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Is It Also The Last Good Chance For Miami To Win A Championship? - The Downbeat - #500

  You may or may not have a a team you're pulling for in the finals which start tonight.  It's more than likely though that if you're for Dallas or just anti-Miami, it's because you don't want to see the new Big Three win.  You don't want to see superstars forming in major markets, thus freezing out smaller and colder markets.

Most that were against the move hoped that it would take at least a year or two for the Heat to come together and win a championship.  Unfortunately, they've peaked at the right time.  And that peak could last several years.

A lot of people are saying that this is the last shot for the Mavericks to win a championship with their current roster.  Dirk's never played better.  All of the role players are filling and exceeding expectations.  Indeed, it may be their best and last chance for a while.

What if it's the best chance for the Heat though?  LeBron James and Dwyane Wade get most of the credit for the team's success and deservedly so.  However, Chris Bosh has played better than most expected and has been the #1 or #2 guy on some nights when one of the other two haven't had their best nights.  Now he's going to be expected to match up against Nowitzski.

What if part of the new CBA though forces the Heat to get rid of Chris Bosh?  The hard salary cap is the owners' #1 goal whether it's at the reported $45M or something higher.  If a hard cap is instituted, will teams going forward be able to have three max players?  Remember, there are no exceptions for that cap.  You can't re-sign your own players and go over the cap like you currently can.  You can't exceed the cap to fill out your roster with veteran minimum salaries.  

So if you push the cap to say $60 and you keep the big three at say $15M/yr.  That leaves just $15M to sign 10 more players (assuming the current 13-player minimum stays the same).  That's just a little over a million dollars per player on average.  

If the Heat need to cut/trade a salary to get below the new cap, Bosh's could be the one that goes.  If they just have the big two, do they win as many championships as they would with Bosh?

As Brian T. Smith points out, the labor dispute is going to be a three-way battle between the players, the large-market teams, and the small-market teams.  That's why this may drag out longer that the previous lockout.  If they're going to do damage to the league by shutting down operations, they're going to make sure that when they come out on the other side, things are going to drastically different and beneficial for the teams.  It could also spell the end of the so-called "Big Three" model.

  Greg Miller was on ESPN 700 on Friday (mp3) and gave one of the better, insightful interviews I've heard recently from him.  He covered a wide array of subjects from The Trade to #UnbelievableFunction.  moni transcribed the best parts.  On Sloan's departure though, you could really tell that he was affected by it, as we all were,

I'm going to preface this next comment by saying that I have enormous respect for Jerry Sloan...So I don't mean this to be disrespectful to him in any way, but I really had a hard time with the timing and the circumstances with his departure. It really surprised me that he left mid-season...    

Who knows how things would have been different had Larry H. Miller still been at the helm or around to give advice on this.  For a new owner though, having your HOF coach want to step down in the middle of the game would have blown even LHM away.

And since he's still talking about The Trade, I'll talk about it.  Miller stated that after the Carmelo trade fell through for New Jersey, they turned to the Jazz with the same deal.  From previous reports though, we know that O'Connor was waiting for the Carmelo trade to get done and that he would then call the "losing" team and offer up a deal.  In fact, the initial call wasn't about Deron at all, but about AK.   I just don't know why the story changes each time.

  If you don't like the current wave of great players Voltroning to form super teams, then you agree with Coach Corbin.  He tells the Deseret News that the AAU has fostered the environment where every big-named player wants to play together,

These kids they grew up in AAU, being on all-star teams, and they're used to playing with superstar guys. And they want that kind of team because ... they have a chance to win big every night. They want to win championships and not have to be the only guy getting it done.    

There have been super teams before.  The biggest problem that people have now is how they're coming together.  Instead of building a super team through the draft and trades, players are actually in control.  Maybe it feels as if instead of having the two good players in gym class becomes captains and picks teams, they're only forming one team themselves and picking who they want?  That would certainly discourage participation even more.

  Lots of draft workouts this week.  We'll get things up as they become available.  We'll also continue with the SLC Dunk mock draft today.

  I should probably making a bigger deal out of #500, but I really didn't know what to do with it.  I plan on having 500+ more Downbeats.  They've spanned a little over two-years and hopefully go a lot more than that.

You can check out all of the previous Downbeats with this link.  What started out as a small list of 5 things has grown to pics and links and major discussion.  It also yields great power though I don't have any control over it.

Thanks for reading them all and I hope you're around for the next 500.

If you have a favorite Downbeat(s), let us know.