When Miami Heat team president Pat Riley pulled off the sports coup of the century two off-seasons ago, his vision expanded beyond Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. Sure, putting those three out there by themselves is doing better than most NBA rosters, but as the supergenius builder of dynasties that he is, Riles knew he had to get the Three Kings more help. Riley's original plan was to have his stars suit up with a sharpshooter like Mike Miller and a blue-collar defender like Udonis Haslem. So he signed Miller as a free agent and persuaded Udonis to take less money to stay. Unfortunately, that plan derailed in year one when Haslem and Miller suffered debilitating injuries midway through last season and forced the Heat to limp the rest of the way with a makeshift roster. Even then, Miami came within two games of winning it all. And now they find themselves with a suddenly healthy Haslem and a rejuvenated Miller. The result has been the Heat pummeling opponents into submission and outscoring them 25-9. It's a small sample size, sure. But it's just a taste of what is to come, as long as everyone stays healthy. That can mean only one thing: bad news for the rest of the NBA.
Sun., Feb. 19, 3:30 p.m., 2012