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How many playoff-level starters do the Miami Heat have?

ESPN Fantasy offers another way to gauge the talent level of the Miami Heat team emerges.

NBA: New York Knicks at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Literally hundreds of opinions exist on how the Miami Heat will perform in 2017-18. What makes the Heat case so complex are the obstacles they faced in having their cap space severely limited by the absence of Chris Bosh and the ongoing injury problems throughout the season.

Then the 13-game winning streak made a wreck of how to judge the team. The exodus of All-Stars to the Western Conference during the summer further complicates matters in predicting how the Eastern Conference finishes up.

ESPN has thrown in their Top 150 Fantasy Basketball Rankings of players for the upcoming season. As a caution they add,

"As you'll see below, standard ESPN points-league scoring gives extra weight to the stats produced by successful big men, so keep that in mind when preparing for your drafts."

No surprise that big men Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant are the top 3. The Heat players making the list are:

  1. Hassan Whiteside (12) (PF3)
  2. Goran Dragic (50) (PG15)
  3. James Johnson (98) (SF19)
  4. Dion Waiters (133) (SG23)
  5. Kelly Olynyk (137) (C25)

Strange they have Whiteside as a PF3. The NBA has 30 teams, with 1 to 16 making the playoffs and 17 to 30 in the lottery. In a perfect world, a PG15 is a playoff point guard, a SG23 is a lottery team shooting guard starter, and over 30 positional ranking is a bench player. In the ESPN fantasy list,

Miami Heat has 2 playoff-caliber players and 3 lottery ones as starters.

These numbers are based upon last year’s 41-41 season as a whole. Heat fans are counting on the team’s player’s numbers this season to be closer to the ones they put up in the second half.

Personally, there are issues about the fit between them and the lack of guys such as Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson and Wayne Ellington to space the floor. Management is counting on the rotation players to up their skill sets to the levels of starters, or better yet, top-10. As ESPN points out, the numbers are biased towards big men.