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!
On paper, Wade, LeBron and Bosh have a pretty decent supporting cast with Bibby, Mike Miller, Haslem, Anthony and even Ilgauskas, but the injuries to three of those five obviously hurt. How different are things with the same role players HEALTHY?
Michael Wallace (3:12 PM)
That's a question we really won't be able to answer this season. Even though Haslem and Miller are both available to play now, their injuries have changed the complexion of this team and season. Miami is good enough to get this far without them. But can they take the next step to winning a title if Haslem and Miller aren't physically right?
Do the Heat have the half court offense capable of cracking the Bulls defense? Or will they instead try harder to force their run game on Chicago?
Michael Wallace (3:13 PM)
I can't see the Heat executing the way they'll need to in order to be successful simply by trying to crack the Bulls defense. Miami is at its best when the tempo is faster, when they force steals and convert in the open court. We saw that in the first two possessions of Game 1 against the Bulls. And then everything changed.
If the Heat decide to play their bigs more in game 2, will that help or hurt them more in the long run?
Michael Wallace (3:15 PM)
It can't hurt any more than what happened in Game 1 when the Heat went small. Spoelstra is open-minded and isn't afraid to make adjustments. But it's not like Big Z or Dampier is going to provide any real answers to the problems the Bulls present. Chicago is young, long, athletic and relentless down low. I'm not sure if Miami is any of those things at the center spot, being a few bright moments from Joel.
do you guys think increased minutes for haslem will make a difference in protecting the boards for miami..
Michael Wallace (3:18 PM)
That depends on how much Haslem is truly able to give the Heat down low. I don't think he is healthy enough to be counted on to fix the problem. Can he help as part of a larger plan of attack? Certainly. But even if he's healthy, it would be a tremendous challenge to slow the Bulls on the boards.
Mike (New London, CT)
Why does Spoelstra keep making weird changes to his line-up? He went from starting Big Z to not even dressign him. I think he's making a mistake tryin to cater his lineup to the Bulls. He needs to make the Bulls play their type of game. He's showing weakness in my opinion...am I wrong?
Michael Wallace (3:20 PM)
I agree with your premise. Especially when it's not as if Jamaal is giving you something that Dampier can't give you. Magloire didn't even know he would be in the rotation until the night of the game. Spoelstra can shuffle his center and point guard rotations all he wants. But the answers just aren't there with what's on the roster right now.
What do the Heat do about Noah?
Michael Wallace (3:25 PM)
I'd start by sneaking up on him in his sleep and cutting his hair. Maybe he's got a Samson complex or something. Short of that, there's not much more you can do when a guy decides to play with the energy and effort Noah brings to the game. That's why they always say effort is something you can't coach or teach. It's either in you or not. Putting a body on Noah full-time and boxing him out would be a start.
When will ESPN finally realize that 3 NBA players and a bunch of D-League wannabe's doesnt constitute a championship team? The Bulls are CLEARLY the better team. This isnt even debatable on any level.
Michael Wallace (3:26 PM)
I wouldn't go that far just yet. Yes, the Bulls are clearly the deeper team. They have the better bench. And their role players thrive in knowing and executing their jobs. But this series is far from over. I wouldn't rule out any formula for success just yet.
Deee (Depressed Miami )
Wow... Never thought home court would matter this much. If the Heat go two down I can see this thing getting wrapped up pretty quickly.
Michael Wallace (3:28 PM)
I don't see it that way. What's to say the Heat could go home and hold serve the way Chicago would in that circumstance? Remember, Chicago lost Game 1 to Atlanta and recovered rather well. OKC lost Game 1 to Memphis and did the same thing.
So what is Vegas saying now?
Michael Wallace (3:28 PM)
What Vegas always says. "Cha-Ching."
Dominick (Arab al )
Where do you see Dwade possibly being top fifty to seventy players of all time?I know the injury after the championship run has hurt his overall numbers ,but with him putting up the numbers he has this year adn the chance of multiple championships i dont think its out of the realm of possiblities.Thanks!
Michael Wallace (3:31 PM)
It's going to be interesting to see if the NBA comes back with a Top 75 team after announcing the 50 Greatest Players several years ago to commemorate the league's 50th anniversary. You'd have to think LeBron and Dwyane both have a shot to make the 75th anniversary team.
