|2011-12 Team Rating|
|1st Overall||5th Overall|
Stats through Feb. 16
LeBron James is on an MVP roll, Chris Bosh made the All-Star team, so there are no issues at forward. Center and low-post offense remain questionable: Joel Anthony? Eddy Curry?
Mario Chalmers won't win many games but he won't lose many, either. He should take that as a compliment. Dwyane Wade once again is solid, obviously, but what about his body?
Few teams rotate quicker or disrupt passing lanes quite like the Heat (No. 3 in steals). This helps trigger their break, the best in basketball. Shane Battier remains a polished one-on-one defender.
A bonus came when rookie Norris Cole began taking big shots. Battier and Udonis Haslem are decent role players; Mike Miller is 51 percent on 3s.
The Heat gave Erik Spoelstra an extension, which was warranted, because he prepares well, gets his team to buy into defense and gets respect of the locker room.
It's been a relatively bump-free ride so far for the Heat, led by the usual suspects, and most emphatically by LeBron and his consistently high level of play. He's among the league leaders in points, rebounds, assists and steals and only cementing his case for league MVP. With the exception of the Bulls, no team in the East can match up well with Miami, and at the very least, a division title seems a lock.
Of course, the real season is about to begin for a championship-or-bust team. The only regular season concern lies with Wade's body and whether it can hold up to the rigors of the constant grind of games. Also, the Heat could use a bit more offensively from Battier, who's shooting 35 percent, poor for someone who gets nothing but open looks. Anyway, we'll know more about Miami this summer. See you then.
-- Shaun Powell
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||B-|
|New Jersey Nets||D|
|New Orleans Hornets||F|
|New York Knicks||C+|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|