viernes, 4 de marzo de 2011

NBA: Bibby will not make a difference for the Heat

Mike Bibby’s integration to the Miami Heat team in substitution of Carlos Arroyo adds a deluxe point guard to this South Florida NBA basketball franchise. Bibby has playoffs experience and was a key component of the talented Sacramento Kings team from the last decade. He played for the Kings from 2001 until 2008. He was later traded to the Atlanta Hawks, team that also participated on several playoffs series while Bibby was a member of the organization.

Mike Bibby is considered by many as the piece that was necessary to make the Heat a contender team for the NBA championship. However, and despite the motivations that moved Pat Riley (Heat President) and his group to release Carlos Arroyo and bring Bibby, the Miami Heat was already seen by some as a team with real possibilities to represent the Eastern Conference on the 2011 NBA Finals. This brings me to the question that basketball fans have been asking since the official announcement that publicized the hiring of the veteran point guard from New Jersey: Will Mike Bibby make a difference for the Miami Heat? Right now, I doubt it.

Miami’s problems and inability to beat the best teams in the league did not have to do with the quality of its point guard. Both Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers did a good job on a team that does not need an explosive point guard, but just a man who can control the tempo of the game and feed the many offensive options that include two of the best basketball players of this era. Most offensive flaws that characterize this season’s edition of the Miami Heat are related to their poor use of the point guard position. Many of those fans who have been following their 2010-2011 performance know that talented players like Arroyo and Chalmers were constantly limited to being mere “decorations” that just observed how Lebron or Dwayne improvise half-court offensive schemes on the court.

The faith of the Heat will not change if their coach does not start to value more the key point guard position. Both Lebron James and Dwayne Wade are two of the best offensive and all-around players in the league. However, arming the game is not their strength. Franchises with superstars always need a person capable of controlling the production of points for teams in which more than one player claims the “right” as the first “offensive voice.”

Miami can hire the best point guard in the world, but its performance will not change if Coach Erik Spoelstra continues to rely most of the time on his two superstars as the persons responsible for arming the half court offensive scheme. If this “guerilla basketball” mentality does not change, we should not be surprised if Miami is out of the playoffs right after the second round of these series. Mike Bibby will make a positive difference on the team only if Spoelstra, James and Wade give him the opportunity to do his job as the “director” of a “great orchestra.” Point guards are key pieces that can make the difference between having a contender TEAM as opposed to just a group of “superstars.”

As for Carlos Arroyo, we wish him the best. He has worked hard and deserves to stay in the NBA. If no team hires him before the end of this season, there is always the possibility of returning to Europe or playing on the exciting Puerto Rican National Basketball League (BSN). A great summer is ahead of him and his island’s national team needs Carlos for the difficult, but not impossible task of qualifying to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He might not get a NBA championship ring this year, but a FIBA-Americas medal around his neck is still a likely and honorable scenario.

(Read my mid-season analysis of the Miami Heat team:

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