Best NBA Team: Heat ’10 or Cavs ’14?

2 of 2

Dec 14, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters (3) drives to the basket as Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) defends during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Player Year Age PER PPG RPG APG
Mario Chalmers 2009 24 10.74 7.1 1.8 3.4
Dion Waiters 2013 22 14.1 15.9 2.8 3
Difference N/A -2 3.36 8.8 1 -0.4

Chalmers was in his second season out of Kansas and playing on a Heat team that struggled. Waiters, last season, was in and out of the starting lineup and struggled to find consistency with Irving. Chalmers wasn’t asked to do much, which he seemed okay doing. Waiters is an aggressive player that wants to be the best and will fight for any time to show how good he is.

Advantage: Cavs – While not a huge advantage in PER, Waiters scored at a much higher clip then Chalmers who both played for teams that struggled. Waiters also has a few years age difference then Chalmers.

Player Year Age PER PPG RPG APG
James Jones 2009 29 8.8 4.1 1.3 0.5
James Jones 2013 33 15.47 4.9 1.2 0.5
Difference N/A 4 6.67 0.8 -0.1 0

Cavs  Jones is older then Heat Jones but they are both similar players. Jones played a bigger role in ’09 then he did in ’13 but he also had far worse teammates in ’09. Even so somehow Jones had a significantly higher PER last year then in ’09.

Advantage: Push – While Jones PER is higher the rest of his stats were very similar and he has aged 4 years. How much he is used on the team this year is a mystery but his ability to shoot the 3 will keep him in the league for some time.

Player Year Age PER PPG RPG APG
Zydrunas Illgauskas 2009 34 11.99 7.4 5.4 0.8
Anderson Varejao 2013 31 17.05 8.4 9.7 2.2
Difference N/A -3 5.06 1 4.3 1.4

Sad to write about the Heat’s version of Big Z, but his stats in ’09, his last with the Cavs as a player were not great. He was showing his signs of aging and couldn’t compliment James enough to have a huge impact. Varejao was actually healthy last year and made strides in his shooting that really helped the team. With his high post passing, he will continue to be an asset. Z was a better shot blocker but Andy’s quick feet and hands are much better then Z ever was.

Advantage: Cavs – Andy isn’t a shot blocker, nor does he have a low post game to speak of. Yet his ability to cut off the ball, make the proper passes and play solid defense are all hugely important. He has advantages in all stats in his comparison to Big Z.

Player Year Age PER PPG RPG APG
Joel Anthony 2009 28 10.26 2.7 3.1 0.2
Tristan Thompson 2013 23 14.96 11.7 9.2 0.9
Difference N/A -5 4.7 9 6.1 0.7

Two different but similar players. Anthony was a rim protector and little more while Tristan struggles in that role but has a better all around game. Anthony’s limitation were acceptable given what the Heat needed the next year with the Big 3 but were unimpressive in ’09. Tristan put up solid, but unspectacular, numbers last year on a losing team. He is much younger but will his game adjust to the addition of James and Love as well as most likely coming off the bench?

Advantage: Cavs – Tristan is younger and far more versatile. Anthony’s rebounding numbers were surprising given his role on the team. Tristan gives some versatility off the bench for the Cavs next year.

Player Year Age PER PPG RPG APG
Mike Miller 2009 30 14 10.9 6.2 3.9
Mike Miller 2013 34 12.5 7.1 2.5 1.6
Difference N/A 4 -1.5 -3.8 -3.7 -2.3

Last year’s Mike Miller was healthy. He was also healthy in ’09 with the Wizards before coming over to the Heat. Miller’s numbers were down last year and he is always a risk to be hurt for extended periods of time. The Miller in ’09 was capable of being a good 6th man off the bench while the Miller the Cavs are getting is more of a 8th or 9th man. His shooting is still spot on and will help spread the floor when used properly.

Advantage: Heat – That Miller would be great on this Cavs team, and is why James wanted him so badly. Sadly that Miller is gone and a past his prime Miller is here. Maybe the Cleveland Clinic can keep him healthy but the days of him playing down low enough to get 6.2 boards a game are far over. As to are his ability to create for others and get almost 4 dimes a game.

Player Year Age PER PPG RPG APG
Carlos Arroyo 2009 31 12.38 6.1 1.8 3.1
Matthew Dellavedova 2013 23 10.69 4.7 1.7 2.6
Difference N/A -8 -1.69 -1.4 -0.1 -0.5

Arroyo was a crucial part of the ’10 Heat and had a fine season the year before. Never one of the Top 5 players on his team, he always had the ability to contribute. Delly was a rookie last year, though old for his first season. He played well in his limited time but had to play behind 3 other guards most often. Arroyo is a better offensive player while Delly’s strength is on defense. To get minutes with the Cavs he will have to improve his 3 point stroke.

Advantage: Heat – Arroyo was more seasoned and useful at that stage then Delly. Delly’s age advantage means he could improve dramatically over the next couple years if given a chance.

Player Year Age PER PPG RPG APG
Eddie House 2009 32 10.58 7.2 1.4 1
Shawn Marion 2013 36 13.78 10.4 6.5 1.6
Difference N/A 4 3.2 3.2 5.1 0.6

Marion is here, not because he will be a 10th man, but just trying to match up players a bit better from above. Likely he will be a 6th or 7th man for the Cavs. House was always a shooter who struggled in other areas of the game which limited his minutes. While Marion is older he has hung in there well. His defense, rebounding and funky jumper will all be fun to watch for the Cavs’ fans this year.

Advantage: Cavs – Even though he is older, Marion is far better player then House and the stats prove it. Easy call here.

Heat 2009 28.70 16.32 12.58 4.07 3.04
Cavs 2013 27.70 17.51 13.71 5.66 2.93
Difference N/A -1.00 1.19 1.13 1.59 -0.11
Difference N/A -9 12.24 11.3 12.7 -1.1

More from Cleveland Cavaliers

So looking at the statistical results over all the Cavs are 9 years younger and better, barely, in all statistically categories on average. The cumulative differences look better but are still not very significant. The most interesting number is age as 3 of the Cavs players were also used in comparison to the Heat team going into ’10 so each is 4 years older, for a total of 12.

In the match-ups the Cavs still have the advantage with 5 wins, 2 pushes and 3 loses. Based on these results it looks like the Cavs and Heat, statistically and based on match-ups are very similar. The age difference means the Cavs have a lot more improvement in their future but to think this team is ready to be one of the best in NBA history, based on last year, is pushing it. They are better then the team the Heat put together coming into ’10 but not by much.

Any of these comparisons or stats surprise you? Anything you disagree with?