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Heat point guard job unsettled

July 20, 2010
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

MIAMI (AP) - LeBron James will play some point guard for the Miami Heat. So will Dwyane Wade, as he has throughout his NBA career. Mike Miller will likely do some ballhandling as well.

Thing is, none of them are true point guards. That means this Heat summer of change still has some things left to address - particularly finding a starter at the point spot.

Mario Chalmers is under contract, Carlos Arroyo is expected to re-sign with the Heat and there's some talk of a possible Miami reunion with 2006 title-team point guard Jason Williams. Whomever it is, the next starter for the Heat will inherit the keys to what could be one of basketball's most dynamic offenses with Wade, James and Chris Bosh.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Chalmers said.

Maybe for him. Probably not for other clubs.

Take what happened in this past season's playoffs as an example. Wade faced the Boston Celtics in the first round, James faced Boston in the second round. Both saw virtually the same defensive scheme from the Celtics, who kept running multiple people against them in waves.

It worked. The Celtics won both series.

With Wade and James on the floor together - with another ballhandler - the same approach likely wouldn't be as successful in the 2011 postseason. That's already creating some concern for Heat opponents.

"We tried to just make them see a lot of guys," Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo said Sunday at a charity event Wade hosted. "It's going to be difficult with both those guys on the court, because you can't really load to one particular guy because the other one's on the opposite wing. It's going to be fun. I'm going to enjoy the matchup. I'm probably not going to be checking either of those guys."

Throughout their seven seasons in the league, both Wade and James have regularly taken over the point-guard duty, especially down the stretch in close games.

Each will continue doing the same in Miami, though likely not as much as in the past. Even though the notion has been floated that Miami could line up this season without a true point guard - a hybrid lineup of Wade, James, Miller, Bosh and newly re-signed center Joel Anthony, perhaps? - Wade himself doesn't see it happening regularly.

He thinks, for now anyway, the job is Chalmers' to lose.

"Of course, you've got to go through training camp and you have to go through practices to see what happens," Wade said, "but right now, as I look at it, I think that would be the plan. I would like to play (shooting guard), at least in the starting lineup. I think I've done OK there, but you never know."

Miller said Monday he likes the idea of handling the ball at times, especially if that gets him on the floor with Wade and James more.

"I see no problem with that," Miller said. "Obviously, Dwyane and LeBron are two of the best in pick-and-roll situations and in the open court. So it's all about defense and rebounding at that point. ... It's definitely an option, for sure."

Could Miami play without a point guard? Wade doesn't want it happening, and Rondo doesn't see it happening.



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