Heat take LeBron-sized hit, but they’re not done for yet


VIDEO: Chris Bosh stays put in Miami and assumes the No. 1 spot?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Chris Bosh has been saying it for a while now. He believes in his heart of (basketball) hearts that he is already a sure-fire Hall of Famer, not only one of the greatest players of his generation, but of all time.

With the free-agent dust finally settled a bitLeBron James heading to Cleveland, Carmelo Anthony sticking around in New York and many other moves — Bosh will get a chance to prove his point.

Bosh could have slipped off to Houston for their max offer and continued his career as the No. 2 or No. 3 option with the Rockets alongside All-Stars James Harden and Dwight Howard. But Pat Riley convinced him to stick around and keep it going in Miami to the tune of five years and $118 million, not to mention the challenge of proving to folks that he’s more than the third wheel he was for much of the Big 3 era.

As crazy as it sounds to some who didn’t pay attention to Bosh before he donned a Heat jersey, he is the man now like he once was in Toronto. And like everyone else in the post- LeBron era in Miami, he’ll get a chance to prove that the Heat was more than just a one-man show.

We all asked the same question when word of LeBron’s coming home letter spread. What’s next for the Heat? Will they fold up and head for the lottery the way Cleveland did in 2010 when the decision was made for James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade to join forces in Miami?

Riley, laying flat on his back after LeBron’s latest decision, quickly dusted himself off and saved the Heat from disaster. Wade and Udonis Haslem, who also opted out of their deals along with LeBron and Bosh to give Riley the flexibility to retool the Heat this summer, were never going anywhere. But Bosh had one foot out the door headed to Houston.

Riley, armed with $30 million more in cash than Houston was offering and the challenge of being “The Man,” went to work on Bosh and got the deal done. Free agents Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger had already agreed to join the party. He locked up Luol Deng on a two-year deal, not to mention Chris “Birdman” Andersen and Mario Chalmers, before the weekend ended, keeping the Heat in the thick of what should be a wide-open Eastern Conference race next season.

“He saved that franchise from who knows how many tough years,” said an executive from one of the Heat’s Southeast Division rivals. “They were on fumes Friday night after the LeBron news. Everybody goes into free agency with contingency plans. But that’s a death-blow, losing the best player in the game. But you have to give [Riley] credit, he didn’t flinch. He had to pay Bosh more than he probably wanted to or should have. But he held it together. He had to or else they were done for at least a year or two.”

Where this Heat team ranks in the Eastern Conference now is hard to tell. Chicago, with Pau Gasol on the way, suddenly looks a while lot better, provided Derrick Rose returns to form. The Indiana Pacers aren’t going anywhere. And the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks all plan on being in the playoff mix. Throw in LeBron and the Cavaliers and the field is suddenly as crowded as ever … and lacks a clear-cut favorite.

And that’s why Riley should be lauded for the work he did over the weekend.

The Heat aren’t going to be anyone’s favorite to win the East. But they’ll certainly be a viable playoff team and it wouldn’t surprise me if they climb into that top four, too. Especially if Bosh lives up to his own Hall-of-Fame hype and Wade plays with a chip on his shoulder (and through whatever pain is in his knees).

They’ve both carried teams before, with varying degrees of success.

It’s been a while, of course. And they won’t have that 6-foot-8, 250-pound security blanket they’ve relied on the past four years.

But Riley, defiant to the end, believes in the culture and crew, including coach Erik Spoelstra, that remains. He made that clear in the wake of LeBron’s departure.

“Over the last 19 years, since Micky (Arison) and I teamed together, The Miami Heat has always been a championship organization; we’ve won multiple championships and competed for many others,” Riley said in a statement released by the Heat. “Micky, Erik and I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to win and compete for championships for many years to come. We’ve proven that we can do it and we’ll do it again.”

Rumors of the Heat’s demise might have been greatly exaggerated.

Only time will tell.

134 Comments

  1. JG says:

    Haters, kindly take the last bus departing from Biscayne Blvd. to Clevenland. You’ll have plenty of room on that bus, none of us want to go there :).

    Thanks Lebron! Bye Haters! Go Heat!

  2. Truth says:

    I think Bosh getting the $118 million will be like Rashard Lewis when he got the max deal for Orlando a few years back. He will just be “sweet $$$$, now time to relax and do nothing”…

  3. Bu says:

    Heat will now finally have to play more team ball. Riley did best he could with the free agents available out there, by snapping Deng & Granger, 2 v good defensive players and plays LBJ’s small forward position, who can also give you 15-20 pts & 5 rebounds / night each. Last 4 yrs, when LBJ goes on the bench, whoever backed him were at least 2 levels lower than him. Now with Deng & Granger, this combo gives great D and stable scoring.

    What’s missing in the Heat are a true PG, and solid rebounding / defensive center.

    From coaching perspective, Spo is now completely exposed. As he has yet to show us he can create and run effective offensive and defensive schemes, and the Xs & Os, I strongly doubt he’ll get above 48 wins with this team, and past 1st round.

  4. Frankie Garcia-Rios says:

    east
    1. Bulls
    2. Pacers
    3. Heat
    4. Raptors
    5. CAVS
    6. Wizards
    7. Hornets
    8. Knicks

  5. Frankie Garcia-Rios says:

    EAST
    1. Bulls
    2. Pacers
    3. Heat
    4. Raptors (because of division seeding)
    5. Cavaliers
    6. Hornets
    7. Hawks
    8. NY Knicks

  6. Lbjrules says:

    the heat will be terrible without the best player of all time lbj sweg sweg

  7. BiggWill65 says:

    I’m just wondering, wut next as far as additional add on for the Heat to solidify their roster? I mean there is Greg Monroe, Rudy Gay, Samuel Delembert, Mo Williams, & a host of other Free Agent acquisitions that should play a part in separating the Heat from the others. Wuts ur thought on this?

