Joel Anthony and Carlos Arroyo just became the two guys every team is going to try to attack.
That’s because Monday Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made it official and named Anthony the starting center and Arroyo the staring point guard for the Heat, according to Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel. Nobody sane is going to test the defense of LeBron James or Dwyane Wade too much, and few have the personnel to go at Chris Bosh. So Anthony and Arroyo it is.
Anthony at the five was expected all preseason. He brings toughness and shot blocking ability, but limited offense and not much rebounding. He’s also 6’9” and some teams have the length to go at him. Which is why Spoelstra said he would start but it likely would be a center-by-committee with Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jamaal Magloire getting time. Those other two larger bodies could see some run against Shaq opening night.
Carlos Arroyo was a bit more of a surprise — he just beat Mario Chalmers out for the job. Arroyo wasn’t blowing everyone away, shooting just 38.6 percent this preseason, but it was better than Chalmers’ 25.9 percent. Chalmers set teammates up a little better and got more steals on defense, but Arroyo was the better player, bar none.
But it’s a long season, Chalmers and all the centers will get their chance. Teams will go at those guys all season long. Spoelstra will have plenty of chances to see who can do the job best.