How does a team that has gone to four straight NBA Finals handle losing their best player? The 2014-2015 Miami Heat have that difficult task.
This offseason was the second biggest in the franchise’s history since 2010 when the “Big 3” originally came together. Four time league MVP and two time NBA Finals MVP, Lebron James, has returned to Cleveland Ohio, leaving Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach seeking answers.
Pat Riley and the rest of the Miami Heat organization got straight to work hours after the departure of “The King”, resigning Chris Bosh to a five year 118 million dollar max deal. Heat veteran Dwyane Wade also resigned, taking a two year 31.1 million dollar deal. Wade took an 11 million dollar pay cut, laying the brick work for deals for players such as Luol Deng, Danny Granger, and Josh McRoberts.
Expectations have been lowered for this season and fairly so. Any team which loses their best player is expected to regress the following season. “I expect this team to compete, that’s what I expect. This is a unique time for the first time in about a half-decade and legitimately so. The roster has changed a lot, the greatest player on the planet doesn’t live here anymore, but what this organization has is a commitment to championships,” said Suns Sports TV Host, Jason Jackson.
Over the course of the franchise, hard work and toughness has become a part of the Heat DNA. Guys like Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts should fit in perfectly. “I expect the team to be very scrappy, very blue collared this year, be very tough. You know they have a chip on their shoulders this year, they have a lot to prove since Lebron has left so I expect a good hard season,” said Joy Taylor of the Ticket Morning show on 790 The Ticket. “I expect a rejuvenated attitude. I expect this new attitude that they haven’t had. It’s very hard to lose the best player in the world and expect to get better, but you don’t have to get worse if that makes any sense. This team still has quality players, they still have the heat way,” said Will Manso, Local 10 sports anchor.
All the questions surrounding this basketball team will start to be answered as the Miami Heat season tips off versus division foe, Washington Wizards, at the American Airlines Arena tonight at 7:30 PM.
David Perez and Jose Companioni assisted in the production of this video.