  8. flip says:

    To all the people saying Bosh is not a good player or that he can’t be a first option must have started watching basketball in 2010. When Bosh came to Miami he was one of the best power forwards at the time putting up 24 and 10 nightly and carrying his team night after night, so please don’t come on here saying how “bad” he is. I mean the guy was a BEAST and he made the decision to change his game so that the Heat could succeed, He was never a stretch four before going to Miami he decided to become one because he knew lebron and wade needed driving lanes and that if he played that way they would be way more effective. I just hate when people overlook this guy saying that lebron and wade “sacrificed so much” lebron was basically the same player and wade’s numbers suffered cause of his knees. Bosh was the one who truly sacrificed to make this whole thing work. i mean the guy changed his whole game to win. People need to learn to respect this guy.

  9. overTHERE says:

    So which of these eastern conference teams want a piece of the Spurs who have silently resigned their whole championship squad all the while these other teams have been salivating over all these big names that besides LJ haven’t even won a damn thing…
    Heat made out better than I expected, Granger is the x factor, has the extra rest he got good for a renewed season?
    Wade needs to do the Duncan diet/training and he’ll have a renaissance year, if he keeps all the extra weight on he’ll play 55 games and look sluggish. Heat 4-8 seed best/worst scenario. The east is bad enough that I don’t see them missing out totally, just seeding depends if D.Rose is old D.Rose, and do Atlanta/Washington and Charlotte disappoint.

  10. MikeWeiss says:

    It just baffles me that grown men take the time to go onto a story about a team they don’t like just to try and make the fans feel bad. What kind of a person do you have to be in real life to need to trash talk people you don’t even know Huma beings are fascinating, but very weak

  11. BeerJunkie says:

    This is my prediction counting the facts if 1. D.Rose is healthy, 2. Is Lance goes back to the Pacers, 3. if Derek Fisher and Carmelo mesh with Phil Jackson and 4.. If the Cavs get K.Love and keep or don’t keep A. Wiggins. But we can’t live in a perfect world right??
    1. Bulls
    2. Cavs
    3. Pacers
    4. Wizards
    5. Raptors
    6. Heat
    7. Hornets
    8. Knicks

    Heck lets throw in the West just for fun.

    1. OKC
    2. Spurs
    3. Clippers
    4. Trailblazers
    5. Rockets
    6. Grizzlies
    7. Mavs
    8. Warriors

    • Brian says:

      Cavs second? Man you really need to quit drinking the beer!! Fogging your mind! Let me guess, you must be from NE Ohio!! Lmao!!!

  12. xfd1048576 says:

    The poster “Hornets, My Friend” has as close of a projection as I would have.

    What you all have to understand is that Cleveland, Indiana, and Chicago are all in the same division. This means that 2nd place in that division – if they make the playoffs – is the 4th seed, and if the 3rd place team makes it, then they are at best the 5th seed. Cleveland, arguably, might not even be the 2nd best team in their own division right now (although I think they will ultimately finish 2nd behind Indiana).

    Look at Miami’s division – they have a legitimate shot at winning it, which means that, at worst, a #3 seed in the East playoffs. Which opens up the potential for a Heat / Cavs first round playoff match-up, and I don’t think the Cavs win their very first playoff series without home-court advantage and without any experience, aside from LBJ and Anderson Varejao, against LBJ’s former team (a story-line that will get so much attention it will be hard to ignore)

    Miami will have anywhere between 47-53 wins next season which should be good enough to win the division. Washington will be in the mix – they could win it as well. Charlotte and Atlanta will fight for that last playoff spot, and the Magic are not going to make it.

    Pat Riley definitely has saved the franchise in the last 3 days. Almost all other 29 teams would have certainly thrown in the lottery towel (See Cleveland in 2010 after “The Decision”). And like someone else said, all of these 2-year deals Miami is offering definitely means flexibility in 2016 (Will they get Durant? Who knows, but they’ll definitely try).

  13. pat says:

    You do know that there are people that live in Florida and are Heat fans right. Do us that live in south Florida have to be Orlando Magic Fans in order to not be bandwagon fans. Sure I’ve been a fan of the heat for awhile but if our fan base has to name a player from the 90s in order to “prove” our heat fan stature then people need to take a chill pill and stop being mighty morphing power haters

  14. Markus71 says:

    I’m sure one Miami player is not to unhappy about Lebron movin on, now he doesn’t have to face Him in training camp!? any guesses?

  15. Timu says:

    All the respect to James, MAIMI HEAT organization is the one put him on 4 finals, and get him 2 rings. If you do not agree with me then explain his first 7 years with Cavs.
    Fans, and media keep complaining about him shoulder his teams in last 11 years in Cavs, Miami Heat. Anyone out there think why? Most of us forgot how good Bosh was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejyvF_Bt-C4

  16. M1978 says:

    Unfortunatly Miami looks done. Wade is not gonna be better and he continously fights injury. Bosh was really bad in the Finals and not so good in the playoffs. Deng is a great player but not really enough to lift a team beyond the playoffs.

    I think they should acquire some good bench players so they can remain an average, midlevel team.

