NBA Preview: The 2015 Miami Heat
Miami Heat Preview
2014 Record: 37-45
Odds to Win NBA Championship: +4300 See the Latest Odds
The Miami Heat have not missed the playoffs back-to-back seasons since 2001-02, and they hope to keep it that way. Here’s your 2015 Miami Heat preview.
Key Player Losses: The Miami Heat really didn’t lose anybody of real importance, unless you want to count players such as Michael Beasley and Henry Walker. Beasley proved he can still play at an NBA level, as he averaged nearly nine points and four rebounds off the bench. Also, Walker shot 34.1 percent from three and was a spark at times off the bench for the Heat. Shabazz Napier was also traded to the Orlando Magic.
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Key Player Additions: The Heat got some center depth with the addition of Amar'e Stoudemire. While quickly approaching 33 years old, Stoudemire has averaged double-digit points every year since 2006 and can still contribute at both ends as long as he knees hold up. The Heat also added Gerald Green, a highflyer who has experience playing with starting point guard Goran Dragic. Green will help give Dwyane Wade and others rest, and he’s a guy who can help speed Miami’s slow offense up to the tempo the coaching staff wants this season.
Draft: Justise Winslow was the steal of the draft, as he was selected 10th and was easily a top-five talent overall. Winslow can play both ends of the floor, can play multiple positions and is a reliable option to give Wade and Luol Deng some rest. Josh Richardson has talent and deserves an honest shot to see playing time, but he’s likely going to ride the bench for much of the season with so much experience in front of him at the guard positions.
2015 Outlook: The main issue with the Miami Heat comes down to health, as it was the only reason this team didn’t make the playoffs last year. If healthy, a starting lineup of Hassan Whiteside, Chris Bosh, Wade, Deng and Dragic can go toe-to-toe with any in the league. The Miami Heat have one of the wider gaps in terms of expectations. The Heat can either be a middle of the road team or be the only team that pushes the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. If health holds up, the Miami Heat are extremely dangerous and a dark horse championship team.