Why the Miami Heat Should Copy the Spurs
Would you rather see Dwayne Wade run the offense for 60 games out of the regular season and 16 in the postseason? Or would you rather see him play for 82 games and not have the energy for the playoffs?
One concept about the San Antonio Spurs that everyone loves is that they’re going to milk every single drop of talent out of your body until you’re ready to retire. They know how to extend careers because they also bring young talent to help older veterans on their team. David Robinson was a prime example and San Antonio brought Tim Duncan to help extend his career. During the process, Robinson also had to watch as the Spurs handed the franchise over to Duncan and it led them to two titles before his retirement in 2003. Now Duncan’s getting ready to hand the reigns to LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard before he retires and he’s already captured a title in the process.
The biggest reason the Spurs have been so competitive is because they know the important goal is to make sure the roster is healthy entering the postseason. If the Heat are going to copy the Spurs, Wade should stay on the maintenance plan that he’s been on for two seasons but not because of injury. The organization needs to rest him when he’s healthy and still ensure they’re getting a good seed in the playoffs.
That sentence also applies to Chris Bosh, and Luol Deng as well. The Miami Heat have one of the best chances to win a championship this season because their team is the deepest that it’s ever been and that will alleviate some of the minutes that the starters have to play.
Having a bench with double-digit scores such as Amar’e Stoudemire, Gerald Green, and Mario Chalmers is one thing. Having a power forward like Josh McRoberts who can run the offense as a point forward is another thing.
From the Josh McRoberts bag of assist-tricks. pic.twitter.com/ewAlpI3suC
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 18, 2015
Adding in other young and talented to players to the mix to their roster was the icing on the cake. Having players such as Justise Winslow, who at one point was considered as a top five draft pick, Josh Richardson, who is a jack of all trades kind of player but excels defensively, and Tyler Johnson, who looks like a future rotation player and a solid professional, makes their firepower go over the top. With the infusion of this bench of seasoned veterans and young players who are hungry to learn from them, and even hungrier to take their positions, it’s only going to make everyone better. We haven’t even mentioned how the starting five of the Miami Heat could potentially have as many as four All-Stars on their team.
At 33-years-old and battling a number of injuries to the body, is it necessary to have Wade play in meaningless regular season games? Or is it the coaches responsibility that Wade’s spry and energetic to lead Miami on an electric playoff run?
The resume for Wade speaks for itself. When the keys to the Ferrari were placed in Wade’s hands he’s driven it like a professional driver and he’s done it better than most. From the beginning of his first postseason appearance back in his rookie year Wade looked like someone who was bound to become a star. Wade’s been the alpha dog since 2003 when he was drafted by the Heat No. 5 overall. He’s lead the franchise to three titles, he’s collected a scoring title, an NBA Finals MVP, he’s been named an All-Star 11 times and he’s got a whole county in Miami-Dade renamed in his honor, #WadeCounty. So of course he’s the person the offense should run through.
With the bench of this roster, it’s safe to say there are more than enough talented players to lead in Wade’s absence during those games. Gerald Green looks ready as if he’s going to become one of the Sixth Man of the Year candidates.
The only thing that Spoelstra needs to make sure of is that Wade is still being efficient when he’s on the court. If he can average anywhere in between 20-25 points per game while shooting 45% from the floor heading into the playoffs, the league will be in trouble.
Wade’s still got some gas left in the tank to lead. Hopefully, he’ll be healthy and rested enough to do it.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.