  17. underdog says:

    It would be funny if the Heat finishes above the Cavaliers in the playoff standings which is veeery very possible because of the Division rule…

  18. Yusa says:

    Sure Lebron left the heat, but the heat is still a championship team. They worked and still can work the void from salary that Lebron left and they did great acquiring new talents like Granger and McRoberts. This upcoming season is very interesting with the East turning up the heat of competition. The Cavs are rising, Heat got reworked. Bulls got Gasol and most likely a healthy D.Rose. New York got Phil Jackson. Indiana is still a threat. And the unforgiving competition in the west. I’m really excited for this.

  19. eX says:

    The best team in the East will be swept by the King. Bosh,Anthony are after big money nothing more

    • Timu says:

      We will see. What was different in his first 7 years. Championship requires great organization like Spurs, Miami Heat from owners to players. We Miami Heat fans celebrate championships, some team fans celebrate draft picks, and transfers..

    • Lou says:

      If they are only after big money, then what did LeBron do with his two year deal at max??

      Firstly he could have signed at a discount to make them better and secondly more importantly..he took two years so when the TV deals come in and the max salary increases he can then get an even higher pay day..so come back to reality..they all after max money and no one can blame them..just don’t go around making any other holier than thou..

  20. iamironman says:

    Just because LBJ left doesn’t mean the Heat is doomed. They’re not like the Cavs who lost the will to compete when he left in 2010.

  21. DRose really? says:

    Most people have the bulls coming in the top 4 in the east, banking on a rose comeback. Let’s be honest, knee injuries kill basketball players. We have seen this time and time again: Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Tracy McGrady, these three players were players with huge ceilings that the league got a glimpse of how great they could have been, but were plagued with injuries that limited them. Rose is so much like Tracy McGrady. Both fantastic players, dominant on the court, but like Tracy I feel that rose will never reach his ceiling due to knee injury.

  22. RipCity2014 says:

    The Cavs will be better; the Heat will contend in the East but won’t go far into the playoffs; the Knicks will disappoint; and somebody in the West will be champion next June (probably the Spurs again, but I think Dallas will give them a run for their money). I think the Rockets took a step backwards, Portland didn’t get any better, and OKC seems to have stalled. Also, it’s never too early to start taking bets on just how badly Kidd will mess up the Bucks. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds next season.

    • Timu says:

      Miami will not make playoffs. You are wrong. Do you remember how Bosh was playing while he was in Toronto? Remember how Miami Heat became champ in 2006. We did not get much help from Shaq. It was all veteran players like Gary, Antony, Zo..and a young Flash+UD. We have a better team now but not a better coach.

      • Sebastian Valmont says:

        Did not get much help from Shaq? Season averages of 18ppg on 61% shooting and close to 10rpg plus all the intimidation on the defensive side. Yeah right didn’t get much help.

  23. jake s. says:

    I think the Cavs will get to the top faster than everyone believes. Will they make the finals next year? Probably not but they will make the finals in 2016. the 2014-2015 season is really just dependent on who is healthier? Thunder or Spurs. Because lets be honest… they are the best 2 teams in the NBA these days.

  24. Pat Riley fell asleep on the job and neglected to build support for LeBron for at least three years…and he still has not awakened and found the team a rebounding big man. Seems every team has two to three healthy seven footers and Pat can not get one!

    • Timu says:

      As a long time Miami Heat fan, I totally agree with you for last 2 seasons. They could at least work on improving Hamilton, Greg Oden. Oden says he is healthy but Spo did not even put him on the bench on bunch of games. As far as I see the only weakness we have is coaching. Spo have not been improved a single player since he started to coach. Instead he wasted bunch of talents. Noone figured out how Spo’s rotation works including bench rotation yet.

      • mee(a)t says:

        I think Spo is gonna have to implement a new system since it looks like Bosh will be the #1 option.

    • Sebastian Valmont says:

      Battier, Allen, Cole, Birdman, Lewis, Beasley in the last 3 years. Most of them instrumental in winning the Heat’s back to back championships. Considering the cap space left by the big 3, it was amazing how Riley managed to land some of these players. A tad bit IDIOTIC to use the word NEGLECT.

  25. Cheng says:

    Bosh is a better-than-normal NBA player. His shooting is not steady, speed is not fast, body? thin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Think about it!!!!What position can he play? Shooting guard? No. Small forward? No. power forward? You are kidding right? Right!
    C 1
    B 2 (if DR is near his old form)
    P 3 (everyone is healthy)
    W 4(JW and BB are doing good)
    ??
    ??
    ??
    ??
    Trust me, those spots can be taken by anyone. I have much authority on this one. What do you say?

  26. Co says:

    LeBron is irreplaceable but look at the soccer world cup, best team beat the team with the best player. Miami has a lot of great team pieces, Deng is a great team player. If only Wade and Granger could wind the clock back..

  27. liquidcobra says:

    Bottom line? If D Rose healthy it’s the Bulls or Pacers. If one of them don’t make it to the finals I’ll eat my damn hat. Oh and Lebron is the biggest sentimental fool I’ve EVER seen in my life. Good luck winning another chip with that team.

