For four glorious seasons, the Miami Heat were the cream of the crop in the NBA. LeBron James was just hitting the peak of his powers, Dwyane Wade was James’ perfect sidekick and Chris Bosh was the perfect third wheel.
The “big three” era in Miami made the Heat the hottest ticket in all of South Florida, and in return, the Heat delivered their long-devoted fans four NBA Finals appearances, including bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy twice. With Miami being one of the NBA’s most desirable markets and a front office willing to spend money to compete, it seemed like the good times on South Beach would never end and the “big three” of James, Wade and Bosh would be around for the long haul.
But that was not meant to be. James began to develop a serious case of homesickness, and he bolted back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. All of a sudden, Bosh, who was getting real comfortable in his third wheel role, will now have to go back to the role he held down during his days with the Toronto Raptors — being the man.
This comes with the territory of being the new five-year, $118 million man. With Wade’s health still being a question mark, it will be up to Bosh to continue to keep the Heat at a championship level. Now for most that may see like an unpleasant task, but in reality it may be easy. One of the hidden blessings in James moving back to Cleveland was that it opened up a wealth of cap space for the Heat. Although King James is gone, Miami is really a much deeper and more talented team than they ever were during the “big three” era.
But in the end, everything will come down to Bosh, and if the Heat are going to remain championship contenders, Bosh will have to become the best power forward in the East. That should be not be hard for him, considering that he is still capable of putting up 25 points a night, and now he has added the dimension of having a deadly three-point shot in his offensive weaponry.
If Bosh can perform as the No. 1 option and Wade returns to being the old Wade, there is no doubt in my mind that the Heat can continue to be one of the top teams in the East.
The Heat is still on in South Florida.