In ESPN’s article “Warriors vs. everybody power rankings: Who can dethrone the champs?” the Miami Heat beat out the Boston Celtics, with only the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks given better odds against the Golden State Warriors.
A breakdown follows:
Projected wins are 43 to 45 by Real Plus Minus, Summer forecast, Las Vegas.
Competitor rank has the Heat at #9, with an average projected score of 110-104 in the Warriors favor.
The starters and bench numbers reveal Miami Heat’s advantage. On the starters, every Miami starter lags behind the Warriors. Whiteside loses to Zaza Pachulia, while Josh Richardson is close to Klay Thompson. Biggest gap is James Johnson against Draymond Green.
The bench and depth of the Heat is where Miami shines: BPM -0.2 Heat versus BPM -0.7 Warriors. The addition of Jordan Mickey and Bam Adebayo, plus Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson makes Miami a 48-minute team. What the starters produce, the rotation players take away for a win.
Off-the-wall Best Trade (for now or later) scenario:
DeMar DeRozan for Justise Winslow, Wayne Ellington, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Johnson. ESPN writes, “Pat Riley decides he wants to contend now, and to do so, he needs a legit No. 1 scoring option.”
Upcoming season won’t be anything like the last one. Jordan Mickey is a wild card, which could make the Heat even more dangerous than before.
More than anything, the loss of Luke Babbitt will impact the drive-and-kick strategy of last season.