I don’t think a team has ever been more memorable going 41-41 than the Miami Heat. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks on January 13, the Heat slumped to 11-30 at the halfway mark of the season and held the second-worst record in the NBA. Throughout the rest of the season, the Heat finished 30-11 and missed the playoffs by the barest possible margin, in a tiebreaker over the Chicago Bulls. After being riddled with injuries, this team played tough basketball. Coach Erik Spoelstra did an incredible job to get this season back to anywhere near a playoff position after their terrible start.
The Miami Heat are about to embark on their first season without Dwyane Wade since 2002, and with Chris Bosh expected to miss this year's season yet again with health concerns,this poses serious problems for the heat. The positives for the Heat is that they have two key pieces in point guard Goran Dragic who just two years ago was named in the all NBA third team, with the absence of Wade, Dragic can now run this offence, the Heat also have big man Hassan Whiteside who if his pre-season is anything to go by is ready to explode, along with the promising young talent of Justice Winslow this team can still stay relevant in playoff contention, however an Eastern Conference finals berth is most certainly out of the question without Chris Bosh.
Expected Wins (37).
It was a season of what if’s for the Miami Heat. The Heat were riddled with injuries all season. The Heat led the league in player games lost during to injury/illness with 328. Chris Bosh was forced to miss the entire season with blood clots in his lungs and it more than likely that his career is over. Budding young star Justise Winslow missed 64 games while Josh McRoberts missed 60 and Dion Waiters who was a revelation in the second half of the season, missed 36 games. Coach Erik Spoelstra who is in the running for coach of the year produced 22 starting lineups with every player but three getting a starting callup. Hassan Whiteside was one of the few players that didn’t suffer from a prolonged injury, playing 77 games. Whiteside was a beast all season, averaging 17 points, 14.1 rebounds and two blocks a game. Goran Dragic has been overlooked by most this season, In his All-NBA of 2013-14 in Phoenix, Dragic averaged 20.3 points, 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds. This season Dragic averaged 20.3 points, 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds. The Heat struggled against poor teams and excelled against the better teams this season. This is promising signs for this young Heat team. They defeated the Wizards four times, Cleveland three times, Houston twice and the Golden State Warriors once. Whilst it wasn’t the result the Heat were looking for, they should hold their heads high on a great season.
The Heat should only build off this season. If the Heat can get Justise Winslow healthy, combined with the much-improved backcourt of Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic and of course Hassan Whiteside at the center position the Heat should be able to force their way back into the playoffs next season.