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Miami Heat: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh the Best ‘Big Three’ Combination?

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Miami Heat: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh the Best ‘Big Three’ Combination?
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Miami Heat's Big Three.

COMMENTARY | Is it time the Miami Heat's "Big Three" got a makeover?

Chris Bosh's lackluster play as a big man last season was the subject of hot debate. I can't stop thinking about how Miami courted the edge of elimination in the playoffs and NBA Finals last season.

There's no question that the Heat lacked the length of the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs. Miraculously, they got through by the hairs of their chinny chin-chins.

However, lightning doesn't usually strike twice in the same place and Hail Marys are reserved for football.

Unless the Heat make adjustments down low in the paint, the likes of Tim Duncan, Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah, Brook Lopez and others could thwart the Heat's three-peat plans.

Here's a question for Pat Riley to consider: Could LeBron James and Dwyane Wade use a bona fide big man other than Bosh?

The Heat: What goes up, comes down

In no way form or fashion is this an indictment of Bosh, but Erik Spoelstra and his coaching staff would be making a blind assumption should they think the current Big Three are the right combination going forward.

I'd argue that it's downright reckless and a half-cocked way of doing business if one fails to take inventory of a team vying for a championship.

Think about this for a moment: Isn't it wise for a successful grocer to walk his aisles and take inventory frequently? Perhaps, somewhere in the bread section, a loaf may have expired or is nearing the end of its shelf life. And, yes, even the top-selling brand can go bad at times.

Basketball franchises follow similar strategies when assembling a team for a championship run and sometimes a slice of bread has to get toasted.

To assume the Big Three are exempt from getting a once-over is not only half-cocked, but it's also a reckless way of doing business.

Take Lamar Odom, for instance. The former Los Angeles Lakers big man played a very important role in the team winning back-to-back NBA Finals (2009, 2010).

In both seasons, his production rivaled or exceeded Bosh's 2012 and 2013 performances in points, steals, blocks, assists and total rebounds, according to Basketball-Reference. And, by the way, he did all this off the bench, while Bosh was a starter in the Heat's back-to-back championships (2012, 2013).

And here's where even being the 2010-2011 NBA Sixth Man of the Year isn't good enough when dollars and cents enter the picture: Despite Odom's banner year, he was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks, reportedly, over salary cap issues.

Enter Greg Oden

Don't think for a nanosecond that Riley and the Heat's coaching staff are not looking at the possibility that Oden could be a better fit than Chris Bosh at the big position.

To Bosh's credit, he does have a sweet mid-range jumper. Upon closer inspection, he was decimated on the boards by Duncan and Hibbert in the postseason. Both rival players averaged more points and total rebounds, 10.2/18.1 and 9.9/17.0, respectively, than Bosh's 7.3 rebounds and 12.1 points per game.

Oden's role on the team will definitely add length to the Heat and offer a valuable option off the bench when Bosh needs a rest down the stretch. It also gives Miami the option to go big with an Oden-Chris "Birdman" Andersen tandem to prevent easy buckets from drivers in the paint.

Sure, Greg Oden hasn't been in the game for several seasons and has struggled with plaguing knee injuries. So has Bosh, to a lesser degree.

Oden is the younger of the two by four years and any wise front office is looking at succession ahead of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh becoming free agents in the summer of 2014. Fasten your seat belts for that circus expedition.

Bottom line is this: Anyone is dispensable. Even Derrick Fisher was let go after being a chief part of the Los Angeles Lakers winning five titles during his career alongside Kobe Bryant. Admittedly, he's not a big man, but he was part of a core championship-winning team.

Mind you, the Lakers were bent on going young at the point guard position and looking ahead. I get that.

That's just the point and why Chris Bosh -- the most replaceable member of the Big Three -- should be given a closer look when Heat starters are assembled.

Perhaps, not even Birdman and Oden are not the wisest choices for the team's starting center. However, Bosh wouldn't be high on my tiny list of candidates. Last season's close call was too much to bear.

Bradley is a professional writer, journalist, sportswriter and avid follower of the NBA, NFL, NCAA, PGA and tennis. He keeps a watchful eye on Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins developments.

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