Heat Beat: One with everything

Miami getting used to Josh McRoberts' versatility


MIAMI – While the Heat have struggled to play any type of defense or find continuity in the line-up over the first 20 games of the season, there has been some good news quietly developing in the last week. 

Josh McRoberts is starting to perform like the player Miami envisioned when they signed him as a free agent this offseason.

McRoberts has a very unique skill set for a player his size.  Your immediate thought when you see someone who's 6'10, 240 pounds is that he's a guy who rebounds and takes up space in the lane.  The reality is, McRoberts is far from that.  He's actually a player who seems more comfortable away from the basket with the ball in his hands.

That's not to say McRoberts isn't expected to rebound.  He must help out on the boards for a Heat team already struggling enough to crash the boards. 

But, we are starting to see something that could really help the Heat's offense.  It's McRoberts ability to handle the ball and find the open man that opens up possibilities.

McRoberts is more of a "point-forward" for the Heat.  It's evident that head coach Erik Spoesltra is seeing this more and more, as he clearly had the ball move through McRoberts hands during many points of Tuesday's win at Phoenix.

I think Spo and the Heat are on to something. 

If McRoberts can allow Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to find good spacing to attack the basket, while he's drawing a big body away from the basket, it can only mean good things for Miami's offense.

Opposing defenders have to respect his ability to hit an outside shot, and he's also proving to be effective at driving strong to the basket when his defender is off the ball.

And then there's his passing. 

Wade has even commented that he's now starting to get used to McRoberts passes.  It's not that they're out of control or too wild.  It's that he can make moves and at the last moment find the open man.  That's something you rarely see for a player his size.  Heat players must be aware that at any moment he could throw a behind the back or no look pass their way.

I think he's reached the point of having Spo's trust to do that.  I believe what we saw against the Suns will become more of a pattern than a one-game experiment.

While all of this doesn't even begin to address the Heat's defensive concerns, McRoberts ability to do a little of everything will only help Miami's chances to score points.  And when you give up as many points as the Heat have allowed this season, scoring points is the only way to remain in games.

As long as he stays healthy, McRoberts is looking like the type of player the Heat felt they had, and that can only mean good things in Miami's quest to turn things around after a slow start to the season.