I definitely think we can definitely be a top four team in the East.
Considering the best free agent signing by Miami this summer was Kelly Olynyk, instead of Gordon Hayward, Whiteside’s belief the returning core will overachieve again seems far-fetched. He may be correct.
Vegas odds-makers place the Heat around the 6th seed next season: up 3 slots from their finish in 2017.
Three Eastern Conference teams suffered horribly from their off-season moves.
- The Chicago Bulls plummeted from 100/1 to 1000/1
- The Indiana Pacers dropped from 100/1 to 500/1
- The Atlanta Hawks odds went from 200/1 to 1000/1
The bookies rewarded the Heat for bringing back the band by improving their odds from 100/1 to 80/1. Could an encore surpass the main act?
Signing Hayward barely moved the needle for the Celtics, from 15/1 to 12/1. The $30 million investment in Hayward projects them finishing second, down one spot, i.e. big whoopee.
Miami clearly won, because they improved from 9th last season to a projected 6th, and Boston drops from 1st in 2017, to 2nd in 2018 among the Eastern Conference teams.
The reason professional bettors consider the Heat favorably comes from the observation management didn’t trade away their best player, like Indiana and Chicago did; or let their best player walk.
Since July 4th the Raptors replaced DeMarre Carroll with Justin Hamilton, the Wizards look to mortgage the farm for Otto Porter, Markelle Fultz injured his foot in the Philadelphia 76ers tradition. The Heat beats them by having better rotation players.
Simply staying healthy may prove Whiteside right in his prediction.