Gaje Blades (Clyde, Texas)
Where do the Heat stand in making a comeback?
Michael Wallace (3:32 PM)
They stand down 1-0 in a best-of-seven series. Still plenty of basketball left to play. Chicago was impressive in Game 1. But what they've essentially done is hold serve. If they don't capitalize by winning Game 2, the feelings in this series change completely from the way it is now.
Taj Gibson (Chicago)
The hometown boy, Wade now should be happy every kid in Chicago has a poster up with him in their rooms - you think he'll care that I'm dunking on him though?
Michael Wallace (3:34 PM)
Wade seems to be taking that dunk in stride. He mentioned that his son dunked on him during their nerf hoops game and yelled "Gibson" Kids will say the funniest things.
Is it realistic to expect 40+ minutes from Joel "The Warden" Anthony ???
Michael Wallace (3:35 PM)
Yes, it's realistic. But the question is, will it make a difference?
what do the heat have to do to stop D-Rose and the Bulls crew?
Michael Wallace (3:36 PM)
Dictate tempo the way they did early in the first quarter. Miami got steals and breakout dunks to start the game. And then they settled into playing the game on the Bulls' terms. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have to play like superstars in this series, because they'll have to offset Chicago's depth and energy.
Lebron one of the 75 Greatest? HE HASN'T WON ANYTHING!ESPN needs to rename the Heat Indes the Homer Index because you're all Heat Homers and Lebron lovers.
Michael Wallace (3:37 PM)
He's a two-time MVP. Stop hating yourself, dude. Barkley and Malone never won a ring, either. Does that take away from their place on the all-time list?
WHAT THE HEAT HAVE TO DO TO BRING THE CHAMPIONSHIP TO FLORDIA CUZ I PLAY AAU AND WE BROUGHT IT TO FLORDIA SO IT IS TIME FOR THE HEATS TO DO THERE THING.
Michael Wallace (3:38 PM)
Win eight more games.
jr Hater (arab al)
Charles Barkely is defintly top seventy five is he not?and how many championships has he won??
Michael Wallace (3:38 PM)
My point exactly.
Rexard (Wash. D.C.)
Miami only needs 1 of the first 2 on the road. I dont think they were expecting to sweep the first 2 games in Chacago. 1 game doesnt make a series (especially a 7 game series).
Michael Wallace (3:39 PM)
Again, my point exactly. The Bulls also lost Game 1 last series and look what happened. There's plenty of ball left ahead.
Ugh, do we really need another Heat discussion. I want to talk about all 4 teams left, not the one that lost last night
Michael Wallace (3:39 PM)
Well, ask about the other three teams, and we'll change the subject. This is an all-inclusive chat as far as I'm concerned.
Alan (Houston, NY)
Who do you credit more for last nights victory? Heat playing terribly or the Bulls playing good?
Michael Wallace (3:40 PM)
Bulls playing good. Chicago had a lot to do with Miami playing so poorly. An awful lot.
John Hollinger (Bristol, CT)
If the Bulls sweep the Heat, I will issue Derrick Rose an official apology for having him listed 4th on my final MVP rankings.
Michael Wallace (3:41 PM)
That won't be enough, John. You'll have to rename your stats program in D-Rose's honor.
whos better d wade or rose?
Michael Wallace (3:42 PM)
Depends on what else you have on the roster in terms of talent and makeup.
I'm not arguing the series is over, but I think the way the Bulls won was more of a statement than the fact that they are up 1-0. The shooting percentage from 3 was somewhat of a fluke, but the defense and the rebounding is what Chicago has done all year. If D-Rose protects the ball and doesn't allow transition, I don't see the Heat being able to break their half-court D consistently
Michael Wallace (3:43 PM)
Again, the same thing could have been said after the Bulls lost Game 1 against Atlanta last series. Let it play over through at least three games before we draw too many conclusions.
The Chuck (Chicago, IL)
Could the Bulls' bench mob beat a current starting 5 somewhere in the league? If so, who do you think?
Michael Wallace (3:45 PM)
I'm sure they can. You'd have C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Taj Gibson and Omer Asik. That's good enough to beat the Wizards, Kings, Raptors or T-Wolves if they're playing the second game of a back-to-back set at the very least.
