Heat don't mind Bynum's signing with Indiana

If the Miami Heat are worried  about Andrew Bynum joining an Indiana Pacers team that has already shown an ability to challenge them, the Heat aren’t showing it. 

They’re acting like the Pacers’ acquisition of Bynum,  a player they reportedly pursued as well, means nothing in the chase for Eastern Conference supremacy. Perhaps it’s easy to feel that way when you still have LeBron JamesDwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to lean on, not to mention Chris “Birdman” Andersen and even a getting-stronger-every day Greg Oden sharpening his skills. Whether they are just playing the role or not is a question that won’t be answered unless the Heat and Pacers square off in the playoffs. 

But there are questions that might bother the Heat come Playoff time:
  •     Can Dwyane Wade be Dwyane Wade again for an entire Eastern Conference final? The Heat can get through the rest of the East with Wade on a maintenance plan or having games where he’s an above average player. It will take an extra game here or there, which you never like, but that’s not a problem against any two teams not named Indiana put together.

Against Indiana, Miami will need six or seven games of the future Hall of Fame Wade to get the job done. Bynum neither helps nor hurts in that regard.

  •    Can Chris Bosh continue to be that helpful omnipresence, having a hand in most wins even if that hand’s not doing what stat-minded fans and media wish it were? Bosh draws Hibbert and Bynum out of the middle with his range, then makes them work and getting up and down the floor.

The Heat knows it’s about the three-point line, both defending it and scoring from behind it. If the Heat’s snipers misfire, that lane gets packed by opponent who will either go for a rebound or tipping the ball back in the ring.

Hibbert hurts no team more than he does the Heat, yet still, the Heat find ways around and over him. Bynum’s Hibbert Lite at this point.

Most ridiculous is the idea Indiana signed Bynum to keep him from the Heat. Although the Heat has nothing against height, it already has a big guy with unreliable lower limbs, one who showed tremendous determination just to get back to being able to take the floor. Greg Oden embodies the diligence, grit and good citizenship the Heat likes to think of as its franchise hallmarks. Oden might not be a problem for opponents the way it hopes, but the Heat knows he won’t be a problem for them in the locker room or after midnight and if he stays healthy, he will be an effective role player which could be a good reliver to Bosh or even a sidekick at the low post.

Expect another Miami-Indiana showdon in the East Finals but both teams must not take other opponents easily especially the Chicago Buls, Atlanta Hawks  and the underachieving teams in New York, the Knicks and Brooklyn.

Whatever happens in the elimination round expect a great showdown in the Playoffs regardless of the records of the other East teams.

--- Jay-R U. Bayon-on with reports from NBA.com

Heat don't mind Bynum's signing with Indiana Heat don't mind Bynum's signing with Indiana Reviewed by Phil Newsome on 2/04/2014 Rating: 5

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