2016-2017 NBA Previews – Heat Odds
Looking for 2016 Miami Heat predictions? We’ve got your back. The Miami Heat have experienced more new eras than just about any team in the NBA over the past decade. First, there was the short-lived yet successful Shaq-Dwyane Wade era. Then there was the LeBron James era. Four years later came the post-LeBron era, and now we’re officially in the unthinkable: the post-Wade era.
Miami Heat Season Preview
Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra
2015-16 Record: 48-34
Heat Odds to NBA Title: +10000
Heat Odds to Win Conference: +4000
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With Wade joining the Chicago Bulls and Chris Bosh reportedly out the door, this team has a whole new look to it that nobody saw coming.
There’s no question that things have changed in Dade County, but the question is about how bad the growing pains will be during the 2016-17 campaign.
Miami Heat Strengths:
When you talk about the Miami Heat’s strengths, you have to start with their new centerpiece: Hassan Whiteside.
Whiteside has always been an intriguing prospect, but now he officially has a maximum contract to live up to.
He posted 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and a 60.6 percent field-goal rate in just 29.1 minutes per game last season.
Outside of his numbers, he developed a mid-range game and became a true defensive presence.
The block shot numbers had always been there, but he became a smarter defender throughout the year, prioritizing rotations and making his presence felt ahead of collecting blocks at the cost of leaving his man open backdoor.
Along with Whiteside, Miami has a young core with a bright future.
Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow all have the potential to break out on a roster that no longer features, Wade, Bosh or Luol Deng. Dion Waiters, 24, also could prove to have a career year if he can make smart decisions and develop a more consistent jumper.
In terms of veteran leadership, that will likely fall on the shoulders of Goran Dragic and Josh McRoberts.
Miami Heat Weaknesses:
As much as there is to be optimistic about in terms of the future, this group is completely decimated by the departure of Wade and the inevitable severing of ties with Bosh.
Starting over is never easy, but it’s virtually impossible to contend right away when you lose two players who have been the cornerstone’s of the franchise — not to mention when it happens just two years after losing one of the greatest players to ever play in the Association.
With all that in mind, you have to think about two major issues: performance on the court and presences in the locker room.
Is Goran Dragic going to rally the troops when times are tough? Not likely.
Is Josh Richardson going to make fans in South Beach forget about Wade? Of course not.
Saying this team has an identity crisis on its hands isn’t fair considering the future pieces are already in place, but it’s impossible to picture this team establishing itself as a contender with a true leader in 2016-17.
There’s a lack of talent when it comes to depth across most positions, so you’re looking at a team that is either going to drop substantially or shock the world this season.
Miami Heat Betting Prediction: 36-46
The Heat finished 2015-16 at 48-34, good enough for the third seed out East. If Vegas has it right, those wins and losses will switch this season.
Vegas has set the over/under for Miami at 34.5. We’re going slightly over at this point in the process because of one key factor: coach Erik Spoelstra.
Spoelstra hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves over the years. When the Heat were struggling during the LeBron era, he was blamed for not utilizing his pieces correctly. When the team was thriving, it was, of course, about the stars and not the system.
Spo has established himself as an excellent coach, and this will undoubtedly be a challenging year for him.
But with enough talent in place when it comes to the starters, you have to believe he’ll use a new Whiteside-centric system to slowly develop the rest of the crew en route to a 35- to 38-win season.
2016 NBA Gambling
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