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Complete Miami Heat NBA 2K18 ratings reveal promise for improvement during season

Preseason ratings for the Heat show the players can make believers out of the doubters, if the passion continues.

Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

A screenshot of NBA 2K18 ratings revealed the preliminary talent assessment of the Miami Heat team, with training camp only a few weeks away.

Hassan Whiteside 87

Goran Dragic 85

Dion Waiters 80

James Johnson 79

Tyler Johnson 77

Justise Winslow 76

Kelly Olynyk 75

Wayne Ellington 74

Josh Richardson 74

Rodney McGruder 74

Bam Adebayo 72

Udonis Haslem 70

Okaro White 69

A.J. Hammons 68

If Miami can stay healthy, the ratings, i.e. perceived talent level, of J. Johnson, T. Johnson, J. Winslow could rise to playoff grades by season’s end. Having six players over 80 would give the Heat a good chance to make waves over the 82-game season.

Before going overboard on expecting a top-4 finish as a given, other teams feature some pretty darn good players themselves.

Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James plus anybody else.

Boston Celtics: Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward

Toronto Raptors: DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka

Washington Wizards: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter

Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker

First-round home court advantage sounds good, but at least five teams will be fighting for the same privilege once the regular season ends. I would even throw the Philadelphia 76ers into the mix should their young core of players come close to reaching their potential.

Even being in a supposedly weak Eastern Conference, gives Miami no margin for error when the basketball abilities of the top teams match so closely. I love the Miami roster and its Culture, but the rivals don’t have the same warm, fuzzy feelings towards South Florida. Matter-of-fact, they view the Heat as roadkill on their drive to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Last season the Heat beat the Golden State Warriors, but later lost crucial late season games to the New York Knicks, 76ers and Orlando Magic (twice), which denied Miami a playoff berth. Those type of efforts against lottery teams won’t make the grade when competing against tough opponents in postseason action.

As an aside, Erik Spoelstra used Richardson as a small forward early last season in a 96-73 thrashing of the Bucks to break a six-game losing streak.

Miami won the next game also, but then lost to the 76ers, 94-101, when JR went 1 of 11 from the field. Richardson has promise as a Klay Thompson type of small forward, but needs to display a professional level of consistency in every outing.

This season will reveal if the players can reward Pat Riley for the faith he put in bringing back the band.