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Ah, the Zydrunas Ilgauskas era, when a Heat center could step out to the perimeter and hit a mid-range jumper.
It seems like so long ago.
Put it this way, if the Heat’s current four centers were to play a game of h-o-r-s-e, would any of the shots come from beyond five feet?
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Or is that even giving the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the range of Joel Anthony, Dexter Pittman, Eddy Curry and Ronny Turiaf?
When it comes to the center rotation, the Heat are like those strip-mall buffets, where the motto is, “We give you a lot.”
Quantity in the middle the Heat now have.
Granted, there already is plenty of offense on this roster.
And granted, if the Heat need their centers to shoot jumpers, then something is wrong.
But when Ilgauskas was starting a year ago, coach Erik Spoelstra noted how it opened the paint for Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
Anthony, Pittman, Curry and Turiaf aren’t doing that.
This will remain a team playing offense four-on-five (with a pretty good four).
Spoelstra did offer at Thursday’s practice of Turiaf, “He had a skill set, as well, offensively, that we’re looking forward to.”
Yes, he can catch the ball.
And pass it.
The reality is that even with four centers, it is likely in close games than none finish.
Instead, it will be Bosh and Udonis Haslem as the power closers.
With one of the four centers in a sports coat.
And the other three looking on from the bench.
But just for argument’s sake we’ll put the over-under on the longest shot converted by a Heat center the balance of the season at seven feet.