The big question for the Miami Heat is how will they fare without Lebron James? While people are totally focusing on the Cleveland Cavaliers, odds makers are also not giving much credibility to this season's Heat squad. Let's take a look at the Over/Under for the 2014-2015 Miami Heat.
From the Penthouse to the Outhouse?
I know that the Heat were grossly outplayed in last year's NBA Finals against an aging San Antonio Spurs team and this season will be without Lebron James, but odds makers aren't giving the Heat much consideration, listing their over/under win total at a mere 43.5 wins. This is a team that made some offseason acquisitions and had a solid draft. I find it difficult to believe that Miami goes from a championship team to a team that's a tad over .500.
Except for the finals, I really thought that Chris Bosh stepped up his game last season to where he was at when he was a member of the Toronto Raptors. Bosh is in the prime of his career at age 30. This is a player that is widely known as "soft" on the inside, but will give provide the Heat with an estimated 17 points and 7 rebounds per game. Bosh also shoots over 50% from the field and 80% from the charity stripe. With the departure of Lebron James, players will have to step it up and look for Chris Bosh, who is capable of hitting the big shot, to have a big season.
It is evident that D.Wade isn't the same player that he once was, but let's remember this is a player that played at a very high level, therefore a bit of a dropoff is still considered way above average for the average NBA player. This is a player with a big ego and you will see the competitiveness in Wade when the Cleveland Cavaliers come to South Beach. That said, look for head coach Erik Spoelstra to give Wade his occasional day off, but you're going to see a Dwayne Wade that's in much better shape this season.
Just as Lebron James has decided to drop weight with the new fad diet, Wade has also done the same and that will take pressure off his injury-plagued knees and improve his overall game. Ever since James was a member of the Heat, Wade learned how to be a second option and that's just the attitude that he'll take with the addition of Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts to this squad. This is a team filled with unselfish players and that will work to their benefit. Wade is still the man in Miami and you'll see that in his play this season.
The Perfect Fit
Luol Deng is the perfect fit that will provide this team with some depth. He can basically do it all; he can shoot, rebound, hit key free throws, and find the open man when need be. Deng also possesses experience from being on a winning team like the Chicago Bulls and will be a positive mentor for the youngest players. This is an unselfish and tireless player that knows how to produce. Expect Deng to put up the same numbers that he did in the past and make an easy transition to the Heat squad.
A Bigman that Can Put Up Numbers
No offense to the Birdman, but the acquisition of Josh McRoberts is a key one. He'll provide relief for Chris Bosh with his ability to rebound, pass the ball as a bigman.. McRoberts numbers weren't huge with Charlotte, but look for them to take a major jump as this is a player that's known for putting up huge games. That said, consistency will be something that he needs to work on, but he's definitely an improvement from what the Heat had on their squad the past couple of seasons. This is a great fit; plenty of "PT" available.
The Best Point Guard In the Draft
This is what Lebron James labeled Shabazz Napier, who won 2 championships with UCONN, as when he wanted the Heat to draft Napier. The Heat management obliged by making moves on draft day to get Napier and Lebron decides to go elsewhere. Lebron actually did the Heat a favor as Napier is a guard that can do it all if called upon. He's a real gem that was sitting at the end of the 1st round of the NBA Draft and will be a great fit. This kid has more offensive skill than Norris Cole and will bypass Cole into being a major part of this team.
What to Expect?
I don't know if the Heat are capable of reaching the NBA Finals, but for your NBA picks note they're definitely capable of being a 50 win team. The 43.5 wins for the over/under betting totals is a joke.
NBA Pick: Miami Heat Over 43.5 Wins