Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 9:20 am  |  43 responses

Pat Riley Says the Miami Heat Don’t Need a Center

The Miami Heat won a championship last season with some random dudes playing center for them (word to Joel Anthony and Dexter Pitman), and team president Pat Riley sees no reason to change the formula going into next year. From WQAM in Miami (via the Sun-Sentinel): “We definitely are going to continue to look for somebody in that spot, but unless there’s an injury, we really don’t need a center,’ Riley said. Among veteran big men who remain available are Darko Milicic, Chris Andersen, Jermaine O’Neal, Ben Wallace, Lou Amundson, Joel Przybilla and Andray Blatche. But as he has since the Heat won the 2012 NBA championship with Chris Bosh as the team’s starting center, Riley said he believes the team is covered at the position. ‘We signed Chris, basically, in my mind, fully in my mind, not in the back of my mind, he was probably going to be our center in critical situations,’ Riley said. ‘And, so, Chris Bosh is a power forward, he’s a Tim Duncan-type player, but when you watch the San Antonio Spurs play, Tim is in the middle. That’s all there is to it.’ To a degree, that could have free-agent centers backing off the Heat as a potential landing spot, considering how, over the past two seasons, the likes of Anthony, Ronny Turiaf, Erick Dampier and Zydrunas Ilguaskas have watched the NBA Finals from the team’s bench. ‘When you’re playing at the highest, you’re going to be playing with Chris Bosh and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, whoever it is. That’s going to be your team,’ Riley said of lineups that lack true centers. ‘And we have proven that with LeBron playing at the four spot, so to speak, that we’re so much better as a basketball team than we are with a conventional center and power forward. Now, we will continue to try to find players that can fit in with this team, but they don’t have to be center centers.’”

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  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    The cawk exchange thinks they should sign jo

  • T-Money

    translation: giving minutes to joel anthony and dexter pittman just because they hace “C” next to their names on the roster? nah, i’m good!

    it’s not that riley doesn’t think Miami needs a center, it’s that he thinks that Miami doesn’t need a veteran minimum center – which is all they can afford.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange Shock Exchange

    Outside of the Big Three, Miami is very thin. They need to add depth and the center position is their most gLaring weakness. It limits MIA’s ability to control the boards and get easy buckets inside, and forces them into a highly predictable, perimerer-based team.

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    I wonder if Riley will believe as much after Heat find themselves in a Finals matchup against Lakers.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Well they WERE in the race for Marcus Camby before he signed with the Knicks so…

  • Bawse

    I am not suprised by Riley. THey celebrated like champions before they won so now they feel they are invincible. They should thank God they didnt face the Spurs because that PG and Center spot would have been exposed. The Celtics was a half away from beating them. The Celts have loaded up on the front court with those two rookies (FAB MELO IS A DEFENSIVE ISSUE) and they get back Jeff Green at least to give PP rest. The Celts realize they can win NOW and did not blow up the roster.

  • Bt

    Gotta agree with t-money. Hes not saying we don’t need a Dwight Howard he’s saying we don’t need any of the centers in our price range

  • Bawse

    The Celts will and can beat the heat this playoffs. Losing Ray Allen was an ADDITION and they have added a better player right now in JT.

  • pposse

    @bawse im not tryin to toot the Mario Chalmer whistle too loud, but he can play. He’s annoying, but he is definately one of the better pg defenders in the league (top 33percentile). I just can’t sign off on him allowing TP to expose him and the team.


    c’s fans need there heads checked. you guys lost to the heat to back to back playoffs. another year older and somehow you’ll beat Miami loooool

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Celtics were a half away? Like I haven’t heard that before. Bottom line they just got outplayed said half and couldn’t compete athlectically especially with LeBron going off. The Celtics are notorious for choking away big leads.

  • davidR

    courtney lee
    brandon bass
    celtics are looking pretty strong this upcoming season. health will be a huge concern though

  • Ldub

    I would welcome the addition of Ben Wallace or Chris Anderson. Dudes that can block shots and dont really care about buckets. I think CB is best suited at the 4 spot to spread the floor, but then again….like PR said…if CB plays the 5, Bron jumps to the 4 and that is kinda nightmarish for the opponents trying to match up. What you lose in height, you gain in speed, quickness and shooting. With the addition of Allen and Lewis, the Heat are loaded with shooters and solid defenders. Definitely excited for this next season.

  • lemons

    http://www.fancloud.com/nba is reporting Dwight Howard would be willing to sign with the Heat long term. Jeez.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Cosign Ldub if you ask me Bosh being at the 5 really messed things up defensively for OKC. Perkins was getting burned time and again while Ibaka had a hard time closing out on Battier on the 3pt line. They proved you can win without a traditional line up and they’ve gotten more versatile with Allen and Lewis.

  • LA Huey

    They just won a chip forcing other teams to adjust to their lineup. I like the fluidity they have with their positions. It’s like Lite version of the 2012 USA team.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    davidR, don’t forget Green. Dude should be the 3rd or 4th best player on that team.

