Published On: Tue, Apr 3rd, 2012

HEAT’s Role Players Must Step Up

By: Steve Rawnsley

The Heat are 8-4 since the all-star break. All seems calm on the surface record wise, but make no mistake about it. This is not the same team since the all-star break. The Heat looked unbeatable before the break, because the supporting cast around their big three was playing very well. However, that same supporting cast (with the exception of newly added Ronny Turiaf) is not playing the same way. I always thought year two would be the start of their big title run. The reason I thought year two, was because you have to lose to learn how to win. Second, I did not think they could build up a supporting cast worthy of a championship in one offseason. The reason the Celtics could do it was because of Rondo, and the Heat do not have a player like him.
Outside of their big three, the Heat were shooting 45% from the field, including a great 41.5% from downtown. Since the all-star break the Heat’s supporting cast is shooting below 40% at 38.7% from the field and below 70% from the charity stripe. If the Heat’s supporting cast cannot get back to their first half shooting, and performance, the Heat will be vulnerable. The first thing that needs to happen is getting Mike Miller back healthy. Heat fans rumble about why they signed him. He really has never been a player that is extremely durable, but the injury problems he has had for the Heat, are more than usual. When they signed Miller, they envisioned him to be on the floor in crunchtime.
The second player that needs to step up is Mario Chalmers. Before the break he was great. He was doing everything the Heat envisioned for him to do when they put together the team. Before the break he was shooting 51% from the field, including 45% from the three point line, and 81% from the free throw line. Those are out of this world numbers for a PG. However, since the break, he is shooting a dreadful 33% from the field, 31% from downtown, and 71% from the charity stripe. If he can just find a middle ground between the two it would dramatically help the Heat out.
The role players need to get back to what they were doing in the first half of the season. People pretty much know what the Heat’s big three will give while the role players are showing inconsistencies. The big three of the Heat grab all of the headlines. However, the final headlines of the season could very well be dictated by which version of the Heat’s role player’s the team gets.

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