By Czar Elcano |
No Lebron? No Problem.
“When you add new faces to a team, guys are trying to find their own way and find where they can be comfortable in the offense,” Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said in the NBATV postgame interview following their 107 – 102 win against the Toronto Raptors.
This is the Heat’s best opening weekend in the last five seasons. With possibly the best possible scenario in the early portion of this long 82-game season, Miami stays in the mix as the kings of the East.
The departure of four-time MVP Lebron James did not seem to slow down the Heat this season as they become the only undefeated team in the Eastern conference. Miami is currently riding a 3-game winning streak as they host the Houston Rockets on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
All-star forward Chris Bosh has been dominating the opposition in the east during their first three games averaging 25.6 points and 11.3 rebounds in 36 minutes per game.
Bosh’s 26 points and 15 rebounds during their game against the Wizards was his first game with 25+ points and 15+ rebounds since joining the Miami Heat.
Dwayne Wade on the other hand has been inconsistent with his scoring, but he has done a great job filling the other boxes in the stat sheet. Wade recorded 10 assists in their game against the 76ers, and grabbed 11 rebounds in the game against the Raptors. Active hands also allowed Wade to get 2 blocks and 5 steals.
The role players have been taking a heavier load this season without Lebron. Losing a player who can they hand off the ball to every possession made a lot of fans as well as NBA critics to think that the Heat might slide off playoff contention.
Norris Cole has replaced Mario Chalmers in the starting lineup for Miami, and both have delivered 20+ point games apiece. Chalmers has been applauded for his maturity in taking the sixth man role by analysts from NBA TV’s Game Time.
“Everyone is getting opportunities, which is a little different than we’ve had,” Wade said in the postgame interview.
“We do whatever it takes to get the job done,” Bosh added. “We needed everyone today.”
Spoelstra now has a solid bench to work with for when they go deep in the season.
Compared to what they had in the NBA Finals when they lost to the San Antonio Spurs, the Heat are now playing with a roster that could be interchanged for the 82 games.
Last season’s nine man rotation took a toll on the players as they seemed fatigued during the finals. The coaching staff will now look to limit the injuries to their starters, particularly Dwayne Wade who is expected to play more than 70 games this season.