also, Dalembert just put 27 - 15 yesterday
Tom Haberstroh (3:37 PM)
I'm with you on Tyson Chandler but the Mavericks will probably throw him Joe Johnson money. Dalembert should be a Heat target. But again, Heat won't be able to make the top offer for a lot of these guys. Can they persuade them to eat the cash?
Whose team is this, Wade's or LBJ's? The heat fans seem to hate LeBron.
Tom Haberstroh (3:39 PM)
I've never understood this fetish about whose team it is. What does that even mean?
Hi tom, the present Heat team is really good. But, what do they need now to build a dynasty?
Tom Haberstroh (3:40 PM)
Rebounding center with an ounce of a scoring game. Health. Luck (probably most importantly).
I actually disagree about Mike Miller, he hasn't shot the ball well, but he does a lot of things that don't show up on the boxscore, plus he's a good rebounder
Tom Haberstroh (3:42 PM)
If it doesn't show up in the box score, it better show up on the scoreboard. Heat are 12.8 points worse per 100 possessions with him on the floor. That's off the charts bad.
Reece (South Carolina)
Tom, what do you think the Heats problems are against +500 teams?
Tom Haberstroh (3:43 PM)
Kevin (Iowa City, IA)
Greg Oden--is the juice worth the squeeze? The potential reward is incredibly high, but there's obvious risk.
Tom Haberstroh (3:44 PM)
Yes. Heat would be ecstatic if the Blazers don't hold onto him. I doubt he gets to the market though.
Do you think Chris bosh and Howard's comments that Rose deserves the MVP more than Lebron might have influenced the 5 game loss recently? Maybe I am the only one who thinks about that
Tom Haberstroh (3:45 PM)
When will Dexter Pittman be back? In time to get some garbage minutes against one of the heat's easier stretches?
Tom Haberstroh (3:48 PM)
I don't think he'll be with the team this year even if he's healthy. He's been on the Heat's 2011-12 radar and I don't suspect that will change. For a guy who had a lot of questions about work ethic, I love his upside and commitment to shedding the pounds. Bodes well for his future.
Tom, pick and rolls are the best plays for wade and lebron percentage wise. Why not use that weapon more often???
Tom Haberstroh (3:50 PM)
I think you'll see a lot more of them with Bosh now that he's rolling to the rim more. The effectiveness skyrockets if Bosh is aggressive rather than finessing a 20 footer.
Who should the heat go to in the clutch Lebron or Wade?
Tom Haberstroh (3:51 PM)
Whoever has the better matchup. This isn't a permanently binary question.
Azzy (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Tom, just saw the Bibby's quote when he said: "I really don't like how open they are to tell you the truth." talking about his shots, what does that mean!!?
Tom Haberstroh (3:53 PM)
I have some thoughts on this and will try to post them later. Really interesting that he'd say that because at the MIT Sloan Analytics conference a couple weeks back, a study suggested that there IS value to shooting right away rather than waiting a moment to set yourself (which wide-open players tend to do). Speaking for myself as a basketball player, my muscle memory goes out the window when I have no one around me and I "think" through my shot more. I think that's what Bibby is saying here. He gets mentally preoccupied.
LUIS CLEGHORN (HABANA, CUBA)
DO YOU THINK THE HEAT WILL USE MIKE BIBBY AS THE POINT GUARD STARTER? I THINK HE IS MUCH BETTER THAN CHALMERS.
Tom Haberstroh (3:54 PM)
YES. ON WEDNESDAY.
Why has James Jones (3-pt champion) not been getting much playing time and hasnt been considered for a late game must hit three?
Tom Haberstroh (3:56 PM)
People don't realize how the Bibby acquisition has hurt him. Jones came in to surround Heat with a 3-point threat in small-ball lineups and next to Carlos Arroyo. But Bibby's as good of a 3-point shooter as Jones and brings other skills to the table. I think the Heat are playing Mike Miller out of desperation at this point, trying to squeeze some returns on that contract this season.
Josh Pierce (Dallas)
Hi Tom, Since we agree that Miller has upside, is there any trade value in him this offseason to make cap room for a productive center?
Tom Haberstroh (3:58 PM)
They were flaunting him hard at the trading deadline and I don't see why they wouldn't do that again this summer. I think Chris Kaman makes sense but it would be tough to make the money work.
do you think heat are going to make some move with cb4 this summer if they won't win this championship?if yes who are they going to trade for?
Tom Haberstroh (4:00 PM)
Heat have to cross about 13 bridges before that one. Let's hold off on the speculation.
Who should Miami fear more--Bulls or Celtics? I'm still having a hard time buying that Chicago's below-average offense won't hurt them in the playoffs.
Tom Haberstroh (4:03 PM)
Celtics by the narrowest margin. It may come down to in-series adjustments and with a first year coach vs. one with a ring, I think Celtics have the leg up.
I think a very understated part of James Jones' season has been his effect on the Heat's team defense. Compared to the other shooters, his numbers are very strong.
Tom Haberstroh (4:05 PM)
I'm with you. Jones is much faster to close outs and far more skilled as a charge-drawer. Spoelstra praises Miller's effort on the defensive end but coaches tend to say that when the quality isn't there.
Tom Haberstroh (4:06 PM)
And with that, I have to run. Thanks for the great questions, everyone! Until next time...