Although most people will attribute the Miami Heat‘s most recent success to the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, these guys couldn’t have done it without the ones who play in their shadows.
Last season it was Chris Andersen and Norris Cole who showed up big in the playoffs. Andersen, who didn’t miss a single shot in three straight games in the Eastern Conference Finals, played a major role in helping the Heat oust the Indiana Pacers in seven games. While Cole put up back-to-back 18-point performances in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Chicago Bulls, shooting an incredible 100 percent from three in those two games.
In the season prior, it was Shane Battier and Mike Miller who emerged as the spark needed to help the Heat win their first championship in the “Big Three” era. Battier dropped 17 points twice in the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, shooting an unheard-of 61.3 percent from three in those Finals. Miller, who was recently amnestied by the Heat this summer, showed he’s still got it when he went seven-for-eight from three in Game 5 of the Finals on his way to a 23-point performance and close out of the Thunder.
So with the new editions of Michael Beasley and Greg Oden, who will make the biggest impact in the 2013-14 NBA season? Will it be one of the youngsters in Eric Griffin or Justin Hamilton? Only the birth of a new season can answer that question, and I’m excited to see who will show up big when they need them most.
Get your Heat tickets for the upcoming season and see who will emerge as the next Heat star role player.