Season Preview Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons: Welcome back to relevance

We continue with the second part of our preview series just four weeks before the start of the new NBA season! With us today: Will the Heat catapult themselves into the realm of the top teams in the east? Can the Knicks build on the successful preseason? And how happy are the Pistons fans with their summer?

In our ten-part preview series, we are gradually taking a detailed look at three teams at a time. Today we are starting with the first representatives from the Eastern Conference. Here is part one with the Warriors, Grizzlies and Timberwolves.

MIAMI HEAT NBA Season Preview

Miami Heat: The Transactions

Newcomers

  • Trade: Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
  • Free Agency: P.J. Tucker (Milwaukee Bucks), Markieff Morris (Los Angeles Lakers), Caleb Martin (Charlotte Hornets)

Departures

  • Trade: Goran Dragic, Precious Achiuwa (beide Toronto Raptors)
  • Free Agency: Andre Iguodala, Nemanja Bjelica (beide Golden State Warriors), Trevor Ariza, Kendrick Nunn (beide Los Angeles Lakers)

Miami Heat: The Most Important Statistics 2020/21

Bilanz Regular Season Offensiv-Rating Defensiv-Rating Net-Rating
40-32 (6th place in the east) 110,6 (18.) 110,7 (10.) -0,1 (17.)

Miami Heat: The Offseason Strategy

In one respect, the Heat left no doubts in this offseason: Miami wants to build on the surprising finals run in 2020 with a year delay after the previous season was more of a manageable success. For this, team president Pat Riley put all of his chips on the table.

The main idea for the summer was all-in, the implementation took the form of a sign-and-trade for the best, actually available player of the Free Agency: Kyle Lowry. The Heat also committed Tucker and Morris (HeatCulture, ick hear you trapsen) and bagged contract extensions with Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson.

Riley will not care that the Lowry deal could lead to unpleasant consequences, aka punishment from the league (the investigation is still ongoing). Lowry and the other signings are excellent fits, especially for the defense, which will be the hobbyhorse of the Heat. Miami is one of the big winners of the offseason, laying the groundwork for an attack in the east. But is that enough for the very top?

Miami Heat: The Vulnerabilities

The shoot was already a problem child, especially in the potential starting front court with Butler, Tucker and Bam Adebayo, not the classic three-man experts are gathered to make the field wide. In addition, some important cornerstones of the team are relatively old, will they stay healthy throughout the season?

If the answer is “no”, the depth of worry could bring some heatles to their foreheads. Above all, there is no additional playmaker behind Lowry and Butler, the departure of Nunn could still hurt. Perhaps the Heat also put their hopes on Tyler Herro, who should take the next step after a mixed sophomore season.

The Miami Heat roster

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Kyle Lowry Duncan Robinson Jimmy Butler P.J. Tucker Bam Adebayo
Gabe Vincent Tyler Herro KZ Okpala Markieff Morris Dewayne Dedmon
Victor Oladipo * Max Strus Caleb Martin Udonis Haslem Omer Yurtseven
Marcus Garrett

* Still injured at the start of the season

Miami Heat: The Bearer of Hope

Or on Victor Oladipo. He’s not the classic bearer of hope (of course Adebayo, a striking Lowry or franchise star Butler), but the Guard could play an important role in Miami’s hoped-for evolution from a good to a very good team.

After a quadriceps operation in May and long-standing injury concerns, the 29-year-old signed for the minimum ($ 2.4 million). Can the notorious Heat athletic coaches work wonders for Oladipo too, if he is expected to return from November? Should he be revived as a scorer and playmaker on the old all-star level, he could give Miami a new dimension.

Miami Heat: Fazit

But you shouldn’t necessarily expect that. Nonetheless, the Heatles are better positioned than last year, just by adding Lowry. But the Heat does not yet reach the level of the Bucks and Nets. You will probably even have to place yourself behind the Sixers as the fourth power in the east.

With the combination of defense, experience and young talent, Miami is well positioned to take advantage of any weaknesses of the competition. For an attack on the title, the Heat will have to hope for an opening of the basketball gods sooner rather than later. In the years to come, the team will get old and expensive.

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