Besides throwing up some links every so often to some of the best written NBA blogs on this planet for their immaculate NBA previews, I also have the lovely duty of putting together a preview for my hometown Miami Heat. No, this site is not a basketball-specific blog, but this is the third year that I have been putting these previews together, and last year, I did pretty damn well picking the final record of the Heat (I was one win off). Let’s see how I fare this year. And now, make some noise…for your…MIAMI HEATTTTTT.
Okay, so now that I have your attention…
Team Name: Miami Heat
Last Year’s Record: 43-39
Key Losses: Jamario Moon, Mark Blount
Key Additions: Carlos Arroyo, Shavlik Randolph, John Lucas, Quentin Richardson
1. What significant moves were made during the offseason?
Unfortunately for the Heat, the biggest move was acquiring Quentin Richardson from the Minnesota for salary hound center, Mark Blount. This summer, the Heat missed out on acquiring swing-man forward, Lamar Odom from the defending champion Lakers, and the bruising Carlos Boozer from the Jazz. The good news for Richardson and the Heat is that he brings the long ball threat that Miami loves to utilize, and he is also a long time friend of Dwyane Wade, who the Heat hope to sign an extension with this year. The Heat’s addition of Carlos Arroyo to their roster adds a veteran guard to the backcourt.
2. What are the team’s biggest strengths?
The Miami Heat’s biggest strength is…Dwyane Wade, surprised? After a strong comeback season where he finished top 3 in MVP votes, “Flash” is back and better than ever. If second year forward Michael Beasley can get past his offseason woes, Pat Riley’s dream of a great tag-team can come full circle. The development of Mario Chalmers allows the Heat to run a fast paced offense, and by this season’s end, Chalmers will most likely be a top tier guard in the league.
3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?
Since the departure of Shaq and the retiring of Alonzo Mourning, the Heat’s biggest hole is the center position. Year after year the Heat try to develop a young center, but the products have been Earl Barron and Joel Anthony…enough said. With the mid-season acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal, the soft spot of the defense was hopefully going to be filled, but it seems only temporary. Perhaps with a Magloire, Anthony, and O’Neal frontcourt, the Heat can contend with the size the East has to offer.
4. What are the goals for this team?
Every so often, a summer like the one upcoming brings such great free agents that a team wants all of them. The Heat are looking to sign the likes of Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudamire, and/or put a bid in for LeBron James. The main goal is to sign Dwyane Wade to a multi-year deal in order to keep him from testing the free agent waters. The Heat are looking to add another big name to play along side Wade to not only keep him happy, but to keep the people of Miami interested.
5. Don’t count out Daequan Cook.
The third year guard out of Ohio State has shown significant improvement after each summer, including winning the 3-point shooting contest last All-Star break. The 6-5 guard gives the Heat different looks at the guard position, and Cook has proved to be a good defender, and will only get better with experience. Look for big things from him this year.
Predicted Record: 44- 38. Due to the lack of free agent signings, the Miami Heat will improve only slightly this season and will enter the playoffs at a 4-6 seed.