MIAMI, Fla. -- Dwyane Wade remembers, you bet he remembers.
James Posey in the corner, as he seemingly always was, this time with 3:43 left in the fourth quarter. Heat up three. Wade with the pass. Posey with the 3-pointer. Game. Moments later, jubilation. Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals over, the Miami Heat, for the first time, NBA champions.
There have been plenty of Wade assists for 3-pointers since, with teammates such as Mario Chalmers, James Jones, Mike Miller, Shane Battier, Mike Bibby, Eddie House, Daequan Cook, Ricky Davis and Jason Kapono.
But the chemistry with Posey was special, the quarterback who knew where the receiver would be, the receiver who intuitively would read the passing lane.
There were other choices during the 2005-06 championship season, including Antoine Walker and Jason Williams, but there hasn't been anything like Wade-to-Posey since, well, Wade-to-Posey.
Which bring us, and more significantly, Wade, to this coming season.
Never have the drive-and-kick options been so bountiful, not only are Chalmers, Jones, Miller and Battier back, but arriving for the defense of the Heat's second championship are Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
At a time when LeBron James is assuming a greater share of the Heat's offense, Wade now finds himself in position to channel back to what he had in 2006, that instinctive connection with a spot-up sniper.
"I mean, that'd be great," he said during a break in his book tour, as he looked ahead to the Sept. 29 start of training camp at AmericanAirlines Arena. "Posey was huge for us."
During the run to the 2012 championship, Wade said he began to develop a similar bond with Battier, one that developed late, with Battier's unlikely postseason insertion into the starting lineup at power forward.
"I think I did a little bit in the Finals," Wade said. "With the matchup problems, sometimes I drove just to get guys shots. So I knew that once I drove, that bigger guys who were guarding Shane were going to come to the rim and protect the rim. Shane had a lot of open shots."
Wade said he expects to do more of the same this time around.
"My mind frame a lot would be when I get to the paint, when I attack, sometimes I'm going just to draw the defense, knowing I've got the shooters and I need to get my shooters shots," he said. "I can always get my own shot. But when I'm in the game, my mindset is, 'OK, I need to get these guys going,' because they're going to get things open for everyone."
Wade said it is too early to consider specific chemistry, having yet to make it to the court for workouts with Allen and Lewis, a process that could be delayed by Wade's rehabilitation from his July 9 arthroscopic knee surgery. But he said there is nothing wrong with trying to find his next Posey.
"No, it's not dangerous to have a favorite," he said. "As long as the ball goes in, I think we all would be satisfied with it."
When the Heat clinched last season's championship, Miller was everyone's go-to choice from distance, with his seven 3-pointers in the series-clinching Game 5 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals.
Now? Now the options have practically been squared.
"We've got a great bunch of guys to choose from," Wade said. "We've got some of the best 3-point shooters the NBA has ever seen. So it's kind of pick your poison."
IN THE LANE
POSITION-LESS IMPOSITION:With "position-less" basketball practically rising to Heat offseason anthem, it would be curious if the Heat were to take it to the logical next level this coming season, introducing players, at least Heat players, without specific positional designations. Power forward Chris Bosh, for example, is now a center. Erik Spoelstrais telling us LeBron James is a "one through five." And exactly what position does Shane Battier play, anyway? Considering Spoelstra is reluctant to reveal his starting lineups as it is, isn't the next step for Mike Baiamonte to simply handle the introductions with number, school and name? Unorthodox? Sure. But so were the lineups that drove the Heat to the championship.
RUSS ON RAY: A Boston Celtic through and through, Bill Russell this past week offered his thoughts to NBA.com on Ray Allen's free-agency shift from the Celtics to the Heat. "During the playoffs," the Hall of Fame center said, "I kept hearing people say that his legs were going so his jump shot wasn't as effective. Sometimes, management doesn't make their own decisions and takes the word of someone who doesn't really know. So, Ray can be a boost to Miami. But Jason Terry going to the Celtics can also be a boost. Basically, you're trading a shooter for a scrapper. So, you have to see how it blends in with the guys who you kept."
TEAM BUILDING: Russell also touched on the Heat continually adding veterans around the core of James, Dwyane Wade and Bosh. "What Miami is doing is similar to a theory that Red [Auerbach, the legendary Celtics coach] used to have," Russell said. "You have
a core group and you bring in some veterans so you don't have rookies coming off the bench. Most of the time it worked but sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, we would bring a veteran in hoping to get one more year out of them but they were psychologically destructive, so we can only use them one year. They were not about winning. They were about their career."
STILL WAITING: Selected in the second round in 2010 NBA Draft by the Heat, swingman Da'Sean Butler never was able to make it to the court from his horrific Final Four knee injury against Duke. A similar comeback bid also failed with the San Antonio Spurs. So, for now, Butler has decided to return to his roots, serving as a graduate assistant at West Virginia. Butler is coming off a third surgery on his left knee, the one that had the shattered ACL. He spent part of last season in the NBA Development League. The Mountaineers open practice Oct. 12.
STILL GOING: Even as the Heat deal with their own limitations at center, their legacy in the middle continues in free agency, with Jamaal Magloire re-upping with the Toronto Raptors for a partially-guaranteed deal and Earl Barron (who actually has a Heat 2006 championship ring) and Shavlik Randolph signing make-good camp contracts with the Washington Wizards.
0. Black varsity players at LSU before Collis Temple, father of Heat camp hopeful Garrett Temple, played for the school's basketball team in 1971-72.