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NBA Miami Heat

The 5 Most Vital Players to a Miami Heat Three-Peat

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The 5 Most Vital Players to a Miami Heat Three-Peat

Miami Heat
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

This season will be more important than any other. The Miami Heat organization is on the verge of doing something very few teams have, and that is win three consecutive championships. The last two memorable teams to do this were the 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls from 1991-93, and 1995-98. One could argue these were some of the best NBA teams to ever play the game. If this current Heat roster wins the NBA championship for a third straight time, they would undoubtedly be in that conversation.

When discussing the top five most important players on the Heat roster, one would assume that we are talking about the starting five, but this is incorrect. There are role players on this roster that provide more importance overall throughout the course of the regular season and the playoffs than some of the starters provide.

What makes the Heat roster unique is how each player fits into the overall picture of success for the franchise. A perfect example of this is Mike Miller. Rarely used throughout the regular season, his time came during the playoffs, when he made huge three point shots in the both the 2012 and 2013 NBA Finals. Miller stepped up when called upon, even with his lack of consistent minutes. Miller was a crucial part to the Heat winning back-to-back titles.

This season, every player on the Heat roster will be called upon to contribute to the identity of the franchise, some more than others. These five players are vital to the Heat returning to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight time and taking home a third championship.

Jared Doyle is a Miami Heat writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @outofboundsjay, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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5. Chris Andersen

Chris Andersen
Robert Mayer- USA Today Sports

Chris Andersen’s value to the roster last season cannot be overstated. The Miami Heat went 39-3 after signing Andersen to a one-year minimum contract, and his presence was immediately felt underneath the rim. Andersen’s rebounding and shot blocking are so vital to the Heat’s high paced offense. This season, Andersen will need to continue to average at least 4-5 rebounds and points per game in order for the Heat to continue to be successful. Without Andersen, the Heat will struggle against the larger centers in the league (i.e. Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah, and Dwight Howard).

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4. Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh
Pool Photo- USA Today Sports

Chris Bosh’s numbers have been on a steady decline since he joined the Miami Heat organization, and this has led to numerous trade rumors surrounding him. This season will be extremely important for Bosh. Not only because of his contract option next season, but because of the continued pressure of being the starting center. Bosh’s impact this season needs to be felt on the glass. Without his rebounding and blocking, the Heat will not succeed in winning a third title.

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3. Ray Allen

Ray Allen
Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports

Ray Allen will see his average minutes increase this season with the departure of Mike Miller. Because of this, Allen’s role on this championship roster has never been more important. Although Allen will still come off the bench, his scoring will be huge for a second unit that at times struggles to create it’s own offense. Allen hit one of the biggest shots in Miami Heat history this past postseason, and this season, he will continue to prove to everyone in the league he is still an offensive threat.

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2. LeBron James

LeBron James
Derick Hingle- USA Today Sports

Since joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, LeBron James has won two MVP awards and two NBA championships. This success has catapulted James into the conversation of being one of the greatest to ever play the game. What James does to continue this success is improving on his game every single off-season. After losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, James worked feverishly on his post-game, and it paid off during the 2012 Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. James continually went into the post against the Thunder, and their defense had no answer for it. During the 2012 offseason, James worked on his three-point shooting, and guess what? James clutch three point shot in the weaning minutes of Game 6 saved the Heat from a disappointing end against the San Antonio Spurs. In order for the Heat to three-peat, James will need to statistically elevate another aspect of his game, positively, in order to stay on top.

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1. Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade
Derick Hingle- USA Today Sports

How Dwyane Wade plays is how the team goes. When the Miami Heat struggle, it is usually due to Wade being injured. Although his numbers have been on the decline since the formation of the Big Three, when healthy, Wade’s presence with LeBron James on the court is near impossible to guard. His health will dictate how successful the Heat organization will be during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Erik Spoelstra will have to monitor Wade’s minutes throughout the regular season in order for this to happen. If Wade enters the 2014 Playoffs healthy, and continues to stay in this shape, a third consecutive title will be well within reach for the Heat franchise.