It’s about time for the 2019-20 NBA season to begin! So we gathered up some of our most experienced writers and talk about about this season will unfold. Take a look and then be sure to give us your input in the comments below.
#1 Miami Heat Regular Season Record:
19-20 Heat Record
#2 Where do you think the Heat stand in the East?
Matt: Right in the middle. I think they are probably going to end up 5th. I believe their ceiling is 3rd, but you just never can assume everything will go perfectly. The Heat are so dependent on many of their players, they can’t withstand a significant injury. So, I think they end up 5th in the East.
Diego: For now, the Heat stand 4th in the East. Miami is behind the two favorites in the East, the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. Every other team has questions surrounding them. The Brooklyn Nets have Kyrie Irving, but not Kevin Durant (yet). The Boston Celtics have lost Irving and Al Horford, but may have better chemistry than they did a year ago. The Toronto Raptors don’t have their Finals MVP. And yes, the Heat are in that mix, too, with Jimmy Butler but no clear other star.
Brandon: I think the Heat have a realistic chance of being the 4th or 5th season in the East. I know some media members have them higher than that, but the fact is they’re a talented team with a lot of continuity who got better and healthy in the offseason. I think they’re a better team than both Brooklyn and Indiana so depending on how the Raptors perform post-Kawhi departure, or if the Celtics are better, the Heat should compete at the top half of the Eastern Conference or at least make a lot of noise.
Surya: 6th in the East. The Bucks, Celtics, 76ers, Raptors and the Nets, on paper, figure to be above the Heat in the standings. Having said that, it’s going to be a dogfight for the remaining playoff spots in the East. Even pencilling them in at sixth isn’t a given. Are they clearly better than the Pacers, Pistons and the Magic? There likely won’t be many games separating teams seeded 6-10 and the Heat have struggled against those kinds of teams, like the Magic, in recent seasons.
#3 What is the best-case and realistic scenario for the Heat this season?
Matt: A competitive second round series. Anything after that is pretty wishful thinking when the 76ers and Bucks are the clear favorites to represent the East.
Brandon: I think the Heat are a second-round playoff team with their current roster composition. The organization could still elect to make some moves with a win-now mindset, but as it stands right now I think a second-round exit is realistic. This is an ultra-competitive team so hopefully I’m wrong and they end up going farther.
Surya: At least two or three teams that project to be higher then them in the standings falter, for any reason, while the Heat become overachievers, stay healthy and swing for the fences to land an All-Star by the trade deadline so they can upset a team in the first round. If it’s a more realistic scenario, the Heat still make the playoffs but I’m not sure if Pat Riley can land his second All-Star already this season.
#4 Who will be this season’s breakout player?
Matt: It’s hard to say a breakout player will be a rookie, but I think Tyler Herro will become that. I think he provides shooting and offense the Heat desperately need, and I think he’s going to get plenty of opportunities.
Diego: Miami’s breakout player will be Tyler Herro. He’ll grow into an instant offense sixth man in his rookie year. Questions will remain about his defense, but his shooting and playmaking will earn him significant minutes.
Brandon: This season’s breakout player will be Bam Adebayo. He’s shown flashes of what he’s capable of over the last two seasons, and now he finally has the chance to capitalize on his potential. Bam will give a lot of opponents headaches this season.
Surya: Tyler Herro. After watching him play so far, I can’t help feeling that his talent, confidence and work ethic will allow him to keep progressing at a rapid level as long as he has a clear role and consistent minutes. That’s not usually a given for rookies with Spoelstra.
#5 Who is this team’s most important player?
Matt: Jimmy Butler...but I would say more so for what he brings emotionally and as a culture leader.
Diego: Jimmy Butler is the Heat’s most important player. He’s the first in-his-prime superstar to don a Miami Heat uniform since LeBron James in 2014. He left a better team situation — just a Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater away from the conference finals, on a team with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — to be the unquestioned leader in Miami. If he can play like a top-10 player this year and endears himself to the fanbase, Miami has a good chance of finding a second star.
Brandon: Jimmy Butler is this team’s most important player. He’s been thrust into a starring role and is the clear leader on this team. He’s the one who has to pick up where Dwyane Wade left off and lead this team into the future. That starts on Wednesday.
Surya: Jimmy Butler. The Heat have needed a full-time leading man capable of scoring by creating his own shot but also bringing the proper mindset, tough defense and hustle to show the young players on this team how it’s (typically) done here in Miami.
#6 Give one bold prediction!
Matt: The Heat will trade Goran Dragic and his expiring contract mid-season.
Diego: Jimmy Butler will be Second-Team All NBA this year.
Brandon: Tyler Herro gets himself into the starting lineup before December.
Surya: Dion Waiters won’t start a game for the Heat this season.