The Miami Heat suffered a major blow this weekend when power forward Udonis Haslem tore ligaments in his left foot during the team’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.The Heat are still weighing their options, but it’s possible that Haslem will have to undergo surgery and he could be out until the All-Star break and beyond.
Never mind that Dwyane Wade is questionable for Monday’s game after injuring his wrist on Friday.
Miami is already without Mike Miller, who was expected to be an instrumental role player capable of spreading the floor to create room for Wade and LeBron James to drive to the hoop. Now the team will suffer in another area: rebounding. Miami is currently 19th in the NBA in rebounding, but Haslem was the team’s leader with 8.2 boards per game.
Miami may reach out to Erick Dampier, who they were interested in before he signed a tryout deal with the Rockets. But right now it appears that Žydrūnas Ilgauskas, Joel Anthony, Juwan Howard, and maybe even rookie Dexter Pittman will have to shoulder much of the load.
There is some speculation that the Heat could play James more at the “four” which would go directly against the preseason notion that LeBron was going to be the team’s primary distributor. But these are the compromises that must be made when there’s not enough money to go around for other key players.
The real man that must step up is Chris Bosh, who has admitted to feeling “lost” on offence and has been slow to assert himself inside this season.
Of course, in hindsight it appears obvious that the Heat should have found a way to keep Michael Beasley, who is emerging as a star for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 21-year-old was troubled in Miami and struggling to find his niche, but he is and was more talented than almost all of the extra bodies that Miami currently sends onto the floor.
There’s certainly turmoil in Miami, and it won’t be easy for Bosh and company to “chill.”
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