IF MIAMI WINS GAME 2 do you think they win the series knowing that they are going home for 2 games with all the momentum?
Michael Wallace (3:46 PM)
I've got Miami winning in 7. Yes, that means they'll have to come back to Chicago and win at the very end. Call me crazy.
Why aren't the Warriors interviewing Adelman? He is better than Mike Brown, Casey and Frank?
Michael Wallace (3:46 PM)
Perhaps Rick is holding out for the Lakers job.
And nothing against you or any of the other writers, I just hate the love for the Heat
Michael Wallace (3:47 PM)
My job is to keep it objective, factual and fair. I don't have a rooting interest for anything other than for this to be a really good basketball series.
Thunder and Mavericks both play up-tempo, but Mavs seams to play up up-tempo :). Perkins can be reason to give Thunder chance because of his great defence, but I still put them in underdog position. Will it be the first PO series won by ofence?
Michael Wallace (3:48 PM)
Don't discount the Mavs' defense. Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler are pretty capable defenders at their position. But that will be a fun, up-tempo series to watch. No doubt.
What is going on with the coaching in Miami? Why would the HEAT change their lineup to match the Bulls? We should impose our will on the BULLS and make them adjust to us?? I don't like Lebron playing the 4 position, it takes him out of his comfort zone
Michael Wallace (3:49 PM)
Spoelstra didn't come up with the effective adjustments in Game 1. But his players also didn't bring the energy and relentless effort the Bulls played with, either. So there's plenty of fault out there for the Heat to share.
What kind of 7-game series do you prefer to watch and/or cover, one in which the home team wins every game or one in which each team steals games on the other team's home court?
Michael Wallace (3:50 PM)
I'd like to see the road teams have some success. More than anything, I'd like to see far more Game 7s than the one this year's playoffs has produced so far.
In your opinion, what is the best starting lineup for the Heat? That they won't get banged on the glass and that they still will be able to defend and score?
Michael Wallace (3:51 PM)
I'd go with Wade and James Jones at guard, LeBron and Bosh at forwards and Joel at center. There's really not much else you can do. The roster simply has limitations at PG and C.
is Lakers made the trade for Melo, you think they are still in the playoff?
Michael Wallace (3:52 PM)
Whats your WCF prediction?
Michael Wallace (3:52 PM)
I've got Dallas in 6.
was miami outrun by rose? i thought miami was a fastbreak team. they became a halfcourt team with bulls/rose performance.
Michael Wallace (3:53 PM)
No, they became a hesitant and passive team. Go back and look at the first six to eight minutes of the game. Miami was in attack mode. And then the Bulls took over and overwhelmed the Heat. Miami learned a key lesson from Chicago. You don't take quarters, spurts or even possessions off.
How about Mike Miller over Jones in your best heat team? The 6'8 Miller brought down 3 rebounds in his 3 minutes of play. Tying for 4th on the heat for the game!
Michael Wallace (3:54 PM)
Yeah, but if Mike is going to be reluctant to shoot after his first miss, it's a case of diminished returns.
Why are the Heat so bad offensively to start 3rd quarters?
Michael Wallace (3:56 PM)
Miami has proved to be a team that needs to work itself into a rhythm after long breaks. There was the question earlier in the playoffs about the slow start to games. Wade and LeBron are just players who like to pace themselves. That's the only answer I can give that would make sense.
Do you thing the Bulls Defense really has a big impact on lebron and D wades game?And if so to what point?
Michael Wallace (3:57 PM)
I think Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has the right scheme and personnel to execute his game plan of mixing coverages and sending relentless defenders at LeBron and Wade. It's been that way when he was an assistant in Boston. Now, he's simply taken his talents to ChiTown.
Do you have ANY idea what happened to Erick Dampier? I'm so confused. I don't think I've ever seen a guy start for the whole year and then right before the playoffs become INACTIVE! Not just benched, he's in a suit!! What is the rationale for this?
Michael Wallace (3:58 PM)
I'm still searching for that answer. Erick was at practice Monday and seemed to believe he'll get another chance at some minutes at some point in the series. We'll see. But his fall from the rotation is one of the biggest mysteries in this Heat season.
