Just three years ago, the Miami Heat were basking in the glory of their third NBA Finals victory, hurdling the elusive back-to-back championships that many elite teams fail to reach. Now, they face an entirely new challenge: simply making the playoffs.
Franchise player Dwyane Wade explored his options in free agency this year, ultimately deciding to play for his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls. In wake of Wade’s departure, all-star center Chris Bosh has anticipated becoming the leader of the Heat. However, he was unfortunately deemed unfit to start the season due to an ongoing issue with blood clots in his legs. With the sustainability of his career in question, Bosh will certainly be out for the season.
This leaves Hassan Whiteside as the Heat’s best player and presumed team leader. Listed as seven feet tall, the immensely talented center was drafted out of Marshall University, as the hope to lead Miami to success this year. It will be a tough challenge, as the Southeast division looks to be one of the premier divisions in the NBA with teams like Atlanta, Washington, and Charlotte being playoff contenders that are projected to finish in a higher placement in the standings than Miami.
Seemingly adding insult to injury, according to the National Basketball Association’s website, it was revealed that Josh McRoberts suffered a broken foot during the playoffs and will be unable to play at the beginning of the season. Given this information, Miami is left reeling as to what they can do to make any marginal improvement from last year.
They look to an experienced coach coupled with a youthful roster to make magic happen, centering their offense around Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and a close quartered offense that will feature a high tempo and a lot of tight passing that will lead to a high number of layups and close shots.
The Heat open their season this year on Oct. 26 at home against the Orlando Magic.