it’s fair to wonder if the Heat might be better off swapping Bosh for a sub-elite facsimile and searching for puzzle piece role players on the cheap. Guys like Paul Millsap, Al Horford, David West, and Brandon Bass can hit midrange jumpers at elite rates for a fraction of Bosh’s annual salary. And if the Heat could somehow parlay Bosh (or Wade, really the more tradable guy from Miami’s theoretical perspective) into a legit rim protector and rebounder, they might be able to dial back the frantic nature of their hyper-aggressive defense a bit. That defense works very well on balance. The Heat just repeated as champions, and their flying athleticism smothered San Antonio’s precision passing attack in Miami’s four championship wins.
But that defense is also exhausting. The Heat in all three of their playoff runs have shown off-and-on signs of serious slippage in executing that defense — against Dallas in 2011, Boston last season, and both the Pacers and Spurs this season. Those teams are all very good, but Indiana this season was a mediocre offensive team, and the 2011-12 Celtics were one of the half-dozen worst scoring teams in the league. All of those teams deserve credit for periodically slicing up Miami’s high-risk defense, but the film shows a lot of very basic errors an amped-up Miami team doesn’t typically make — fatal ball-watching, miscommunication, lazy rotations, and traps that lack the Heat’s normal oomph. James is 28, Bosh is 29, and Wade is 31 with annual late-season injury issues. Finding a way to dial back the hyperactivity might be a good idea, and adding a more traditional paint presence would allow them to do that.