2007/2008 Season Preview - Miami Heat

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by mikhail1973, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Season 2006/2007

    Record 44-36

    2006/2007 was a difficult one for Heat. The year began and ended with a loss to the Bulls team. And if the season opening loss to Chicago was categorized as somewhat of a sensation, the final four losses, a sweep in the first round of the playoffs, didn’t surprise many. Throughout the season many teams stopped being afraid of the champions. There were quite a few reasons for that. O’Neal struggled finishing 30-minute games, Wade couldn’t get healthy, even Riley spent some time at the hospital. However, the defining event for the team wasn’t necessarily that season. The offseason really put things in perspective. If previously players wanted to join O’Neal’s team and often agreed to lower salaries in order to compete for the championships, this time they are jumping like rats from the sinking ship.

    Offseason

    Draft

    Jason Smith and Stanko Barac

    Barac is tall (7’1”), young, and very raw center. In his Adriatic league he averaged 13 pts and 7 rbs in 27 minutes per game. He has a consistent jumper and a decent for his size range. But he is not physically ready to battle NBA players. He could have joined the Heat at some point later in his career, but was traded to the Pacers and signed a 3-year deal with the European club.

    Key Trades

    Left: Jason Kappono, Eddie Jones, and James Posey
    Signed: Smush Parker and Anfernee Hardaway

    Parker is one of the weaker point guards in the league. And although he’s very athletic, he is nowhere the shooter that Kappono was and can’t read the game as well. He won’t have much to bring to the table.
    Chances are slim that we’ll see anything reminding us about the 90’s from Penny. Although I have to admit that he is very cerebral player (seeing the court, intuition, and outside-the-box thinking) and maybe he has something left. Hopefully Riles can put his skills to good use. It would be disappointing if Penny will retire without showing a spark at the end. Maybe he and Shaq can recreate some of the early magic.

    Missed on: Mikael Pietrus, Steve Francis, Charlie Bell, Moe Williams, and others

    Offseason grade: F

    Season 2007/2008

    D-Wade and Shaq are still able to keep the team respectable. Thanks to this duo, the team won’t become the laughing stock of the NBA. They will probably struggle during the long road trips where the leaders will be absent due to health issues or fouls. Heat will pay dearly for all of their inability to bring help in the offseason. Team needs to have some depth behind D-Wade and Shaq. They need a shooter, and D-Wade needs an adequate backup to spell him during the games in order to keep him fresher and off the DL. Team has nothing of this nature to offer at this point.

    There is a positive. Heat is one of the few (Spurs and Pistons) teams in the NBA that play smart offense. This is going to be the biggest advantage of this team – team play and ball control. It was all made possible mainly by Shaq. Energetic Haslem and Wade are usually adequate on defense.

    Teams main issues are Shaq’s age (science has no way of helping at this point), Wade’s injury (medicine is a lot closer to the solution on this one) and their bench.

    Note of importance

    Dorell Wright. Is he another high-flyer or a future superstar? Besides being gifted athletically he showed outstanding behavior on the court. He consistently gets better and doesn’t hold the ball too long.

    Bottom Line

    3rd-6th seed in the conference. Could miss the playoffs completely if any health issues arise for Shaq or Wade
    Playoffs – yes (see above)
    Championship - no
  2. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Guys, if you put stickies on all previews, might want to put one on this one as well.
    :)

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