As the entire sports world’s focus goes from the 2013 NBA Finals to the summer of 2014, I decided to take a dive into my own premature speculation and pick up where Miami Heat fans should not worry about the Los Angeles Lakers left off.
I said it then and I’ll say it again: I cannot picture Jim Buss pulling enough of a power move to get LeBron James to leave the Miami Heat. And I definitely don’t think he has it in him to get James and Carmelo Anthony together. But that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t see the best friends teaming up.
Especially if it was for someone like Pat Riley.
Just picture it. James, Anthony and a healthy Dwyane Wade each picking their spots on the floor and attacking — with James and Anthony being interchangeable at forward. It could be position-less basketball at its finest.
But would it be an upgrade?
Many would say no because of Melo’s lack of defense and rebounding. Let’s not forget his reluctance to move the ball. However, if you round out this year’s numbers, Chris Bosh and Anthony both averaged seven rebounds, one block and one steal, with Anthony barely besting him in assists 3-2.
Obviously, statistics do not measure intangibles or team chemistry, but a Big Three of Wade, James and Anthony would continue a model of offensive efficiency.
While Bosh holds a slightly better field-goal percentage, Anthony would drown him in the deep end if he kept drifting out to three-point waters. It wouldn’t even be comparable. But there would be two issues. The team would need a proper big man in the middle and Melo would have to buy into Miami’s theme of sacrifice, while sharing the No. 2 role.
The result could mean the difference between being on the great player with no rings list and celebrating like they did in the 2008 Olympics.
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Richard Nurse is a Miami Heat columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr.