Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Miami Heat

MIami Heat Season preview

Projected starting lineup
G Jason Williams
G Dwayne Wade
F Antoine Walker
F Udonis Haslem
C Shaquille O'Neal

Alonzo Mourning
Smush Parker
Penny Hardaway

Last year
No one really believed that Miami could do it for a second year in a row. Then again, no one really believed they would make it all the way 2 years ago ether. But with the same team except for the fact that everyone got a year older, the Heat went into the season to defend their crown. I think though that starting the year off with a 40 point lose at home, especially with the ring ceremony being that same night, everyone knew that it would be a challenge for them to even come close to repeating. People always had to include the Heat in the conversation, but did these people really believe that the Heat deserved that spot? Shaq showed that he is completely unable to go 82 games at this stage in his career. While he still deserves tons of respect from the defense, the cracks in the armor are getting wider and wider. He missed around 30 games during the first few months of the season. On top of that, both James Posey and Antoine Walker were told to stay dressed in some nice suits for a few games due to the fact that they had a few too many post-championship celebrations. Jason Williams was down and out most of the season which left very old Gary Payton as the point guard option. Although the biggest hit the team faced was the injury to Dwayne Wade's shoulder, as if forced him to miss a month and a half of the season, as well as head into the playoffs not playing at 100%. Riley had mentioned a few times how this team feels like they will be able to coast the regular season and move into a second gear for the playoffs. Riley mentioned they would be wrong in that assumption. Riley was right. A shocking 4 game sweep to the Chicago Bulls sent the defending champions home VERY early. I don't think many people really thought that the Heat could do it two years in a row, but the way they lost last year was still a huge suprise to everyone.

Lost Jason Kapono to free agency
Lost James Posey to free agency
Lost Gary Payton to free agency
Signed Penny Hardaway
Signed Smush Parker
Traded for Daequan Cook on draft day

The biggest news out of Miami this off-season was the attempt to sign Mo Williams out of Milwaukee. With only a mid-level exception to use, Mo Williams stuck with the much bigger contract he was offered from the Bucks, but Miami had shown what they were interested in which was a point guard to make up for often injuried Jason Williams. If they had scoried Williams, then this year would be a potential year for big things. But instead they got Smush Parker. There goes the potential. Penny Hardaway might have been a very good player, but if Shaq can hardly go 50 games, how do we expect an even older Penny with bum knees to contribute in a positive way during 82 games plus playoffs? And they lost two players that were solid role-guys in Kapono and Posey. What players are going to make up for that?

If last year everyone was unsure about Miami's chances, this year I think it's very safe to say what they are. None. Shaq a year older. Alonzo a year older. Wade now with a major injury hanging over him. Jason Williams with knees that just can't go anymore. Smush Parker is the back up point guard. The biggest news of the summer is the signing of a 36 year old who has not played in years. And Antoine Walker could be seeing more playing time. All of this added together equals...

What to watch for
1) Health - Will Wade be the same Wade we all know and love when he returns? Can Shaq daddy make it past 70 games? Will Penny be able to play and contribute on his shaky knees? Will Jason Williams be able to give it this season?
2) Team Chemistry - It just seems like this team is ready to boil at any minute. With Pat Riley shaking things up, this pop can is ready to explode.

I can't say that I predict big things for this team, but I can say that if Wade is healthy, this team will at least make the playoffs. Wade can win games on his own, so getting past the 42 W mark should happen. That being said, Chicago sweeping them was not a fluke last year. Don't expect to see Miami in the second round this season.

Between 41 and 45 wins this season with an 8th place finish in the East

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good defense by the Miami Heat drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Miami good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Heat team down.

I which I could see some Heat games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Miami Heat. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Heat Tickets

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Heat Go!!!