Behind every NBA championship team is a Robert Horry, the quintessential role player. After signing LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat were left with little cap space to find those players for needed depth.
Considering Wade and Bosh have combined to miss 168 games (more than two seasons) in their seven-year careers, the bench may be called on more than Heat fans would like.
On Monday, Miami took a big step toward filling out the rest of their needs.
Udonis Haslem turned down more than $10 million more from Denver and Dallas to stay with the Heat. For seven seasons Haslem has done the dirty work for Miami. He averages 10 points and eight rebounds for his career and plays tough defense.
Miami also signed sharpshooter Mike Miller. He shot 48 percent from beyond the arc for the Wizards last year and will help spread the floor to create driving lanes for James and Wade.
But there's still work to be done:
Size matters » Bosh needs more help down low than the 6-foot-8 Haslem. Orlando's Dwight Howard and the reigning champion Lakers' frontline of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom stands in the way of a possible title run. Free agents Zydrunas Ilgauskas or Juwan Howard would add some size, but definitely not any athleticism. Could there be a South Beach reunion with Shaquille O'Neal?
A veteran point guard » James may play some point guard, but Miami needs a backup -- and a player they could sign for the veteran minimum. After failing to convince Derek Fisher to leave L.A., the Heat may be left with a point guard like Jason Williams or Mike James.
Experienced coach » Guys like 39-year-old Erik Spoelstra don't win titles. The coaches that have won championships since 2000: Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Larry Brown, Pat Riley and Doc Rivers. The easy solution is for Riley to just force Spoelstra out and assume coaching duties at some point during the season. Wow, that sounds familiar.