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Heat clear out Carlos Arroyo to make way for Mike Bibby. Is that an upgrade?

Mar 1, 2011, 2:58 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v New Orleans Hornets Getty Images

To bring Mike Bibby in, somebody had to go.

So adios Carlos Arroyo. Thanks for your services.

Arroyo was bought out by the Heat, sent packing to make room for Bibby, who is expected to sign with the Heat on Wednesday when he clears waivers. Bibby sacrificed his $6.2 million salary next season to be bought out by the Wizards and get to a contender.

Bibby for Arroyo. Is that an upgrade?

Well, it is if Bibby plays. Arroyo has appeared in just two of the Heat’s last seven games, for a total of 21 minutes.

In the Heat offense the point guard doesn’t do a lot of ball handling, most of that goes to Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. The point guard is mostly a spot up shooter. Particularly from three.

Overall Bibby both have been very good three point shooters this season — Bibby 44.1 percent, Arroyo 43.8 percent. But in spot-up threes Arroyo is shooting 46.3 percent to Bibby’s 44.3 percent, according to Synergy Sports. All this says is that both are really knocking down the long all this season.

Step inside the arc through and Bibby is shooting just 37 percent on long two pointers (longer than 16 feet) while Arroyo is hitting 48 percent. Neither of them get to the rim much at all (but Bibby finishes better when he gets there once every other game or so). Also, if asked to be the pick and roll ball handler Arroyo is more effective, scoring 90 points for every 100 possessions in that role, compared to 69 for Bibby.

Bibby is better in transition this season, shooting 54.2 percent in that case to 48.3 percent for Arroyo, and Bibby is a much better three point shooter in transition.

On defense, Bibby’s reputation is terrible, which pretty much matches up with the eyeball test. But over at ESPN’s Heat Index blog the very smart Tom Haberstroh says Bibby is not that bad a defender, noting that the Hawks were a decent defensive team with Bibby playing big minutes.

• This season, the Hawks were better defensively with Bibby on the floor than when he sat on the bench. The Hawks allowed 105.4 points per 100 possessions with him and 106.6 points with him riding pine.

• He grades out as an “average” defender this season according to data from Synergy Sports. The grade spectrum for a given player is as follows: “poor,” “below average,” “average,” “good,” “very good” and “excellent” depending on how many points he allows on every play he directly defends.

That the Hawks were better with Bibby on the floor than off could speak to Bibby being a better defender than we thought. Or it could speak to Jeff Teague (the Hawks backup point) being an even bigger disappointment than we thought.

Also on Synergy, Arroyo does a little bit better in holding down the pick-and-roll ball handler than scoring, and seems to stick better with spot up guys at the arc better (Arroyo hold spot up three shooters to 8 fewer percentage points).

All of this really points to is that Bibby is not some massive talent upgrade over Arroyo at this point in his career. Most guys bought out and picked up on waivers are not — they are on waivers for a reason.

But if Bibby can get on the court and just be what he was in Atlanta, that is still more than the Heat have been getting out of Arroyo.

  1. connorchew - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    ugh.. does this even matter..hahaha

  2. loungefly74 - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    the heat would have wiser to go get the big man instead…troy murphy…but hey, what do i know?

    • digitalpoo - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      I agree.. Why worry about a point guard when Wade and Lebron have it covered. I get the fact that they want to spread the floor but don’t James Jones, Mike Miller and Eddie House already do that?

      • ibejeph - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        They just want Bibby as a guy to knock down threes and possibly a big shot guy. I would think he isn’t going to have any real PG or ball handling duties.

        He was never a traditional PG, if memory serves correct. Even in his Sac-Town days, the guy was known for scoring rather than setting up people.

        Many moons ago, Bibby was considered a big shot guy. On Miami, he’ll get a chance to resurrect those old times.

        Even old, beige-colored Bibby is better than Arroyo.

  3. loungefly74 - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    i understand your thought ibejeph but with huge, huge superstars in wade and james, those 2 will always want to take the big shot…i just cant see him in a “paxon/kerr/” role.

    digitalpoo nails it with: “Why worry about a point guard when Wade and Lebron have it covered”…those guys will have the ball in their hands at cruch time.

    overall…i guess it doesn’t hurt to have a vet off the bench…but murphy would have been nicer…he has height and can hit an outside shot.

