By Steve Kish
As the NBA off season toils through its free agency period, one thing is certain; the Heat have come out on top again. The defending NBA champions mostly quietly added what they needed most to make themselves even deeper and more dangerous. We read the big names signing here and there. We talk about where Dwight Howard will end up.
The first big free agency story was the Brooklyn Nets landing Joe Johnson and getting Deron Williams to come back. Then the talk of doing a massive four team trade to acquire Dwight Howard. Then there was Steve Nash. Nash becomes a Laker, all the Lakers problems are solved, hallelujah! Wait no they aren’t, the Lakers are now even older, and their sixth man of the year does play in the Staples Center but for the other Los Angeles team. Now there are talks of Jeremy Lin overplayed his hand. All of a sudden, getting the most you can on the open market is a bad move? Come on sports giant you can’t spin stories both ways.
All this time while this team and that team are trying to wheel and deal for Howard and other stars, the Heat had one goal. Surround LeBron with shooters and get a deeper bench. Mission accomplished, Miami. You took your biggest rival in the east best catch and shoot player and inked him. Next you go grab Rashard Lewis. Not a bad haul. Sure, Lewis isn’t the player that signed a huge contract with the Magic after shining for the Supersonics in Seattle, but he doesn’t need to be. Lebron will make him better. Yes, Lebron makes everyone better. That is why he is the best player in the world.
The Heat now added two catch and shoot weapons for Lebron to find when he drives to the hoop. Don’t get me wrong. I love Dwade and his game, but he is declining, and injuries are catching up. He has never been the passer Lebron is. Allen and Lewis will truly open up the floor for all of the Big Three. There will be too many options to guard for opposing defenses; someone one will be either wild open or in a horrible mismatch consistently. The depth at which Erik Spoelstra has at his hands must get him as excited as Snooki at a free bar. He can put in Battier for defense and then go back and forth with Rashard and Allen for offense. Lewis can play the 3 and 4 spots for him and Allen the 2 and 3. He can drive opposing coaches nuts, but he has to just be dreaming of open threes raining in all night.
Sure, Nash brings his brilliance to the Lakers offense, but they don’t have the depth or shooters Miami has acquired. Nash is 38. Not saying he isn’t in great shape, but you’re asking a 38 year old to be the missing link. The Heat are asking Ray and Rashard just to hit some open jumpers, nothing too hard. Nash is expected to do miracles with the same roster the Lakers had last season, the one the Thunder just ran over and around. Kobe can only do so much, and Bynum is only dominant defensively against a set offense. The Thunder will only run over and around the Lakers again.
Miami made moves to weaken their biggest rival and let Chicago know they have more offensive weapons then that great defense can stop. Miami of all teams didn’t need to do much but somehow has come away the biggest winners of this offseason. They did the little moves that made the most sense for them to do. Sure Allen is a big name and Lewis has been brilliant in his career, but they aren’t Deron Williams, Nash, or even Joe Johnson. Miami has done more with less cap space then Cleveland did for Lebron his entire stay their. They are making him happy, and if Lebron is happy, the Heat is on.