As of right now, the jury is still out on where LeBron James will land. But with that being said, let’s take a look at how Miami won a championship in 2006. We know Chris Bosh will be joining Dwyane Wade in Wade County, but besides Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, who else should the Heat bring in to help them win another championship. We break it down here:
Keys to the 2006 Championship Team
Great coach: Pat Riley
Pat Riley is hands down one of the greatest coaches of all time. Coach Slick (or Riles as some people refer to him as) is a master motivator and he was able to use that skill and help fuel the heat to come back from an 0-2 deficit in the 2006 NBA Championship.
Big men: Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Udonis Haslem, Michael Doleac
Obviously the Heat bigs were led by Shaq, but don’t get it twisted, he wasn’t alone. Miami was built for the physical grind, as they had a plethora of big men that could play stable minutes in key moments. Mourning was a straight beast on the defensive end, averaging 2.66 blocks per game, despite only playing 20 minutes per contest. Haslem and Doleac were also bigs who could stretch the floor and open up the paint, which allowed Wade to do what he does best: attack the rim.
Veteran perimeter players: Gary Payton, James Posey, Derek Anderson, Jason Kapono, Shandon Anderson, Antoine Walker
Just like Shaq wasn’t the only big man, Wade wasn’t the only perimeter player doin’ work. An experienced and hungry group of guys helped lead the Heat to an NBA Championship. Take Payton who’s knowledge and experience really helped down the stretch of games, while Posey played a huge role as the Heat’s sixth man. Throughout their title run, he also had defended players like: Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and even sometimes guarding Chauncey Billups or Rasheed Wallace.
Stars: Dwyane Wade & Shaquille O’Neal
Every championship team has its cast, but you always have at least one or two stars that carry you. Ironically, the two stars for the 2006 Heat were their two captains Wade and O’Neal. Wade had one of the greatest NBA Finals performances of all-time as he ended the series averaging 34.7 points per game (the third highest scoring average by a player in his first NBA Finals). While Shaq, who was just joining the team after being dealt from the Lakers didn’t have a Shaq-like regular season, his damage came in the playoffs to help lead the Heat to the NBA Finals.
Looking at that formula let me put on my GM hat and tell you who the Heat should sign to re-create that championship team. (Basically, replace the above mentioned keys guys with these guys.)
Great coach: Pat Riley
This is pretty simple, Riley needs to replace current heat coach Erik Spoelstra just like he did in 2005 when he replaced then Heat coach (now current Orlando Magic head coach) Stan Van Gundy.
Big men: Chris Bosh, Michael Beasley, Theo Ratliff, Brad Miller
Bosh may not be a true center like Shaq, but that may be better. As we saw last year in Cleveland, the Cavs were a vastly different team when Shaq was hurt. Why is that? Simple. Shaq was still effective when he cloggeg up the lane. Bosh brings the skills of a perimeter player while also having good enough size to bang down low. That means Wade can still attack the basket at will. Now replace ‘Zo with a defensive big man like Ratliff, use Beasley the same way they used Haslem, and sign Miller who’s an upgrade from Doleac and you have a similar group of bigs.
Veteran perimeter players: Derek Fisher, Tony Allen, Travis Outlaw, Kyle Korver, Shannon Brown, Al Harrington
Need a veteran guard that isn’t afraid of taking the big shot in the big game? Look no further than free agent Derek Fisher. Once you steal Fisher away from the Lakers, turn your attention to finding a Posey-like player. I think there’s a couple, but after seeing how Tony Allen played throughout this past postseason, I would sign him. Who do you get to replace Walker? How about Harrington, who to me is ‘Toine reincarnated. Finally replace the Andersons and Kapono with Outlaw, Korver, Brown and you’re looking at a pretty good roster.
Stars: Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh
I leave you with this: Shaq was able to help bring a championship to Miami in his first year, but can Bosh do the same?
What do you think? What should the supporting cast look like in Miami?
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