Everyone is talking about Taj and he played great but I thought Deng was the best player for the Bulls last night. He made Lebron work all game and even outscored him. Thoughts?
Michael Wallace (4:00 PM)
Sure did. But that's the thing about Chicago. It's never one guy who deserves all the credit. They're the definition of a complete team. Deng stood up to the test of stopping LeBron in Game 1. We'll see if he can duplicate that success.
What happened to the Lebron that used to attack the basket at will, regardless of who was covering him, even if it was 2-3 guys? He now seems to play a little softer and tends to pull back and shoot more?
Michael Wallace (4:01 PM)
I was thinking the same thing last night. Deng did a great job defending LeBron. But I was surprised LeBron didn't adjust and take his game inside and try to post up Deng. That might be one of the Game 2 adjustments.
What are the odds that Deng and Rose outscore Lebron and Wade by 16 points again?
Michael Wallace (4:02 PM)
I'd say not likely. I wouldn't wager on it.
Desiree (New York)
If the bulls wins Wednesday's night game, do you think they have it in the bag to go all the way?
Michael Wallace (4:02 PM)
Nope. A long way from it, actually. Now if they go up 3-0 and win Game 4 in Miami, let's talk again.
Heat Fan (Miami)
If we dont win it all this 2 yrs, do you see us making a trade/ bosh for d-howard?
Michael Wallace (4:03 PM)
There's no way the Heat and Magic are trading anything but behind the scenes insults and scoffs. And besides, the Magic could be more elsewhere if or when they are forced to trade Dwight.
What's the over/under on how many Heat players cried in the locker room last night?
Michael Wallace (4:04 PM)
Actually, I think it was the coaches crying this time.
Omer Asik seems like a perfect fit for Miami I think. What about a Boozer and Asik for Bosh swap?
Michael Wallace (4:04 PM)
Forget about it.
What's more likely as a result of game 1: the Bulls becoming overconfident or the Heat losing their confidence?
Michael Wallace (4:05 PM)
I don't think either is the case.
I cant believe that some people said that Wade/LBJ could beat MJ/Pippen... seems to me Rose/Deng should be there concern.
Michael Wallace (4:06 PM)
Are you concerned about game 1 and do you think the series will swing this way or the bulls had an optimal game?
Michael Wallace (4:06 PM)
I think the Bulls did exactly what they had to do. They protected homecourt. Nothing more, nothing less. They have to do the same in Game 2 or they lose control of the series.
Good afertnoon guys, if im not mistaken i believe the bulls had 19 offensive rebobunds in game 1, how in the world can miami stop that from happening again since they dont have a legit center?
Michael Wallace (4:07 PM)
First, box out. Second, attack the Bulls 'bigs' and get them into foul trouble and off the court.
My biggest concern right now with the Heat is confidence. When they win, they win a lot. When they face pressure, like the 5-game losing streak, they "cry in the locker room."
Michael Wallace (4:09 PM)
There were no tears in the locker room after this one. There also is no lack of confidence. Let's see where things stand after Game 2.
Did we overvalue the Heat beating a Celtics teams with a one-armed point guard and no healthy bigs?
Michael Wallace (4:10 PM)
No, that was a legitimate series victory. You can't make excuses at this point in the playoffs. Miami won and advanced. They're facing a younger, hungrier, tougher and stronger defensive team than Boston. The Celtics were a huge mental hurdle for the Heat. But the Bulls will be a major physical hurdle.
The Bulls have outrebounded the Heat is all four games they played this year. If the Heat had a way to prevent that, wouldn't they already have done it? What can they adjust now?
Michael Wallace (4:11 PM)
That's a good point. Sometimes, you are what the stats say you are. Miami has to find what it does well and use it to offset the Bulls rebounding. Miami gets to the free throw line more than any team left in the playoffs. But they must be in attack mode to give themselves a chance to get there.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that the Miami Heat will make ie to the NBA Finals since they stunk in the First Game?
Michael Wallace (4:12 PM)
I picked Miami to advance in Game 7. I'm sticking with that pick. For now. I've said before that if the Heat could get past Boston, I think they win it all.
