The past few years I have thought the Heat was missing a true Power Forward and had players filling that role who were on the lean side of the physiques normally associated with that position. Now, however, I am inclined to believe that management may have changed its philosophy and no longer requires the historic Power Forward to be content with their lineup.
This change in attitude may be spreading to other teams in the league as well. It all probably started with Steph Curry and his Warrior teams which basically ran up and down the court shooting threes and only charging the basket when there were misses. I was reminded of those teams while watching some of the Heat pre-season games. Most of the players were under 6’7” but they could run and shoot. If they missed, they simply retreated and waited for the next opportunity to turn on the jets.
The current roster of the team is pretty much what we became accustomed to last year, with the exception of rookie Nikola Jovic and former minor leaguer Jamal Cain. Both show great promise, but it is unlikely they will see much time on the floor until Spo feels comfortable they won’t be liabilities on defense. In the case of Jovic, he has the size to suggest he could grow into a Power Forward, but European players rarely have the rugged demeanor to fill our notion of what attitude a player at that position should take onto the court.
It is too early to opine what this season will develop into for the team, but my guess is that it will be better than last year but fall short of excellence because they will have difficulty matching up with larger, more aggressive rosters.
Either way, the season should be fun to watch if you like the run-and-gun style of play that seems prevalent today.