To think Bosh actually played worse in the playoffs and the Heat won the title is astonishing. His scoring shrunk to 12.1 ppg and he went some postseason games without a single rebound. Not one ball even took a fortuitous bounce his way. Bosh needs a bounceback/rebound year.
It's a Boyz II Men season for Haslem - he's at the "End of the Road."
BACKCOURT: For the fifth straight season, Wade's scoring numbers dipped. Part of that was to be expected when James came to south Florida, but Wade shot a career-best 52 percent from the field. His assists were up and his rebounding jumped, albeit a little bit.
Much like Bosh, Wade's playoff numbers were horrid. He averaged 15.9 ppg and well below his season averages in both assists and rebounds. Wade's knees bothered him, and, at 31, they probably won't get too much better. Wade's game is in decline, but not end of the world type of decline.
Chalmers shot a personal best from beyond the arc and his scoring numbers improved in the playoffs. That has happened every season but one Chalmers has been in the league. Can't ask for much more than that.
BENCH: Battier received two third-place votes for Sixth Man of the Year. His shot got so bad in the postseason, he was DNP-CD in the Finals. Still, Battier returned to the lineup and poured in 18 points in Game 7 against San Antonio.
Allen averaged double figures in his first season as a bench player, yet garnered zero Sixth Man of the Year votes. He was exactly what everyone expected last season and hit the shot that kept the Heat's title hopes alive with his crazy 3-pointer with seconds left in Game 6.
The rest of the second unit, save from Cole and Anderson, two great change-of- pace guys, is average.
If you expect anything from Oden this season, my dad would like to sell you a bridge. Same goes for Beasley, although his contract is low-risk, high-reward if he gives the Heat anything at all.
COACHING: Erik Spoelstra will never get the respect he deserves. People believe anyone can just put on a suit and lead James, Wade and Bosh to a championship.
Spoelstra made some difficult decisions last season, especially during the Finals. He benched Battier and Anderson at different points, trying to rub two sticks together to make something happen.
His players respect him, he's proficient enough with the Xs and Os and is on his way to the Hall of Fame, if you can believe that.
OUTLOOK: The Heat are still the favorites to win the NBA title.
Think of it this way - after an epic regular season, the Heat looked downright shabby at times in the postseason. The Pacers, and the Bulls just before them, exposed their lack of toughness.
Wade and Bosh were awful. Battier and Birdman couldn't crack the rotation. Things looked bleak.
But the Heat still won the title. With all of the adversity and trauma, James was so good, he willed the Heat to a second straight NBA title. He is dominating the NBA at a remarkable clip and there's no reason to think that can't/won't happen again.
Well, there is a reason, this free agency albatross. James, and Wade and Bosh, are such strong professionals and leaders that if one group can go an entire season with that question strangling them at every opposing building, it's this group.
The Heat will have one of the two or three best records in the NBA. They will reach the Eastern Conference Finals, no doubt. They have made the last three Finals and they've got a better-than-average chance of doing it again.
It's just not as mortal a lock as years past.