Commentary

Miami Heat must stay the course

With no major changes needed, Miami will be the favorites in the 2011-12 NBA season

Updated: June 13, 2011, 1:55 PM ET
By Chris Palmer | ESPN The Magazine
Heat BenchAP Photo/Wilfredo LeeMiami must get deeper and younger for the 2011-12 season.

After all the confetti has been swept from the floor of AmericanAirlines Arena and the aroma of champagne has faded from the visitors locker, the Miami Heat will be charged with the task of re-evaluating their season and reloading for another run at an NBA championship.

Like many of us -- the Heat most of all -- we made the mistake of thinking that this title was prepackaged for Miami as soon as they strode on stage and shimmied their way into our collective consciousness. It seemed all they had to do was show up to claim what was theirs, but it didn't quite work out like that. Instead, Miami needs a bit more seasoning and a few more quality pieces to strengthen a roster with quite a few holes. This we now know: They need to get younger, tougher and deeper.

So management has a lengthy to-do list this summer that will need to be dealt with before the Heat can deliver what they're truly capable of, and much of the focus in the coming months will be on what they need to do.

But what they shouldn't do is as equally important. Here are four key "don'ts" for the offseason (however long) ahead:

1: Don't fire Erik Spoelstra

He very well could be the LeBron James of the coaching ranks in that he's taken an inordinate share of knocks this season. From his seeming inability to motivate to redundant battle cries ("stay the course," anyone?) to being in the unenviable position of having a Hall of Famer looking over his shoulder every waking moment and the speculation that came with it, this hasn't been an easy season. His lineups were questioned, as were his sets, timeouts and news conferences.

Let's get this straight: Erik Spoelstra didn't lose this series.


To see more reasons why the Miami Heat should not make any rash moves, you must be an ESPN Insider

Chris Palmer

ESPN the Magazine