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Heat players, coach see big expectations for season

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Erik Spoelstra said that it “feels like a new team.”

Miami Heat Media Day Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

For the first time since the 2014 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat have a superstar in his prime — Jimmy Butler. At the media day press briefing Monday, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said that it “feels like a new team.”

If that has your head scratching, you’re not off-base. After all, Miami’s two noteworthy newcomers are Butler and Tyler Herro, the player Miami selected with their 2019 first-round pick. Butler’s a big addition, sure, but why does that mean that this is a new team?

Well, two players who have had uneven performances since they signed four-year contracts in the summer of 2017 said they’re looking forward to a return to form this year — Dion Waiters and James Johnson.

Waiters, who made an Instagram post addressing the weight criticism lobbed at him, looked visibly slimmer. Without Dwyane Wade on the team providing playmaking and scoring opportunities, a more efficient Waiters would be a welcome addition to this team.

Justise Winslow addressed his earlier comment, one that received a bit of criticism from Pat Riley, that he wants to play point guard. And for what it’s worth, Goran Dragic said he took no issue with it.

The Heat open training camp tomorrow.