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NBA 2015-16 Team Previews: Miami Heat – Heating Up

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Miami Heat

Our NBA 2015-16 Team Previews continues with the Southeast Division. Next up it’s time to break down the Miami Heat:

Record:  37-45 10th in the Eastern Conference, 3rd in Southeast Division, Failed to make playoffs

Rank: Offense: 101.5 (22)   Defense: 103.8 (19)  Differential/Net: minus -2.4 (21) Pace: 93.3 (29)

2014-15

Key Stats:

  • Dead last in Total Assist Per Game with 19.8
  • Dead last in Total Rebounds Per Game with 48
  • Second to last in Possessions Per Game with 94.3

Off Season Moves

Key Areas Needing Addressing:

  • Ball movement
  • Offensive fluidity
  • Playing at a faster tempo

Draft:  Justise Winslow picked tenth in first round,  Josh Richardson picked 4oth in second round

Player Additions/Players Re-Signed:

Players Exiting:

2015-16

Core Players:

Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside

Key Reserves: 

Justice Winslow, Mario Chalmers, Josh McRoberts

Outlook

Rising Star:

Theirs just something about left handed players that makes them so fun to watch. Whether it’s the smooth natural stroke they shoot with or the impossible angles they find to get a shot off, they’re just different. Goran Dragic nicknamed “The Dragon” has been flying under the radar as one of the most efficient lead guards in today’s league. Imagine Manu Ginobili as a primarily point guard. Dragic is tremendous attacking off a pick and pop, his ability to slither in the lane and finish in the weirdest of angles has made him one of the most fearless slashers in the game.

As for his shooting, he won’t wow you like the Curry’s or Korver’s do but when left open you can guarantee that it’s three on the board. Dragic is most effective as a point guard off Pick and Pop action, he has been known to struggle with traditional big men rolling to the basket because of his inability to drop a pocket pass. His vision going towards the basket surveying the help makes him one of the best drive and kick players today. Expect a lot of pick and pop action with Dragic and Bosh, which by the way are both lefties… beautiful.

Feb 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) dribbles against the Utah Jazz at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Defensively Goran is a bit slow footed, so staying in front of speedy guards such as Ty Lawson has been a problem for him. Off the ball Dragic is rarely lost because his awareness off the ball makes him an exceptional defender. However on the ball he tends to get caught up in screens. Ironically as good as he is navigating to the lane on offense, he is almost clueless on how to get through screens.

On The Bubble:

Dating back to his days in Chicago, Luol Deng was always a reliable second scoring option. Since then injuries have tainted his performance on the floor. His transition from being a guy expected to play an overall game in Chicago to being a guy who spotted up in the corner for three in Miami was a difficult one. After voicing his opinion on his distaste for the role, Deng’s performance for Miami started improving as his activity level around the basket became more consistent.

X-Factor:

Hassan Whiteside is a name you’ll hear a lot this season. Aside from being a knuckle head at times, his potential as a traditional big in today’s league is outrageous. Already considered as one of the league’s top rim protectors, Whiteside will look to improve his offensive touch around the rim. With Bosh expanding his game to the perimeter, Hassan will have much more room to operate in the post.

Best Case:

A roster full of veterans and a promising rookie in Justice Winslow, this Miami team has been a popular sleeper to come out of the East according to many tabloids. Barring any injures, if this roster can stay healthy and operate under outstanding head coach Erik Spoelstra, a Eastern Finals showdown against Miami’s once beloved superstar wouldn’t be too far fetched.

Worst Case:

With Wade and Bosh approaching the tail bone of their careers, injuries are always a concern. Without Wade or Bosh the offensive versatility with this team will be greatly hindered.

First round exit.

Prediction:

I love this roster and all the dynamics it brings to the table. A talented group of veterans and youngsters under a competitive executive in Pat Riley, I don’t see this team being a disappointment and not improving from last year’s miserable season.

Tough seven game series in the second round.

Games versus the Houston Rockets

  • November 1st at American Airlines Arena in Miami
  • February 2nd at the Toyota Center in Houston

Fansided Affiliate Site:  All U Can Heat

Make sure you catch up on our entire Team Preview Series, our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions to help you get through the early season. Start your morning with SCS Rocket Science Daily and visit us throughout the day to keep abreast of all your Houston Rockets news and updates.

Next: Hawks Preview

Next: Rockets Preview

Next: SCS Complete Round Table Sessions

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