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.”
Erik Spoelstra on new season: "We're energized about a group of men in the locker room that we think can bring out something special from each other."— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) September 30, 2019
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.
Dion Waiters says he’s down 15 pounds and that his clothes fit well. He said he is back with his explosion, vowing to continue ha intense workouts. Has personal chef.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) September 30, 2019
James Johnson: "I had a terrible season" last year. Says will get back to what he was— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) September 30, 2019
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.
Winslow: "The position, it doesn't really matter. I'll play the four if that means I'm bringing the ball up and making plays, if that's what you call a four. So it doesn't really matter the position. It's more how I'm being used on the court."— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) September 30, 2019
Dragic said he took no issue with Winslow saying he wants to be the PG. Dragic believes his sentiments come from good place of wanting to win— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) September 30, 2019
The Heat open training camp tomorrow.