Quite frankly, this is the best part of the sporting calendar. Why? Well, baseball is in the heart of the playoff race to the World Series, the NFL and college football seasons are in full swing, and the NBA is just a few days away from kicking off. I am joining Sold Out Crowd Sports to talk all things Miami Heat and NBA. The NBA is my passion and I am so excited for this season to start.
Enough of the fluffy BS, let’s get to what you all want to read about:
This year’s Miami Heat team.
I’ll start off by saying this, I really believe this team is going to be extremely fun to follow. Besides the ‘Big Three’ era, that 30-11 run was some of the most fun I have ever had watching the Heat.
We have most of the returning cast with the additions of Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo.
After missing out on Gordon Hayward, the Heat signed Dion Waiters and James Johnson to some good sized contracts after having career years in their first with the Miami Heat. The biggest question is, is the team that was 30-11 good, 60 wins good? The answer devastates many: Nah, probably not. But, I do think this team is going to be a team that no one wants to deal with on any given night.
Defensively, I don’t have to get into much. If you know Miami Heat basketball, you know that defense is the foundation of this organization each and every year. The Heat will defend and defend well.
Offensively they need to keep the same style of play they had during that run last year; a drive and kick offense. Penetration with Goran and Dion, and dishing it out to Ellington, Kelly, James Johnson, Tyler Johnson, and Josh Richardson, Miami’s best 3 point shooters.
I am excited to see the development of Justise Winslow throughout this season as he returns from his shoulder surgery. I haven’t given up on him, not yet at least. He is already an elite defender, and yes people, he is elite. Don’t take your eyes off him when he’s on defense and you’ll see what I mean. So far from this preseason, at least from an offensive stand point – Oh Lord. His jump shot hasn’t improved. He has always been able to use his athleticism and strength to get to the rim but his feel and finishing around the rim is average to below average.
The kid is 21 years of age people – Calm the hell down and give him time!
Josh Richardson just got an extension for 42 million dollars. I was hesitant on the idea of that but so far his play this preseason has been exceptional. I truly think he has played himself into the starting small forward spot on opening night. It was a 3-man race with Richardson, McGruder and Winslow, but Josh I believe has pulled away with the crown.
I was extremely excited to watch Dion this year, and I still am. Although, to the dismay of many, he revealed in camp that his ankle isn’t 100% just yet. Doctors gave him the option of surgery if he wanted, but he decided to go the treatment route. That worries me a little *cough* Ryan Tannehill *cough*. He hasn’t looked too bad this preseason, although I don’t see the same quickness and explosiveness. He has gotten through the games with no visible issues so, hopefully, the ankle heals up and we can see Dion at full strength as the season goes on. Dion is a stud, and if he is healthy I don’t see why he won’t average 18 or more a game.
The Olynyk pickup is great. I think he might start at the 4 so that James Johnson can be at his best with the bench group and alongside Tyler Johnson. But, I could be wrong. Maybe Spo gives James a shot at the starting 4. Hassan is going to be an All-Star and do his thing. Goran is going to Goran, I’m not worried about them.
Ultimately I see this team as a 4-6th seed in the East. The Cavs are the team to beat in the East and are as deep as ever with their additions (thanks Dwyane, jerk, kidding I love you, I think) This team is going to be a freakin blast, mark my words. This will be fun this season.
OPENING NIGHT LINEUP PREDICTION
PG- Goran Dragic
SG- Dion Waiters
SF- Josh Richardson
PF- Kelly Olynyk
REGULAR SEASON RECORD PREDICTION