Even though the Miami Heat have been hovering around a 500 record, which is better than last year there are some glaring problems.
1. The many decent players play similar positions.
For example, there are seven players on the Heat’s roster that can play the small forward, or power forward positions. Kelly Olynyk came over from the Celtics and is a hybrid center/ power forward, and it is valuable to have hybrid players like this in today’s NBA. James Johnson can play small forward or power forward, and is very athletic and an aggressive scorer. Josh Richardson can play the small forward position, and is a really good defender while knocking down a lot of three’s. Okaro White is a hybrid small/power forward, and is a young good defender that recently came into the league from FSU. Justice Winslow is a hybrid small/power forward, and is a great defender, but struggles on the offensive end. Jordan Mickey is a young player from LSU that is a hybrid small/power forward with great offensive firepower. Rodney McGruder plays mostly small forward, and is a really scrappy player that accels on the defensive end. The issue is trying to place all of these players in the lineup at the right time. It is almost like it just depends on which of the players are hot at the time, and they will play the most on a daily night basis.
2. The struggles without Hassan Whiteside.
The dependence on Bam Adebayo may be fine later in his career, but currently that is not going to work. Bam still needs at least a year to develop into a true beast in the paint, but even with that year Whiteside is still better at everything. There is just simply no replacement for a center that can rebound and score in the paint like Whiteside. The second center that can replace him is Kelly Olynyk, who is more of a role player as shown by his time with Brad Stevens in Boston. Kelly thrives in a good offensive system, where he just needs to do his job. Unfortunately, this is not the situation in Miami when the production of Whiteside needs to be replaced. Jordan Mickey is the third possible replacement, but he is simply just too young, and still needs much more development in his fundamentals to get to the level of Whiteside.
Both of these problems are evident, but the Miami Heat are still a well-coached, solid team all around. If the Heat can fix these problems, they can be contenders to get the four or five spot in the east.