Bleacher Report in “Re-Ranking Eastern Conference Contenders Following Gordon Hayward Injury“ puts more significance in Gordon Hayward's injury than any one result of opening night. The Phoenix Suns, more than any other team, should be depressed after their first game. In the article the Miami Heat are one of only six contenders, including the Boston Celtics, for a top-four slot.
Rest assured they[Celtics] still remain one of the six teams with a legitimate shot at ascending into the conference's top four and holding down homecourt advantage in the postseason's opening round.
I suppose in his summary of the Heat's chances, by quality teams he means the Golden State Warriors and Celtics, among others.
Don't be fooled by the Miami Heat's season-opening loss to the Orlando Magic. Plenty of quality teams drop contests on the first day of the NBA calendar, and the South Beach residents are still trying to forge an identity with new pieces factoring into the equation. Once they do, they should resume last year's second-half dominance and potentially grow even more dangerous with Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo added into the frontcourt rotation.
He says that once Miami forges an identity, they "would be terrifying."
And that would be terrifying for the rest of the Eastern Conference.
The writer's assessment of Miami's strength lies in its coaches and depth of talent, rather than dependence on a superstar.
Since it's relatively devoid of superstar potential, this team might not have the upside necessary to compete for one of the East's top two seeds. But the floor is higher here than for the other sixth-spot. Miami boasts across-the-board depth and an elite coaching staff ready to build upon what it learned during last year's roller-coaster ride.