  28. Miami Heat Fan says:

    This What I Thing The Top 8 Standings In Next Season 2014-2015 But I Still Miami Heat Fans.
    1.Cleveland
    2.Chicago
    3.Indiana
    4.Miami
    5.Toronto
    6.Washington
    7.Brookelyn
    8.Atlanta

  29. DrewDog says:

    If Chicago lets Carlos Boozer go on Wednesday, the Miami Heat should go after him. Just think about a starting lineup of Chambers, Wade, Deng, Bosh and Boozer would be a hard match-up for any team in the Eastern Conference. Boozer would allow Bosh to play his natural position of Power Forward. It also would let Boozer compliment the offense instead of being a main option. Boozer is a better player when he is not the main option. Also, if the Heat can get Greg Oden back healthy, the Heat will have good back up centers to protect the rim and improve their rebounding from 30th in the league last year. The bench will be solid with Coles, Shabazzs, Granger, McRoberts, Haslem, Anderson and if Lewis returns. The Heat should be GREAT if they can get Boozer!!!!!!!

  30. Big says:

    Look at all these heat ‘fans’ trying to pretend theyre still behind their team now that LBJ is gone. I give you 20-30 games max into the season before you stop pretending. The heat are back to the bottom of the barrel and the bandwagons are gonna find some other team to ride. Best part is Chalmers might finally get to run the point. Lets see if he backs up his top 3 pg claim lol, fat chance!

  31. Kirby Record says:

    It’s hard to know how good the Heat will be at this point but I think they will be solid and contend for the East–not win it but be a serious challenge. Deng and Bosh really help up front. As for the Cavs, if they get Allen and another shooter on the cheap, and perhaps a big, they will be possible contenders for the whole thing. Not likely to win it but they can contend. James got them to a Finals with a shadow of the supporting cast they already have. They need a serious center to be likely to win a ring but they will be a very interesting matchup for the Pacers and the Bulls.

  32. Carlos "Canoso" Velez says:

    People, LBJ sent to a team filled with young and somewhat immature players. This is an interview of Deng after he joined Cavs and he states that the team had kids who wouldnt show up on time for practices and would playaround instead of practicing. Thats what James is inheriting. Tha to will not be 55 game wining team not in first year.

    • Ric says:

      It’s Lebron James, the best player of the planet. He gets the respect he wants and no doubt those kids, who looks up to him, will follow his lead. They needed a leader, and Deng wasn’t that type. Now, they have one. James will be bringing a lot to the table. It’s like good karma. And the heartaches paid off.

  33. druff says:

    JAMES ENNIS

  34. David says:

    eastern conference standings this upcoming season
    1.Pacers
    2.Bulls (if D.rose is good)
    3.Wizards
    4.Cleveland
    5.Toronto
    6.Celtics
    7.Miami
    8.Knicks

  35. New Guy says:

    East.
    1. Cavaliers
    2. Bulls
    3. Raptors
    4. Heat
    5. Wizards
    6. Pacers
    7. Hornets
    8. Hawks

  36. Jackson Phil says:

    I can’t wait to see Heat versus LeaveBron James/Cavaliers

  37. Geremih says:

    1 knicks
    2 Pacers
    3 bulls
    4 Hawks
    5 Raptors
    6 Hornets
    7 Pistons
    8 heat last pot knicks champion. Phil

    • Ric says:

      Knicks at no.1?? really? Who’s replaced Chandler and Felton? LoL I see Pacers at the top of they get Stephenson back and regain the chemistry they’ve lost. Bulls would’t be much better with Gasol. Gibson and Noah will play more minutes and don’t rely much on Rose. But they’ll be good enough to rank 3rd. I see the Heat still going at 2nd. Look, Bosh, Wade, Deng, Granger, McRoberts, Chalmers, Andersen..etc.. they’re still loaded with enough talent and depth and experience to run deep in the East. Raps gonna continue to develop and dig deeper. Same goes with the Wizards.
      Pacers
      Heat
      Bulls
      Raptors
      Wizards
      Hornets
      Cavaliers
      – wildcards – NYK, ATL, BKN, DET..

      the Cavs will be there. you can’t count Lebron out. They have enough to beat out those other four wildcards. I don’t think NYK just have it. Yeah, they have Melo’, but it’s all they’ve got. SMH

  38. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    Any team with Bosh as your #1 option is not going very far … Wades knees are bone-on-bone & Deng is pretty injury prone also. Then you have another injury prone and washed up has-been Danny Granger. So McRoberts is basically your 3rd option when Wade is sitting out…

    LeBron was the engine of the Miami Heat, without him they will be nothing more than a “playoff team” but that’s about it .. kind of like the Atlanta Hawks, they always make it to the playoffs every year but they get knocked out in the first or second round every single year..
    The Heat are only going to get worse each year because of how old they are, but the Cavs will only get better..

  39. Fred c says:

    Whoever comes out of the east will be taken down by the western champion.

  40. Errol says:

    Bosh Overrated thats the bottom line!

  41. GreatGuru says:

    One year contract
    Not a large team. Report to IT Director and manage off shore team
    India
    Client: Matthew International

    Let’s talk facts. Miami Heat won 54 games last year and the Cavs won 33, -19 differential. So you guys really believe that Lebron will account for that inexperience team winning plus 19 games to be the #1 seed in the East (that’s the only way they can win the East is to have home court advantage). 2009-10 Miami Heat finished with 47 wins. The following year (Big 3 Era), won 58 games. Even with an experienced team that’s a plus 11; and I don’t have to list who was on that team who lost to Dallas.

    So Vegas, the NBA Pundits and anyone who is riding Lebron’s jock is saying that with that inexperienced team, Lebron can guarantee plus 24 – 28 games? People, people, people. Let’s be realistic. If he couldn’t get an experienced team more than plus 11 wins, what make you think he is going to get a team of 2nd and 3rd year players more than 6 wins? Instead of crowing them the East, they better crown them another lottery team. I do believe LBJ is the best player on the earth, but last year proved that the best player cannot beat a better team.

