Yes, injuries and setbacks this season have decimated the Miami Heat’s chances at showing the world it wasn’t just the Dwyane Wade show in South Beach. There’s no question about that. However, when your team ties the Brooklyn Nets for worst odds in the league, you kind of get the feeling the problems are worse than originally thought.
The hope was there that the season would turn around but with the recent loss of Justice Winslow, it seems that the silent hope that was lingering in the distance, could be a thing of the past. Miami recently signed Okaro White on a 10-day deal, which essentially is a tryout contract, in hopes that maybe a light would shine as the team builds for 2017-18. Sioux Falls Skyforce players such as Briante Weber may also get a chance, especially if a trade opens up another roster spot.
Topbet.eu has the Heat tied with the Nets with the longest odds in the Eastern Conference for good reason, let alone winning the NBA Championship. It won’t make many Miami fans pleased, but given the team lost 10 of 11 games before turning it around with two solid wins this week (their first win streak in more than a month), it became very apparent that they had become a bottom feeder. With that said, should they be lumped in with Brooklyn? The Nets are a team that sold their future years ago and have little to nothing on the way up.
The Heat, while sitting in a rough spot, still have a bright future on the horizon. Veteran point guard Goran Dragic has done a pretty solid job anchoring the squad with 19.4 points per game and has been raising his game as of late. Hassan Whiteside’s focus has been questioned from time to time this season, but he has continued to establish himself as the face of the team while averaging a double double each night (17.3 PPG & 14.2 RPG). So there are two-guaranteed goto’s night in and night out thus far.
Meanwhile, in the ‘cupboard’, so to speak, Tyler Johnson is improving steadily at the 2-guard position bringing energy off the bench while Justise Winslow was starting to make the most of his 34.7 minutes per night. However, since Winslow went down with injury — only adding to the injury woes with fellow second-year player Josh Richardson and perpetually injured Josh McRoberts also in street clothes on the bench — it seems that the right decision now is to pack up and prepare for 2017-18.
So, while the Miami New Times is saying blow it up, the situation may not be as dire as you’d think. There are a few pieces already in place. A quality big man to compliment Whiteside, some backcourt help and depth is really all the team is lacking. Dragic is most likely expendable given his current value (though there are plenty of good arguments to be made for retaining him), meaning a solid point guard should be in the cards in this year’s draft. Given the depth of the PG position coming out of the NCAA this year, Miami may not be that far off – even though the odds may say otherwise.