MIAMI – At one point, many could say that the Miami Heat lacked a quality bench, going into the 2012-2013 season, they may have one of the best.
They say a team is only as good as it’s depth, and the Heat took that to heart this off-season with the signing of ex-Boston Celtic‘s shooting guard Ray Allen and journeymen Rashard Lewis. Both are great three point shooters, that will help the Miami Heat spread the floor therefore creating more driving lanes for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
With none of the Heat’s “Big Three” ability to hit the three point shot on a consistent basis, the Heat made it their mission to surround them with three point shooters from Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers to now with Allen and Lewis.
The bench doesn’t stop there though, as the Heat have capable big men that can come in and give valuable minutes, with the likes of Udonis Haslem, and Joel Anthony, who both provide defense along with toughness down low for the Heat.
Depending on the way the Heat start the season they might possibly have Shane Battier coming of the bench along with second year man Norris Cole. What makes this Heat bench special is the miscasts who have now joined this formidable unit.
Miller, who was on the free agency market with no home, would sign with the Heat, after they came calling with an opportunity at a championship he couldn’t pass up. Haslem, came back to the Heat, the only team he ever played for, for less money to join forces with teammate Dwyane Wade.
Cole, who would wait until the 28th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft out of Cleveland State, was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and then see his rights traded to the Heat where he found his niche as the backup point guard.
Fielding multiple offers, Battier also decided to sign on with the Heat, who offered him a three-year deal that no other team offered him. Battier flourished in Miami especially after the injury to Bosh where he went on to average 11.6 PPG in the NBA Finals including shooting 57% from three point range.
Just recently after being put in trade rumors, and demoted to the bench for younger and athletic Avery Bradley, Allen would take a pay-cut to join the arch-rival Heat with a chance to win his second ring, in leaving the old Boston “Big Three” and joining the Heat’s “Big Three”.
Lewis after being the most movable piece in the NBA the last couple of seasons also decided to sign on with the Heat after playing last season with the Washington Wizards.
With not much salary to sign great players, the Heat made enough moves to form what now is a formidable unit consisting of veterans and players that were cast off by other teams. With the Heat the bench players have seemed to mesh with “The Big Three” and have found their roles enabling them to mesh with the other players making the Miami bench one of the best in the league.