    If Cleveland makes it to the playoffs, let’s celebrate that achievement, but they are at least 2 to 3 years away from competing for the East Finals. And as someone said previously, don’t count Pat Riley out from pitching for Kevin Durant.

    Yes I sound like a diehard Heat fan, been one since 1987 but I am realistic. I don’t expect the Heat to win the East, but I expect them to be there. I believe they will either finish 4th or 5th. If that’s the cause, and D Wade returns to flash, who knows we can relive 2006.

    • 37yrfan says:

      …not without that mountain in the middle……lol……

    • Sebastian Valmont says:

      The bottomline is the Cavs went from no. 1 in the regular season to zilch from the time LBJ left and catapulted the Heat to an NBA final for every year he played on that team, winning them 2 as the finals MVP. I like the Cavs’ chances in the east next year better than the Heat’s because of LeBron. The 2007 Cavs team had worse talent than what they have right now. I love Wade but he looks good for just one last push. And with Rio running point, best of luck.

  42. JG says:

    Heat fan here (path needed):

    1. Bulls
    2. Pacers
    3. Cavs
    Wiz/Raptors/Heat – up for grabs
    Hawks/Bobcats

    Don’t be surprise however if the Heat win their division and end up 3rd.

    • CURTIS78 says:

      are u tripping with the bulls? hahha drose comeback ? lol no

    • Hornets, my friend. says:

      Bobcats? Don’t know that team. Your list is pretty accurate though. Here are my projected standings with the teams so far.

      1. Chicago (60 wins) – y
      2. Indiana (55 wins)
      3. Miami (50 wins) – y
      4. Toronto (50 wins) – y
      5. Cleveland (55 wins)
      6. Washington (50 wins)
      7. Atlanta (50 wins)
      8. Charlotte (45 wins)

    • Hornets, my friend. says:

      Bobcats? Don’t know that team. Your list is pretty accurate though. Here are my projected standings with the teams so far.

      1. Chicago (60 wins) – y
      2. Indiana (55 wins)
      3. Miami (50 wins) – y
      4. Toronto (50 wins) – y
      5. Cleveland (55 wins)
      6. Washington (50 wins)
      7. Atlanta (50 wins)
      8. Charlotte (45 wins)

  43. Big Al says:

    Bosh, future HOF, one of the greatest of his generation? Don’t make me laugh. Most overpaid is more like it, perhaps like Rashard before but a bit better. LeBron was able to take the Cavs to the playoffs, plus one final, pretty much by himself while Chris didn’t step up as a real Raptor leader when Carter and T-Mac left. Talk is cheap. He should take his words to the court (I highly doubt that he will this year).

    • charless702 says:

      You’re a clown if you don’t think Bosh is the real deal. He pretty much threw his entire game in the trash and started over from scratch playing a new style and he still put up decent numbers. Next Bosh never even played with T-Mac and he hadn’t even made an all-star team when Vince Carter left. Lebron’s Cavs teams looked like the Show Time Lakers compared to Bosh’s Raptors and if you claim anything different I question your basketball knowledge. He only played 1 full season with Vince Carter and that was his rookie year. Bargnani might have given him one good year, Bosh’s last year there. When guys like Mike James, Morris Peterson and Anthony Parker are his “go to guys” Lebron’s team looked like an all-star team. Let’s also not forget that those guys, who I doubt you’ve ever even heard of, all put up career years playing along side Bosh.

      • 37yrfan says:

        ….still …..NO HOF !! That would Really LOWER the bar ….and he is NOT a ‘Go To’ guy………does not have a strong post game for his size………. kinda like Dirk…….lotsa points but No inside game ………an inside game is Necessary when the ‘heat’ is on….

  44. mikmaks says:

    One thing the Heat have compared to other teams is chemistry. If Deng, Mcroberts and Granger adjust quickly, the heat will be a strong contender in the East.

  45. Voodoo1 says:

    Seems everyone thinks the Cavs will just have the East handed to them now. Lebron better wish Irvings knee don’t give out and that those young kids learn quickly or he’ll be gone sooner than you know it.

    • grifter19 says:

      got that right..one more thing is if they learn to play with chemistry..remember the is issue of last year with dion and irving, regarding the buddy ball?dion surely hates to be the 3rd option last year, how much more this year that alpha dog is back in town,surely irvings ball touch would decrease coz LeBron would have it most of the time, which will make most of them less effective coz irving does his damage when he got the ball in his hands.

  46. b-rad says:

    Bosh thinks he’s one of the greatest of all time? Really? All right Bosh ya better step up this year pal. With Deng, Granger etc, going to Miami they will be competitive thats for sure but sorry no rings will be in their future. The entire east looks very competitive. If Cleveland can get KLove and some role players they will be the favorites for sure. Indiana what are you doing to improve? As for my Knicks I’m not sure if they even make the playoffs barring some surprise trade or miracle. Cant wait for the season to start

  47. Novice says:

    The Heat should persue Lance Stevenson. I am not a fan of lance but he could help us to win the east.

  48. rumpus42 says:

    Miami heat is going after Kevin Durant next season , stay tune!

