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

by August 03, 2012

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.'”