NBA Atlanta Hawks

Pat Riley: The Miami Heat Center Situation

“Oh, so you’re a Miami heat fan? Tell me, who’s their center?” – Willy Wonka

After the addition of Ray Allen to the Miami Heat, the team only has one critical rebuilding area left. The lack of a true center to complete their almost flawless starting five.

Do the Heat need a center? Yes. Can they afford the center that they need? No. Is not having a true center going to hurt their chances in regular season? No. Will it hurt their chances in postseason? Almost definitely.

The Heat are sure to find themselves in, at the very least, the Eastern Conference finals. The dominance LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh moved to Miami to build has finally been established. Now, with the addition of Allen, the stability of the structure has increased. However…

There is no getting around the fact that Heat lack a true center. They don’t have a Tyson Chandler or Gasol brother type big man. A guy that’s somewhere between 6’11″ and 7’1,” well built and athletic.

Pat Riley recently commented on the center situation:

We definitely are going to continue to look for somebody in that spot, but unless there’s an injury, we really don’t need a center.

However, he also explained that:

We’re limited somewhat, because of slots, and not payroll, but we can only sign guys to minimums or I’m going to have to trade players to try to find a guy like that.

Pat Riley furthermore stated that in critical situations, Chris Bosh would fill the slot.

Riley told the Joe Rose Show:

Chris Bosh is a power forward, he’s a Tim Duncan-type player, but when you watch the San Antonio Spurs play, Tim is in the middle. That’s all there is to it.

Although, Bosh has the height, he doesn’t have the rebound numbers or the body type. Look at Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard, those aren’t skinny guys. Duncan is one of the best to ever play and is simply incomparable. He tops every chart for both the Power Forward and Center positions. Duncan can play both positions because he is Tim Duncan.

Finding a big man is the only critical rebuilding move that the Heat can make, the only weakness.

However, the type of guy they need is going to run them somewhere in the $10 million per year range. That’s simply not affordable for them, unless they find themselves in another Ray Allen type situation, where a top player wants his best chance at an NBA title and is willing to forgo money to make it happen.