For some reason -- maybe it was because the Celtics were rolling along or simply because the Heat had played more games and the loss totals looked deceiving -- I was under the impression recently that the Heat would have trouble catching the Celtics.
Well, let's look at that again.
The Heat's only one game behind the C's, and with the injuries piling up in Boston, it looks like not only can the Heat catch Boston, but it would frankly be a disappointment if they didn't pass the Celtics and take that No. 1 spot in the East. And 60 wins, which many figured was out of the question for Miami just a few weeks ago, also seems like a low goal. To go 35-13 the rest of the way and finish with 60 wins would mean the Heat losing one out of every four games the rest of the way. If that happens, people will be wondering what's wrong with the Heat again. At this point, a 65-win season is starting to look reasonable, assuming health.
Which brings up the matter of health. Not only are teams taking cheap shots at the Heat (Dwyane Wade has been the most recent victim on a few breakaway dunks), but the team has been incredibly lucky so far in terms of health to the Big Three. Only Wade has missed any games (two total). And when you look at Chris Bosh's history, he tends to miss anywhere from five to 13 games a season (although he's at an ideal weight and conditioning level this year to maintain his health).
Regardless, it starts to make you wonder which of the three the Heat wouldn't be able to do without for any extended stretch.
You tend to shy away from saying Bosh, but then again, he's the only one on the team that gives you what he gives you. He's an inside presence when he wants to be, and he's the best big with which to execute a pick-and-roll. And he has been the team's best rebounder since Udonis Haslem went down.
Wade and LeBron James are somewhat similar in that they both can create and score. But at the moment -- and technically, for the season -- Wade is the better and more efficient scorer, while James is the more consistent playmaker, more effective rebounder with his size and better three-point shooter (he gets hot from distance more often than Wade).
The answer might just be Bosh, though, if only because Wade and LeBron can take over the other's role, if necessary. And with Mike Miller getting healthier, the Heat has another perimeter player to replace any lost minutes.
Ideally, none of them would lose time, but given how easily injuries can happen, it's difficult to imagine a full season without at least one of the Big Three being forced to sit some games.