What does the number 45 represent?
Michael Jordan wore '45' during his "baseball years" and even a quarter of the 1995 NBA season during his second go around. Otherwise the number 45 is pretty much subjective.
The number 45 in the NBA to me is the division between mediocrity, very good and well.....not good enough.
In the case of the 2015-16 Miami Heat, 45 is just about right. In fact that is the number of wins Las Vegas bookies are predicting this year's team to win.
When Vegas's NBA over/under win totals were announced months ago there was sort of a collective groan amongst the Heat faithful. Some of it was justified to an extent. It some ways if feels like Miami is receiving some mainstream disrespect. On the surface Pat Riley and Co. recovered from a more than disappointing 2014-15 campaign that went far beyond just losing LeBron James to free agency the year before.
A season ravaged with injuries, health scares and lack of continuity, it was a breath a fresh air to see Miami seemingly pick itself up right away with the drafting of one Justise Winslow from Duke University with it's first round choice in what many analysts saw as not only a steal but a A+ pick and one that may shape the future of Heat basketball.
The summer good tidings continued into free agency in which Miami was able to retain Goran Dragic, Luol Deng and the city's prodigal son Dwyane Wade. But even just as important the Heat added something they lacked last season: legitimate depth.
The additions of Amar'e Stoudemire and Gerald Green as an extra wing help excited the fan base and on paper Miami logically looks like a top 3 team in the Eastern Conference.
Guess what folks, that may still be the case. My point of reference is speaking on specifically the regular season.
Many times as fans when we analyze expectations of a team we don't account for many things. Yes, the name in lights are attractive and are associated with success but the reality is there will be a learning curve here. What rotations will coach Erik Spoelstra embrace? Who will be his go to fourth quarter lineup? Unforeseen injuries. Possible minute restrictions for specific players (I won't mention any names there).
And then there is the unspoken elephant in the room. The Miami Heat are actually an older veteran laden team if you can believe that.
I don't say these things to paint a negative picture but instead to temper some of the out of this world expectations I read daily, ESPECIALLY on Twitter. (I am a member of #HeatTwitter so I know what's said)
If anything, the true value of this newly-reshaped Heat roster is going to be realized much later in the year. Most likely in the postseason and. at the end of the day, that's all that matters right?
Which is why once again a 45-37 regular season campaign wouldn't necessarily be the worst thing in the world.