How Good Will the New Heat Be

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh 1

A couple of analytic takes on the new James/Wade/Bosh Miami Heat. John Hollinger calculates that via his PER method, a team of Le Bron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh plus a roster full of “replacement level” (i.e., PER 10) players should win about 61 games. He deems that to be something of an overestimation since PER gives players extra credit for high usage rates and someone’s usage rate will have to decline when these three guys play together.

Meanwhile Arturo Gallettii uses Wins Produced to project that James (21.1), Wade (14.7), and Bosh (9.4) should together be worth about 45.3 wins next year plus 4.1 from Mario Chalmers makes a 49.4 win team pending the addition of other players. Those four guys are together projected to consume about 47 percent of the total available minutes. So the question is whether Pat Riley will be able to pull together 10+ additional wins with his remaining financial resources. In principle, it should be possible but this is where you have to be a canny judge of talent. There are still plenty of average or nearly-average free agents out there who I can easily imagine signing for cheap—Shaun Livingston, Rafer Alston, Antonio Daniels, Jason Williams, Hakim Warrick, Nate Robinson—who’d be well above Hollinger’s “replacement level.” But none of them are centers, which is the big question mark on this roster.