Well, the news is old. LeBron to Miami, Beasley gone, just one player on the roster, and a backup PG at that. Where do we go from here?
Well, let's take a look at where we've come from. Cleveland was an impossible situation. Not just the team makeup, but the whole way Dan Gilbert has bungled his way the last 6 or 7 years. The only thing the team did right was drafting LeBron with the first pick. They thought that throwing a couple bit players around James would win them a championship. They are paying now, after never finding a Pippen to play alongside their star. I mean, some of these teams, New York, Chicago, Miami, have completely dissolved their teams over the last two years to get LeBron, and all Cleveland could do was (in 2009) sit on their lapels and (in 2010) get Antawn Jamison? I love Jamison's versatility, but he is not a playoff player. He is maybe the 3rd best guy on a championship squad, at best.
Then, there's Dan Gilbert. What a way to use that 20/20 hindsight. People have been saying for years that the Cleveland management needs to demand more accountability from James. Dan HIMSELF said it, when he talked about having these feelings inside of him for years. So why didn't he say a word? Because he is a coward. Cowards only fight when the fight is somewhere else. Cowards fail to make the bold moves to get All-Stars to play alongside their guy (Mo Williams? Are you kidding me?). Would you want to go back to a team run by a bunch of cowards? I mean, I understand deriding the dude for leaving his home and for the way that he did it, I really do. And really, it's the fans that kill me. They deserved better than this. But to blame it all on LeBron is not right: leaving Cleveland was the right choice.
So Cleveland is out. I mentioned in this blog that Chicago would have been a better alternative, and I stand by that. You have closers on that Bulls team. Sure, none to rival Wade, but I trust Rose/Boozer in the last seconds with the ball. Bosh and Wade didn't want to go there because of money, and money only. All that "can't play with this guy" crap is a smokescreen. LeBron didn't want to play there because of who know's what, maybe MJ's ghost, maybe because Miami can offer more money. I don't know. I think his brand would be better there, and he can win better there.
So we're left with Miami. They say the Heat want to add a Mike Miller with the money they get from the Beasley trade. I think that's an OK move: you can have Dwayne play point, Miller at 2, LeBron at 3, Bosh at 4. Thing is, they have Mario Chalmers, who is at least serviceable. I think for me, looking at a championship formula, you have to get a defensive big first. Maybe Brad Miller. But no team has ever won a championship in the modern era without a defensive big. So that's what I would do. And after that, you are still lots of players away from a solid rotation.
As far as contention goes, I think Miami can contend. They won't have the best regular season record because the regular season is too long and grueling. But this is the thing: with those three, they can match up with any team for one game. And the playoffs is much more of a game-to-game mentality. They don't have to have the best record, but just win 16 games in the playoffs, and even with the trio logging heavy minutes, I think they can do it. I think this is a potential championships squad. I'd still have L.A. over them, and Chicago will be tough, Orlando may be tough, but they are right there. We'll have to wait and see how it plays out.