At this writing the Heat’s 8-5 record ranks 6th in the Eastern Conference. After adjusting for schedule strength, however, the Heat have played 1.4 points below average, so this record is deceptive. Of course, the key to the Heat’s success is the amazing DWade. After adjusting for who he plays with and against ,we estimate that so far Wade has played 26 points per game (#3 in league) better than an average NBA player. We also have Wade as the best offensive player in the league. Wade’s great rating is consistent with the fact that when Wade is in the Heat play 7 points better than average and when Wade is out the Heat play 20 points worse than average.
How can the Heat improve? A real key to the Heat’s success (or lack therefof) is problems at the backup guard position. When Chalmers is in with Wade, the Heat play 14 points better than average. When Wade is in with Arroyo, however, the Heat play an abysmal 18 points worse than average. Better backup guard play would surely lead to a few more wins.
Also as seen below, the starting lineup has played only 3 points better than average, and the two lineups in bold have been superior to the starting lineup, and probably deserve more minutes.
MIA 2.90 158.70 minutes Beasley Chalmers O’Neal Richardson Wade
MIA 11.93 67.72 minutes
Chalmers Haslem O’Neal Richardson Wade
MIA 15.55 34.99 minutes Beasley Chalmers Jones O’Neal Wade