  49. DOOM says:

    With the Decision II, the East has become very interesting… Of course, there has to be more imrovement to top the West, however in a couple of years I see great competition between the two. To me, the 5 most major factors will be:

    1) The Pacers’ improvement during the off-season… and the playoffs this time of course.
    2) D-Rose’s health.
    3) “The Flash’s” knee treatment
    4) King Jame’s chemistry with the Cavaliers

  50. theholyspectator says:

    this heat team is done, lebron was the miami heat…they went as far as they did becuz of lebron…you really think dwade can play 50-60 games and every game in the playoffs and not break down? its a wrap…but the east has really become competitive now…cavs needa get klove and wrap up the east…RIP miami heat

    • isaiah brown says:

      You forgot cbosh and the supporting cast riley is getting. Did we lose our best player…..yes. but lebron went nine seasons with no ring, 8 of which in cleveland. Lebron may be in Cleveland. But he was never the heat. Dwade cbosh riley…..those guys are the heat. And we’ll be back strong next season. Best believe dat!

      • Precious says:

        yeah yeah Isaiah Brown. . .now you say that after LBJ leaves. . LOL. . . you Miami fans just butt hurt. . .DWade is almost out the doot too cause his knees are giving out. . . . better luck with next year lottery.

      • 37yrfan says:

        ….amusing !!

      • Robert says:

        LeBron led heat in every aspect pt6 reb ast Stl minutes look at games dude don’t buy into the pipe dream they will barely make playoffs and play Cleveland and loose oh yeah lbj was mvp of the league and finals

  51. Gary Augustus says:

    “…we’ve won multiple championships and competed for many others..” Stop with inspirational rhetoric, Pat. No one’s paying you 50G for your day job to sell us on the “legacy” of the Miami Heat. In 19 yrs all you have are 3 chips and 5 total Finals appearances.
    You may be speaking sub-consciously about a West Coast team long, long ago and far, far away…

  52. Caldron Pool says:

    Kind of a headscratcher move by Deng. He was insulted when Chicago offered him 3 years / 30 million dollars so they traded him. Now, he had to accept 2 years / 20 million from Miami. Same pay, except now he has to try to search for another contract in two years that will pay him the same.

    He could have stayed with Chicago, made more money, and the team would probably be pretty good considering they just got Gasol.

    Just sayin’ . . . know your worth! The Bulls are well managed and obviously knew his worth to them or to other teams. Maybe the Lakers would have offered more since they’ve got a lot of money and nobody good to spend it on.

    • JG says:

      The lakers actually don’t have much to offer, specially with Lin now… Granted the bulls are well managed but so are the Heat, obviously. Maybe he needed a break from the intense playing time and wind :)

      • Laker24 says:

        Laker still have 8 mil in cap space …Lin contract is 16 mil but only 8 count against cap space ..If they can trade Nash they’ll have 16 mil in cap space ..enough to sign lance n one more decent player

  53. TheAll-Star136 says:

    Coach Erik Spoelstra – a coach who has been to the Finals 4 times in a row

    G Mario Chalmers – 1 NCAA Champion
    G Dwyane Wade – 10 time All-Star, 3 NBA Champions
    F Luol Deng – 2 time All-Star
    F Danny Granger – 1 time All-Star
    C Chris Bosh – 9 time All-Star, 2 NBA Champions

    Ray Allen – 10 time All-Star, 2 NBA Champions
    Shabazz Napier – 2 NCAA Champions
    Udonis Haslem – 3 NBA Champions

    If you have a team with THAT experience, I see them getting either 3 or 4 place in the East.

    • for one…allen wade and haslem hasnt signed with the heat yet…and yes they have experience…but they’re also aging…if miami faces cleveland in the playoffs cleveland will crush them

      • I'm Right says:

        I dont’ know about crush… who is playoff-proven on the cavs?! (except Lebron/Varajao)

    • isaiah brown says:

      Actually, rayray has 4 championships. But other than that,……preach brother.

    • Precious says:

      Charmers couldnt even keep up with the spurs in the finals. . .so not sure why they kept him as he will propbably be on the bench by the end of the season.

      DWade is washed up and was rideing the coat tail of LBJ, he only had a few good games where he was the old Wade but nothing consistant.

      Deng is a good player, hard worker so I’ll give you that.

      Bosh is good but again he was caught watching LBJ and not doing anything along with Wade in the finals when it counted.

      Danny has been quite for the past few years

      Naiper has yet to prove himself in a NBA game other than summer league

      when the last time Haslem played some real minutes???. . .

      I see the heat maybe 5 or 6 seed if even that sorry.

      • The Voice Of Reason says:

        Good points – no question this team has a tremendous resume BUT father time doesn’t care about that. Remember when the Rockets signed Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen to team up with Hakeem? That is 4 true HOF on the starting line up, but the only problem was that they were much older and barely sniffed the playoffs.
        The Heat’s roster contains players who have been out multiple years with injuries and poor D-Wade has recently joined the injury train.
        If they stay healthy and Chalmers finds his rhythm then it will be an interesting battle for 4-6 seed, but they still lack an inside game, despite signing Birdman. Be honest, Haslem can NOT match Roy Hibbert in the paint (provided Hibbert can find his game). 30 year old in-his-prime Gortat or Nene? Big Al Horford coming off a tremendous season?
        The heat have experience no doubt BUT you need an inside game and sorry but Bosh is at best a very tall, skinny SF/PF like Kevin Durant.
        If they could sign another big then great…but good luck with that as they don’t have the cap space to sign anyone capable of filling the need.

  54. KMIll says:

    Miami is done…Sorry Heat fans but Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh won’t be winning any rings in the near future.

    • JB says:

      Just wish more people like you REPEAT the same thing to give some encouragement to Wade and Bosh….

