Season Preview 2016-17: Miami Heat

2015–16 Recap

“The Decision” was over six years ago. That’s crazy.

Last year was supposed to be the season that Miami had enough tools to comeback and sleigh the beast that deserted them. But in February the team learned that another blood clot was discovered in the lungs of Chris Bosh and that he’d be shut down for the remainder of the season. It was a devastating blow to a team with legitimate championship aspirations. The team still managed to finish the regular season as the third seed in the East behind inspired play from Dragic, Wade, Whiteside, Deng, and Joe Johnson but really missed Bosh when they ran up against the Raptors in the second round of the playoffs. Could it have been enough to slay the Cavs? That would have been fun but that question is as difficult to answer as the “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop” question…stupid owl. Boy that’s a dated reference…

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Roster Moves

The Miami Heat offseason was the antithesis of the 2010 offseason. One thing that is clear is that Pat Riley is somehow walking around with a cold, dead heart. That man did the unthinkable and let Dwyane Wade leave what was essentially his franchise. Honestly the move makes sense for the Heat’s long term plans as they don’t have to overpay an aging star but it just wreaked of insensitivity. But the real reason Riley would make a good tin man (no heart…another dated reference) is the Bosh situation. Bosh still has three years remaining on his contract and has made it clear that he wants to continue playing the game. Riley has made it clear that the Heat no longer want anything to do with him, but will keep him on the roster and will likely not release him until after March 1. Why? So that he won’t be eligible to play for another team in the postseason. Pat Riley is such a douche.

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Who did they keep then? Whiteside received a four-year, $98 million deal and Tyler Johnson received a four-year, $50 million deal. They also added Dion Waiters, Wayne Ellington, James Johnson, Willie Reed, and Luke Babbitt.

2016–17 Expectations

How does a Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Hassan Whiteside, Josh McRoberts, and Justise Winslow starting five sound to you? Your key reserves are Tyler Johnson, Dion Waiters, and Wayne Ellington. That team doesn’t have contender written on it, does it?

While you could argue that Dragic and Whiteside are nice starting pieces, it just doesn’t look like this team is playing for this year.

Michael Steenstra

Mike covered the NBA for four seasons for HOOP Japan. During his time there, he interviewed some of the top names in the game, including one-on-ones with Karl Anthony Towns, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Dwyane Wade, among others. He’s also the former classmate of boy band phenomenon, Kevin Jonas.