What If Bosh Doesn’t Come Back? 3 Potential Starting Lineups For Next Season

Commentary

Countless questions surround the Miami Heat going into the 2016-17 NBA season and none are as big as the ones targeting Chris Bosh.

Will he be able to return to his All-Star form and finish out his Hall of Fame career? Will he be available to play at any point in the upcoming season? Have we seen the last of Bosh in a HEAT uniform? Will we ever see Bosh play in another NBA game?

These questions cannot be answered at this time and may not be answered for a while. But with all of this uncertainty, it’s important that Miami prepares for a future that doesn’t involve an active Bosh. So here are three potential starting lineups that could be effective in Bosh’s absence.


The Speed lineup: Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Derrick Williams, Hassan Whiteside

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Why it might work: Speed. The key ingredient to this lineup’s effectiveness will be speed. If Dragic can push the pace and create opportunities for this athletic high-flying lineup, this unit will have a lot of success. It will need to rely on Richardson, Winslow and Whiteside to use their defensive abilities to create easy transition chances for the Dragon.

Why it might not work: If Justise Winslow and/or Derrick Williams fail to find any sort of serviceable jump shot next season, this unit could struggle in the half court. Furthermore, Williams will need to improve considerably on the defensive end in order to keep pressure off Whiteside. If Williams can’t prove to be a decent option at the power forward position, this lineup is better off going with Josh McRoberts or potentially James Johnson at the 4.


The Fun Lineup: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Hassan Whiteside

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Why it might work: This lineup has the potential to be a lot of fun. Johnson and Richardson have the shooting ability to open up the floor for Dragic to operate. This lineup also has the youth and athleticism to play aggressive trapping defense and fast offense. This unit also has an interesting amount of versatility with four of the five starters able to bring the ball up the floor and make plays for their teammates. The lineup is small but with a strong versatile defender in Winslow and a monster seven-footer in Whiteside, these guys should be able to hold their own against opposing teams.

Why it might not work: Despite what I just said about Winslow and Whiteside, this lineup may just be too small. Johnson is already undersized for a shooting guard and may get taken advantage of by some of the bigger stronger guards in the league, and while Richardson has the requisite aggressiveness, instincts, length and athleticism to contain most opposing players on defense, his lanky 6-foot-6 frame may not be enough to handle some of the more imposing small forwards in the league. This lineup could potentially improve by replacing Johnson with Dion Waiters, but that would hurt shooting without completely solving the issue of size.


The Young Guns Lineup: Briante Weber, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Willie Reed

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Why it might work: The 2017 NBA Draft class looks pretty strong right now, and throwing out this lineup would be a good way to earn the best pick possible while getting valuable experience for your youth. This lineup would be an absolute mess, but kind of a fun mess … right?

Why it might not work: Aside from the fact that Pat Riley and the Miami HEAT don’t seem like the types to resort to tanking as a strategy, this lineup probably wouldn’t be very beneficial for any of the players. The idea of letting the youth run the team and gain experience sounds fine in theory, but I’m of the belief that surrounding the young players with reliable NBA players who can take pressure off of them and allow them to develop at their own pace is best for long term player development. The option of tanking can be tempting, though …

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