    • JG says:

      Can the haters leave with Lebron please :). Thought we waived them all when the king left.

      • Cuuse says:

        true that, JG. cautious excitement about the heat’s new development and hopefully seeing all those hating idiots crawling on to cleveland are at least two good things about his departure =)
        all the best for lebron and thanks to riles for keeping us in the mix. GO HEAT!

      • 37yrfan says:

        ….y’all are funny!!

  55. This team is looking better and better. Adding Luol Deng and Bosh should keep them competitive but some guard ensurance for Wade and a legitimate Center will be necessary as well. But they look poised to not have the type of drop off other teams experience after a star leaves. Marshawn Brooks would be a great young talent to have behind Wade to learn from him on a winning team and supplant Wade when he retires. I’m looking forward to Bosh showing his vintage Toronto Raptors talent with Deng next to him and Wade supporting him.

  56. Jay says:

    The only way the Heat will be better than the Cavs is if Wade can play 70 games at the top of his game. People often forget, the Heat were very average after Shaq left during Wade’s prime. I don’t think Bosh and Deng make up for the decline in Wade’s game. Bosh only made the playoffs in Toronto once and he had good enough pieces around him (should have at least snuck into a 7/8 seed). He can’t carry a team to the playoffs if Wade is not much better than last season. I think there is a better chance that Miami doesn’t make the playoffs at all than there is that they end up with a better record than Cleveland.

  57. Jay says:

    I am not a Lebron fan, but I would be shocked if the Cavs don’t win the Central. He is so good and will elevate all players on the Cavs. I think they will be able to be beaten in a seven game series but I predict the final standings to be something like this. I actually don’t think the East is as weak as many think.
    1. Cavs
    2. Pacers
    3. Hawks
    4. Bulls
    5. Raptors
    6. Wizards
    7. Heat
    8. Hornets

    The Nets, Pistons and Knicks will all battle for one of the last spots.

    • I'm Right says:

      yes… the hawks will be in 3rd LOL

    • JB says:

      Close.., but let’s see what happens, here is my prediction:

      1. Bulls
      2. Pacers
      3. Cavs
      4. Hawks
      5. Wizards
      6. Heat
      7. Raptors
      8. Hornets

      • Precious says:

        JB is predictions seem more on point.. . .I am 50/50 on the hawks and wizards. . .i think they may battle for that 4 spot.

      • Can't says:

        According to your list, Hawks would be 3rd and Raps would be 4th, due to winning their divisions.

      • The Truth says:

        DA BULLS! They look tough and will dominate the paint area – offense and defense!

    • 37yrfan says:

      ….East is not as weak as many think…….right……it is WORSE than that ………..

  58. celentano says:

    “If wade stays healty” and even if he’s healty probaly they won’t make the East conf. finals at 2015!Nice roster thus but Wade needs a decent center + another consistent scorer like “Ledecision” so that roster d’ont complete that!
    Sorry mate have patience for another decade without wade,good luck.

  59. harrythehawk says:

    Don’t underestimate the Hawks. I predict they make no less than 4th seed.

    • Big says:

      I dont like the hawks, and I especially dont like horford but I respect what they got going there after getting rid of joe and smith. If horford was healthy I dont think they woulda lost to the pacers. People are sleeping on the hawks and I could easily see them 4th or better as well, given they stay healthy. Theyre better off than the heat thats fro sure

  60. Carlo says:

    In theory, Indiana should be the East favourite as they won’t battle a LBJ-strong Miami.
    But first they have to re-sign Lance and second they must enjoy an injury-free season. They had probably the shortest bench among possible contenders last year, running virtually a 7-man rotation.

    @ underdog: I’m almost ok with your list but for Detroit. OK, SVG is good but he must have a good roster. Do you think they’ll be better than Nets with Lopez full time?

    • Carlo says:

      Forgot to comment about Bosh.

      He says he’ll be a great HOF. And that he’ll show it now that he’s no more the 3rd fiddle.
      Well, if he was a great, future HOF, why he didn’t play like that this year?
      Then again, in Toronto he lead the team? Not so much. He racked up great scoring stats – which is different from being a great leader – and that in a rather poor team.
      And again, if he was so great to be 1st fiddle, he shouldn’t have feared to go in a team with two other stars (e.g. HOU).

      Fact is, Bosh is an excellent player, good scorer and good defender but he’s not “in the same league” with players like LBJ, Kobe or even Duncan – who’s a leader and a team carrier despite apparently modest stats.
      Problem is, Riley HAD to pay him as if he was the greatest of the world for the only alternative was throw everything away and start rebuilding. Which Riley doesn’t like (or maybe doesn’t know how?)

      • 37yrfan says:

        ….right on the second count….Riley DOES NOT know how to build……only buy……..

  61. Antonio williams says:

    Bring back Beasley to let him redeem himself

  62. Antonio williams says:

    Heat we not done I seen lebron leaving 2 years ago. Wade get back to bring the old you and bosh get back to his raptor years well be in the top 4. Pat Riley grab a shooting guard to back up wade let jones, Haslem, Danny, cole come off the bench but another center we can plug in do bosh can go back to the 4 we will be greattttt!!!

    • Big says:

      Top 4 of the teams that dont make hte playoffs maybe. Just stop while youre ahead. Leave this season like you left the 4th quarters in the finals this year… before they started.