    • ibejeph - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      Don’t get me wrong. I was not trying to say Bibby is going to be taking crunch time shots away from LeBron or Wade but there will be those games when they look for the outside shot in a close game. I’m sure they’d rather have Bibby attempting those than Arroyo.

  4. chitownjeff - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    It said tons here that Teague couldn’t beat out Bibby clearly for the pg position. Mike has been a disappointment since he got to the ATL. He got straight wore out by B Jennings last year.. if the Heat are lookin for 10-14 minutes a game fine.. but M Bibby is toast.. he’s a shell of what he use to be..

  5. mickdamill - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Listing fg% playing on a team like this does not matter, the reason they are bringing Bibby here is not to score. This fails to mention Mike Bibby has almost twice the assists per game than Arroyo does. Bibby is going to Miami to make assists and make plays off the ball.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:02 PM

      Mickdamill, in Atlanta Bibby got assists because he had the ball in his hands, that will happen much less often now. His assists will go down sharply because of it.

      Look, put simply, there is a reason the Hawks have spent the last couple seasons looking for anyone else to be their PG.

      • mickdamill - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:26 PM

        You’re missing my point they dont want or need Arroyo or Bibby to score pts. Its about who is going to beable to play PG better and create baskets for other players. Bibby wont need the ball in his hands to play off the ball offense which he does much better than Arroyo. Bibby will make much wiser decisions when the occasion does arrise when he handles the ball with the second unit. The Heat cannot rest all 3 of their stars simutaneously at this point without losing the lead. Rest time for those 3 without huge negative effects is what I believe they going for by picking up Bibby.

        The Hawks are looking for another PG because he is old and they have money to spend the Heat are looking for the best they can get at a minimum salary.

      • ibleedaquaorange - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM

        “The Heat cannot rest all 3 of their stars simutaneously at this point without losing the lead. Rest time for those 3 without huge negative effects is what I believe they going for by picking up Bibby.”

        Uhhh… they will never rest all 3 of them because… there’s 3 of them. You never have to. That’s one of the advantages, why on earth would you take that away? Plus I think LBJ likes being in “Cleveland mode” where he can put everything on his back and pad his stats for stretches.

        I don’t like dropping Arroyo, he was good insurance, but he is not comparable to what Bibby brings to the Heat. There’s a reason Arroyo was shooting a career-high 3P% this year; they were the most wide-open looks he’s ever had in his life, and he knew in order to get minutes he had to hit that at a fair clip. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to sustain that %, which is what you get with a guy who isn’t a true 3-point shooter. The FG% comparisons for this season mean nothing to me, and they should not mean anything when you take into account Arroyo’s inflated 3-point stats because of the surrounding talent. Bibby is the better shooter and his % will inflate here too.

        Bottom line: The Heat need a guy to HIT THOSE SHOTS consistently (Chalmers can’t, Arroyo can’t, House/Jones/Miller are not getting it done as of this moment). They also require direction on offense. Chalmers is not a point guard. LeBron is ad-libbing too many important shots. I most definitely want Mike Bibby to handle the rock and make these guys do some work off-the-ball for once instead of just calling for isos at the top of the key (zzz).

  6. glut180 - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Thanks God, Arroyo is finally gone! +1 mediocre center position player would make Heat a real contender.

  7. bigtrav425 - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    At this stage in Bibby’s career No its not a upgrade..simple as that

  8. bearsbulls34 - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    It won’t do any harm to their roster, but what the Heat truly lack, and what I think will keep them out of the playoffs, are a deeper bench and a good center. The Celtics may not have Perkins anymore, but they still have a very deep bench, a true PG and nice compliment of low-post players; the Bulls, similarly, have a solid bench, good rotation of young, talented big men, and the best PG in the NBA. LeBron and Wade will still have to rotate guarding Derrick Rose, and Rondo will continue to give the Heat fits with his gritty defense.

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