Miami Heat: The Bench is Stepping Up Nicely
They say that a team is only as strong as their weakest link and on Friday the Miami Heat showed that this team doesn’t have many weak links in their chain.
All of the circumstances were there set up for Miami to fail but they still overcame their problems and delivered one of the biggest wins of the season when they played against the Atlanta Hawks.
The script was set up for failure as Miami was missing most of their starting lineup. Dwyane Wade just finished having a great performance in the All-Star game and he was ruled out of the contest against Atlanta because of a left knee strain. Hassan Whiteside was missing for this game because of a one-game suspension for elbowing Boban Marjanovic of the San Antonio Spurs in the last game before the All-Star break. Chris Bosh additionally was missing because of dealing with blood clot issues in his lungs.
Nevertheless, you could see Miami still pit up a fight, and they won a hard fought 115-111 in spite of the odds against them. Then when everyone thought it was just a fluke performance, Miami did it again defeating the Washington Wizards 114-94.
The Return of McBob
19 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
That was the final stat line Josh McRoberts posted when he played against Atlanta. It was by far his best game as a member of the organization and it was the game that made fans and coaches alike get hyped about his future moving forward in the playoffs.
“It was a lot of fun just to be out there and have an impact on the game. Just to be able to make plays down the stretch and be part of a big win for us.”
– Josh McRoberts
Picture having a 6’10 240 pound versatile starting power forward that can shoot, rebound, and pass. Picture having that come off your bench in order to lead the offense of your second team. That was the idea behind Miami signing Josh McRoberts back in 2015. However, the signing didn’t go the way they wanted to as they often found their star injured. McRoberts has only played in 44 games since signing with Miami. McRoberts to this year has been still battling injuries but he’s managed to have productivity when given the minutes.
“It’s no fun when you’re hurt. I’m finally starting to get healthy and trying to find a rhythm, trying to come back in terms of getting more time under my belt on the court in practice and games, trying to just get more comfortable.”
– Josh McRoberts
What it Means
What this means for Miami is that they have a reliable bench that they can call on. Erik Spoelstra is known to shorten his rotation later during the season but because of the circumstances and the uniqueness of this roster, it’ll be a little different heading into the final stretch of the regular season. Due to the fact McRoberts played so well, having Chris Bosh out of the lineup and having a short leash with Whiteside, you should expect to see more players from the bench step up.
“We’ve got a lot of resolve. We’ve got some veterans and some young guys that are strong mentally beyond their years. We still have a great defensive mentality….We’re still in a good spot…We’re gonna go out and compete every night, and we’ll figure it out.”
– Udonis Haslem
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey