Can The Miami Heat Win The 2015 NBA Championship Without LeBron James
Saturday, July 12, 2014
The Line: See the Latest Odds
As you may have heard, the Miami Heat lost LeBron James to free agency and the sky is falling. The team that just reached the Eastern Conference Finals four years in a row is now a mediocre team with expectations as high as the next mediocre teams in the NBA.
Or is it?
USA TODAY Sports
If you are looking to lock in some extremely early future NBA bets, I’d suggest you sprinkle a little something on the Heat winning the NBA Championship in 2015.
Sure, I sound like a clown right now, but with odds as high as +5000 on offshore books, you can’t go wrong. Surely, I don’t think the Heat have what it takes to win it all with the roster as is, but this provides plenty of wiggle room for hedging when the time comes.
First off, the Heat still have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, a talented duo that is certainly still good enough to get the Heat in the playoffs. Wade still has some gas left in the tank and Bosh is a dominant player when he isn’t having to play third fiddle on a team led by James. You’ll see a more aggressive Bosh this season and somebody who can takeover games.
The Heat added Josh McRoberts, who is a more athletic version of Bosh and will be a solid piece as well. Danny Granger is an absolute steal if he can get his knees healthy and be anything close to what he was for the Indiana Pacers.
And while it may seem like I’m trying to sell you on a team that has just a few guys, James’ departure now leaves a ton of cap space for Pat Riley to add some pieces. Whether that’s Trevor Ariza, Luol Deng or, wait for it, Carmelo Anthony, the Heat aren’t waiving the white flag and are surely going to add one or two key players to their current roster. That also means the odds are probably going to drop a bit.
Now, about the hedging.
The Heat’s roster right now is good enough to win 43-48 games. In the East, that is good enough to clinch anywhere from the sixth to third seed, as we witnessed last season. I’ll take my chances with the Heat in the first round of the playoffs and depending on how things are looking in the second round is where you begin to bet against the Heat to secure yourself a profit either way.
Yes, the East just got better with the Cleveland Cavaliers becoming championship contenders, but there aren’t many other teams in that conference that can beat the Heat in a seven-game series. The Pacers are terrible, Chicago can’t score and the Raptors are still a question mark. Let’s not even bring up the Hornets, Nets or whatever shaky team that plays in the East.
The Heat are still a playoff team and can still make some serious noise if a couple more pieces are added within the next week or so. No, the Heat won’t win the NBA championship, but they can still make your wallet fat this season.
That’s all we care about.