This is going to be an exciting NBA season for the Heat.
The Miami Heat organization has positioned itself to compete for any of the top four seeds in a wide-open Eastern Conference. They're deep in talent and have something to prove to the world -- they're still the Eastern Conference champs, four years running.
The following is a player-by-player break-down of this year's squad.
In July, Stephen A Smith said "there is no way in hell Chris Bosh deserved $118 million... as far as I'm concerned he's overpaid by 30 million dollars." Bosh will prove that big mouth, sell-out wrong. Bosh will play in pure beast mode this season. He will make the All-Star team. He will lead us into the Playoffs. The only thing with Bosh is one has to hope he plays aggressive, drives to the rim, does not necessarily take 4-5 three pointers per game. They need him in the paint and aggressive. And he will be. No player in the last five years on the Heat has adjusted their game more than Bosh. That's why he's worth the max. Again, this is the year Chris Bosh is in beast mode.
Not much to say. He's the man.
Wade-County. Heat-lifer. 305-till-he-die. Still, this year he has something to prove. People think he's old. They think his knees are going. They're not. Yeah, he's older; his game is evolving; he will adjust -- but Dwyane Wade is far from finished. Wait and see.
Once an enemy, now a friend. Deng used to kill the Heat when he played with the Bulls. Forget about his stint with the Cavs, Luol Deng has a unique skill-set perfect for Miami Heat basketball. In the preseason, Deng looked fast, fit and firm. For his career Deng averages 16 and 6 -- that's pretty damn good -- and it's not unreasonable for the Heat to expect at least that or more. Deng has a natural ability to find the ball.
Rio has something to prove. He did not show up in the Finals. He played terrible. A lot of Heat fans would've been cool if Chalmers signed elsewhere, especially when the Heat drafted Napier. That said, don't forget two years ago. Mario Chalmers lit up the Spurs in the Finals. He's talented and confident and they need him this year, likely to play in the 2 spot, in addition to point, especially when Wade needs rest.
Has there ever been a player to make the Finals in their first four seasons in the league? Norris Cole's awesome. Believe it or not, he's our starting point guard this year and Heat fans should feel happy for him. Cole's home grown, developed talent, something the Heat isn't necessarily known for. He's spunky, confident, plays blanket defense, isn't afraid to shoot and he's aggressive. Norris Cole's awesome.
Birdman's the man. He's also the oldest man on the Heat at 36, but he's still the man. If he stays healthy, the Heat will need him on the boards, flying through the paint, like he does. Ca-cawww! Happy the Heat paid him so he's set for life.
Bird already earned the money.
Once an enemy, now a friend. Also, this dude's in the prime of his career. And with #6 gone, there's no reason not to believe Josh McRoberts can't average 12 points, 6 rebounds. His presence will be felt as the Heat's starting Power Forward.
Again, once an enemy, now a friend. Danny Granger averages 17.2 points throughout his career. He used to murder the Heat when he played with the Pacers. Although those days are long gone. Still, if Deng gets banged up, or D-Wade needs a rest, look for Granger to possibly put up a couple of 20 point games. For the price the Heat signed him, $1 million, Danny Granger is definitely a steal and an asset.
UD. Not much to say.
He's the man. Heat-lifer. 305-till-he-die. Still, this year UD will likely only play a few minutes per night, if everyone is healthy. He's running low on gas, just the way it is.
Let's see. He looked great in the summer league and preseason. He killed it in Australia. But he's still vastly inexperienced in the NBA, will only make the league minimum and will likely only play a few minutes per night, if everyone is healthy.
Don't get too excited about Ennis, at least this year.
Let's see. We know his college success--but those glory days are gone. He's inexperienced in the NBA and quite frankly looks too small out there. Napier is only 6 feet tall. Here's the thing with Shabazz and it's similar to Ennis. He will likely only play a few minutes per night, if everyone is healthy. Don't get too excited about him, at least this year--Napier and Ennis are potentially the future, but it's not yet.
Again, let's see. He's a big and the Heat invested in him. But again, he will likely only play a few minutes per night, if everyone is healthy. Don't get too excited just yet.
So Shawne Williams is the Heat's starting Power Forward for opening night. Crazy, right? It's because McRoberts is hurt, but why Williams over UD? Well, he has more gas in the tank. And Williams stretches the floor more. He's never played starter minutes in his journeyman career, but if he did, he could average 10 points, 6 boards.
Don't look for him to start for very long, but still, he'll get his minutes.
Heat Nation: this is going to be a great year. You have every reason to feel excited.