ESPN NBA experts sat down to discuss which teams are in position to improve or get worse next season. Four out of the five (Marc Stein picked the Milwaukee Bucks) selected your Miami Heat as the East's biggest risers. Here's what each expert had to say:
Which East team will make the biggest jump?
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Miami Heat. They had Chris Bosh available for only 44 games and Josh McRoberts for only 17 because of injuries last season. (I'm not even counting Dwyane Wade's 62 games since that's become normal for him; he hasn't played in 70-plus games since 2010-11). Give mid season acquisition Goran Dragic a full year in Miami and Justise Winslow a couple of months to get acclimated to the NBA, and the Heat should zoom past the 37 wins they posted last season.
Ian Begley, ESPN.com: Miami gets the nod over Toronto here. After a disappointing 2014-15 season, Pat Riley brought back Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade and convinced Gerald Green and Amar'e Stoudemire to sign deals that were considered below market value. Those transactions, in addition to adding a healthy Chris Bosh, should help Miami quickly rebound after a 37-win campaign in 2014-15. Here's hoping we get a Heat-Cavaliers series in the playoffs.
Kevin Pelton, ESPN Insider: Heat. In terms of sheer wins and losses, the New York Knicks may improve more because they started at just 17 wins. But the Heat figure to take a larger jump from the lottery to possibly the biggest threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East if they stay healthy.
Brian Windhorst, ESPN.com: Miami's record was artificially depressed last season because of injury and they've improved themselves. Also, Erik Spoelstra completely altered his team's style of play on the fly last season. Give them a training camp and reasonable health and they'll be vastly improved.
it's great to see Miami getting some national love.