  63. eX says:

    Best team on the East, can not make it in the West, everyone knows that i. The East. This why every team has a high hope

  64. I.B. HeatFan says:

    Bosh MUST play differently, different mindset, different leadership style. But I think he can do it. Take the game over when Dwade may struggle. And, the “shock” of Lebron leaving lasted about a day….now I’m over it. In fact, very excited !! Loul & McBob are nice pieces to fill the LeBron James gap. And, I really am glad Mario is back….I like him waaaay better than Cole. Cole constantly tried to do too much lane driving when we doesn’t have the skills to actually FINISH !

    Although he is a good defensive stopper, I’m hoping that Cole is dealt out. His offense gets the Heat out of rhythm time after time. We can’t afford that this next year. If Cole is dealt, that could make up room for a bigger Payday for Birdman, give the Heat a quality future Draft pick….AND we can start grooming Shabazz into a backup role immediately. I would love it if Oden was REALLY given a chance at starting center. Bosh would love it too. And PLEASE bring back James Jones and Beasley. With everyone back and some nice new pieces, the Heat still have a shot at the East !

  65. Curt says:

    Lets be honest yes the Central division is tough but really how healthy is D rose after injuring his knees 2 years in a row? Lebrons the best player because he can stay healthy. And yes the pacers are good but what happens if another team signs lance stephenson? Then the pacers probably take a step back but still make the playoffs. The heat should still be in the mix but they also took a step backward. The additions of napier if he pans out helps deng should be good but clearly dwade hasnt ever been the same since injuring his knees. The heat would be lucky to win 50 games with lebron gone. And if the heat snag kevin love somehow in a timberwolves trade they should then be considered the favorites to not only win the east but the NBA title.

  66. Game Ball says:

    Rumors of the Heat’s demise might have been greatly exaggerated.
    Only time will tell. ????

    You doubt Riley??? in 10 year playoffs of the HEAT as president/coach he Get 3 rings of them…. I sure he knows what he is doing…. Just look at the Lakers… Kobe 2 year extension… for what??? So he can seat and watch his team dies…. With all of those Lebron Melo thing.. they came up with nothing???? Swaggy P.? really??? Jeremy Lin??? Before Lebron came to Miami… Heat is a playoff team already… While cavs w’o lebron didn’t reach playoffs… So you’re saying that Miami can’t be contender because cavs got lebron??? Lebron may have his rings but cavs organization cannot compete with the HEAT… That’s been proven, HEAT got a ring already before lebron joins the HEAT… Get your facts straight you don’t have any clue on what you’re saying….

    • jr says:

      Please don’t compare the heat to the Lakers you’re pathetic 3 ships to 16 the fact that you don’t win a championship if it weren’t for shaq choosing to play with wade in Miami and a garbage east conference which is why he went over there everyone knows the path
      To the finals has always been a cake walk in the east why do think melo stayed with the knicks the west is loaded and always has been and calm down on you’re kobe comments heat had the best player in the world along with not 1 but 2 other superstars and a supporting cast and the best u could do was 2 and 2 record in the finals how sad is that

      • Sebastian Valmont says:

        jr, Miami has been to 4 straight finals in the last 4 years and won 2. And even with LeBron leaving, they still have a decent team capable of making the playoffs. The Lakers got Kobe for 2 more years before he retires but eventhough, they are not gonna win a championship with that team. It’ll probably take 5, 6 or 7 yrs before they win a chip again. What could be sadder than that, besides the existence of Lakers fans who still live in the glory days of the past?

  67. Game Ball says:

    All I can say is thank you Lebron for 4 Finals and 2 rings… And the money left on the table for us to have Deng McRoberts Granger,Napier with Birdman…. MIAMI HEAT made out fine….. supporting cast look much deeper…. Retool not rebuild…. Good thing Pat Riley was on our side…

    • Precious says:

      yeah you guys got pat but who do you have when you in game 7 (if you guys make it that far) and need someone to step up and be the main score. . . I hope you not saying Bosh will get you guys another ring cause not in real life, maybe in your dreams.

  68. Jon KIng says:

    The Heat have a stable winning culture from the owner to the GM to the coaching staff to the trainers. Excellence and stability, as much as any franchise outside of SA. Do not discount them. Spo won 90 games in 2 years with a bad roster before Lebron.

    McRoberts, Deng, Bosh, Wade will work together very well. Birdman, Coles, Grainger. This kid Ennis is a stud.

    The Bulls and Pacers are favorites, but do not be surprised if the Heat end up fighting for the east.

  69. underdog says:

    There is a big possibilty that the Heat finishes a higher seed than the Cavs. The Cavaliers are in a tough Central division so there is a chance they won’t get a top4 while they are still developing.. Division winners get an automatic top 4. Cavs, Bulls, and Pacers are all in the Central Division so at most only 2 of them will be in the top4.While the Heat will just have to worry about the Wizards

    EAST

    1. Bulls (Central Winner)
    2. Pacers
    3. Heat (South East Winner)
    4. Raptors (Atlantic Winner)
    5. Cavaliers
    6. Wizards
    7. Hawks
    8. Detroit

    I’m high on SVG, his teams were always top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. I expect he can do wonders even with this Detroit lineup.

    • harrythehawk says:

      Don’t underestimate the Hawks. I predict they will be no lower than the 4th seed.

  70. TheKush says:

    It would be very interesting if the Heat made the finals 5 years in a row! I like the moves Pat Riley has made the heat are still a contender in the east even without LeBron. If Wade can stay healthy next season is shaping up to be very interesting in the east. it won’t be a cake walk for any team in the east but the east looks very interesting.