Aside from bench play, I believe that chicago's biggest advantage in this series is coaching. After being pounded like that, do you think Spolestra can make the necessary adjustments to beat the Bulls in this series?
Michael Wallace (4:13 PM)
I didn't get the sense from Spoelstra that this will be all about adjustments. I got the sense from today's practice that the major adjustment Miami needs to make is in the effort department.
Effort? Seriously? MJ and Pippen were never questioned about their effort? IS Miami just soft?
Michael Wallace (4:16 PM)
I'd say they're not always as focused and relentless as they need to be at this level.
Which team benefits more from the low number of fouls and free throw attempts that took place last night?
Michael Wallace (4:17 PM)
Obviously the one that won the game. Getting to the free throw line has been one of the Heat's strengths.
The Bulls have 4 very good rebounding big men, 3 of whom are also excellent defender. Deng is also a plus rebounder at the 3 and Derrick can pitch in when needed. The Heat can either crash the boards with their whole team (which slows down the transition game) or get crushed on the boards. Pick your poison.
Michael Wallace (4:18 PM)
Or, LeBron and Wade can knock down some shots, drive to the basket, get to the free throw line and put more pressure on Chicago's defenders.
What's up Michael. Do you see either Big Z or Dampier being activated for game 2 if not both?
Michael Wallace (4:19 PM)
I think one of them certainly will be activated. My hunch is that it will be Dampier. But we'll see.
If Lebron and Wade joined Rose, Noah, and Deng last summer on the Bulls, would that team have meshed?
Michael Wallace (4:20 PM)
I don't think so. I think things worked out just fine for the Bulls. I think another superstar would have stunted Rose's growth and command of the team a bit.
Who can effectively grab rebounds on the Heat team? Isn't dampier the best option for miami right now?
Michael Wallace (4:21 PM)
Dampier, Haslem and Bosh could help more in the rebounding department. We'll see if they get more of an opportunity to do so.
Nico Tskitishvili (Turkey)
Jamal Magloire is atrocious. Which 2011 free agents will the Heat target going into next year? Prizbilla? Tony Battie? Hilton Armstrong? Nick Collison? Hamed Haddadi?
Michael Wallace (4:22 PM)
Why not Eddy Curry? Just kidding. But seriously, why not Kwame Brown?
The Heat shot 48%, close to their average and the Bulls at 43% (again close to their average) Where is the improvement to come from for the Heat to win game 2?
Michael Wallace (4:22 PM)
Energy and effort.
what about this trae, who says no?Nene and Felton for Bosh? Miami would have everything it needs.
Michael Wallace (4:23 PM)
Can the Heat improve their roster even more under new CBA? If yes then how?
Michael Wallace (4:24 PM)
There's no telling what the new CBA will look like. Right now, it's all posturing. So don't read too much into anything on the table right now until players start missing checks and owners start struggling to fill dates in the arenas
If the Heat lose series to Chicago do you think either of the Big 3 would regret their Decision of where they decided to go?
Michael Wallace (4:26 PM)
No. I think they always wanted to do something like this and come together. I also think in the back of their minds, they would feel like winning a championship in year one was a major challenge.
if lebron can make as much money as he makes, why isn't he held more accountable for no shows like last night? seems like his commitment doesnt always match his salary?
Michael Wallace (4:28 PM)
You could argue there's a lot of that going around in all professions.
Daryl (Kansas City, MO)
Sam Dalembert would be the perfect fit for the Heat. Not only on the court, but off the court with Miami's huge Hatiain population. He provides them with great length, athleticism, and shot blocking. Exactly what the Heat needs out of its center. I think he'll be Miami's number one target whenver free agency begins. What do you think?
Michael Wallace (4:29 PM)
I've said that all along. But where's the money going to come from to sign him? Especially if there's no mid-level exception in the new CBA?
Coming together like that is why they are HATED now. They knew that they would and just PLAYED those other teams for the hell of it.
Michael Wallace (4:31 PM)
They were free agents and within their rights to do what they did. But that has nothing to do with what's going on now. They simply have to play better, smarter and harder if they're going to beat the Bulls. Simple as that.Hey folks, it's been a blast. Thanks for joining and I look forward to chatting again real soon. Peace,MW