Look Out, NBA: Miami’s Bench Has Never Been Better

Erik Spoelstra is boring holes through me as he answers my question on whether his Miami Heat are missing anything when Michael Beasley, the team’s newcomer that was sitting out Saturday night’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, isn’t available.

Adamantly, he speaks highly of his bench, specifically the volume of talent, saying, “Depth’s one of our biggest strengths on this roster, so we don’t like to use excuses.”

No, excuses have never been a viable option for Spoelstra or anybody on this Heat team. Since signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team up alongside Dwyane Wade, Miami has been expected to do no less than win at every opportunity and every juncture of the season, eventually ending in a championship.

Not even when the Heat boasted a bench with Eddie House and Juwan Howard receiving significant minutes, in the NBA Finals no less, were excuses remotely acceptable.

As a result of their loss in the 2011 Finals, Miami has since made it a purpose to upgrade their supporting cast, easing the burden off the shoulders of the Big Three and bringing in guys who emitted confidence and had ice flowing through their veins.

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Since losing to Dallas, the Heat has added on Chris Andersen, Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis, Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Michael Beasley, or basically every player that you see playing rotation minutes off the Miami bench.

We learn from our mistakes, and the Heat endured that life lesson when they lost three consecutive times to end the ’11 Finals, each as painful and lasting as the next. Once the season ended, though, the front office recognized what needed to be done: Turning a Big Three into a team.