  • sam

    I think he means they don’t need a GOOD center. Not too many teams have good center, so you really just need everything else.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Celtics were actually a quarter away from Finals. The game was tied going into the fourth quarter.
    However, the Celtics also were up 3-2 and lost two straight games, including one at home when LeBron flipped the switch, so what does that say?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Heat don’t “need” a Center. Until they play Dwight when he’s got a good supporting cast.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    The Heat are going to be a one-chip wonder.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    U wish

  • pposse

    doubt it slic ric, the NBA has had dynasties reign in every single decade of its existence. Every team who wins a championship, almost certainly gets back to the finals the next year (unless your the spurs who go every other year). And almost all championship teams since the 80′s (not including sixers, new millenia pistons, and mavs) have won multiple titles. What makes you think a team with D Wade, LBJ, and Bosh won’t do the same??

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Buddy, did you forget about the Celtics and Mavs. Both championship teams who so far have only won one ring and who did not make the Finals the next year.
    I don’t know how many rings the Heat will win, but they are the favorites in the East until the Nets get Dwight Howard.

  • dev0

    Can’t wait till the Lakers show them otherwise

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    The thunder are coming, It pains me to say that but KD and Russ are getting better and they maybe be the dynasty of this generation.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Hey MUBWAR!
    The first year you beat the celts you broke rondo’s arm REMEMBER?
    this past year, if avery bradley was healthy, they don’t have to dbl dwade on every screen & roll thus leaving your 3pt shooters open.
    You can have your lil “hi haters” moment this year but next year it’ll read, “heat,& james flops again.”
    Wouldn’t surprise me if ray was out the league after this year.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Um, injuries happen.
    Lakers fans could argue that the Celtics only won in 2008 because Bynum was injured.

  • RunNGun

    Riley and Spo should let LBJ play center.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    as long as the NBA has existed, the best player (or the team with the most “best” players) have won more than everyone else. It’s safe to assume, barring injury, the Heat aren’t done winning titles.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    @ basketball_iq, it’s funny how you bring up Bradley’s injury as the difference maker, while simultaneously ignoring Bosh being out for half of the series and DWade playing on 1 good knee.

  • pposse

    i left the mavs out my bad, but bos did go back to the finals in two years when KG was healthy again – good looks on that nbk

  • pposse

    i dont know long term about Lebron playing the 4. He is a great defender and he has devloped a very nice post game, but he is human. All of that work will tire him out. Couple all that with their thin lineup, isnt that just too much for one guy?? Remember he did cramp up in the finals. Consistently playing the 4 for LBJ might take YEARS off his career. He is also undersized (height wise) at the 4. As a coach, i wouldn’t mind having a guy like Pau Gasol go at lebron every play for like a whole quarter just to wear him down a little..forget about if he scores or not. Its good he does it in spurts, but i worry about this being a viable long term solution.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    LeBron is 6’9″ – he is not undersized. In all likelihood LeBron will finish his career as a 4. — If you want more evidence that LeBron will probably make a transition to that position at one point, I’ll list a couple.
    .- The NBA is changing, the 4 position is rapidly becoming smaller and more dynamic
    .- The athleticism that allows LeBron to be an overwhelming force from the Wing at his size, WILL fade with time
    .- What was Magic Johnson when he came back? (a 3-4)
    .- In all reality, even when LeBron does lose his athleticism, making a transition to a bigger position will actually extend his career (as a dominant player) because he will likely still be too quick for most 4′s — and his strength is the one thing that won’t go anywhere. – Despite playing a big position being more taxing in terms of fatigue. (staying in shape is all he would have to do to counter that. being tired doesn’t shorten your career)

  • Brahsef

    As long as the Heat have LeBron they’ll be straight. You can put the Celtics depth up there but we saw Bron beat them all by himself.

    And now that he’s playing the four, how do you guard him? Put two men on him and he’s puttin a dime on a perimeter player who are even now more wide open due to all the attention he’s attracting in the post.

    A stacked D Howard team is the only squad that should give the Heat any problems.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^In the east.

  • LA Huey

    If you want to bring up injuries in the Boston series, don’t forget that Bosh was hurt for the 1st 4 games.

  • justin05

    The Heat don’t NEED another championship either. My kids will remember this last season as the shortened one that didn’t matter anyway. One and done is right.

  • Blakos

    Lol at C’s fans talking up Fab Melo.

  • Blamo

    Why change the “formula” cause ur actually playin this 82 games this season pat

  • flippity

    lol @Blamo. Way to tell Pat Riley what he needs. His record shows that you can help him do better in his career.

  • Heat12

    1Heat needs a better coach, then the sky’s the limit.

  • Roscoe

    Riles as a kid “I don’t need a super robot toy, those are not cool.” But if Riles had one he’d say… “Where is your super robot toy?”