NBA Season Preview: Our MHB Experts Forecast The Miami HEAT’s 2017-18 Record

Commentary

spoelstra walk off thumbs up

Just in time for tonight’s season opener against the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m., our Miami Heat Beat experts use their collective brainpower to accurately predict the Miami HEAT’s 2017-18 season record. Just like were dead-on right last year, here it is all over again under one post, so it’s on the record.


Jack Alfonso (45-37, Previous: 33-49): The NBA season is a grind and boy is this team full of grinders. All of the guys just grind so hard. This team could set the NBA record for most grinding in a single season. Word to the Windermans.

Unfortunately, Steph Curry and LeBron James have worked together with Adam Silver to soften up the league and devalue grinding. Coach Spo and the Heat will just have to grind even harder to make up for it.

Key grinders to look at this season are Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. These young bucks were born to grind, and I’ll be looking to see both players continue their development after injury-riddled sophomore campaigns.

Giancarlo Navas (35-47, Previous: 38-44): This team is going to be immensely streaky offensively and it’s going to be based on shooting, health and Dion Waiters’ production. Those are all hugely suspect aspects of the Heat, and while Miami generated a ton of open looks last season, they don’t have many shooters you trust to do it all year. And when they don’t shoot well, it looks ROUGH.

I think this defense is safely going to be consistently within the top 10 or higher in the league all season. The Heat contested the highest percentage of 3-pointers in the NBA last season and ran teams off the line.

Nekias Duncan (46-36, Previous: 38-44): My prediction feels safe—an improvement on last year with better health, but still a tier below the conference elite.

Miami will make opposing offenses grind more than a SoFlo father-son combination. They have a bevy of wings to throw at you, and a professional shot-catcher in Hassan Whiteside to protect the rim.

The uptick in three-point shooting is what sparked the run last year. I have no clue how sustainable that is. Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow will drive-and-kick until an open look is produced, the team should knock down enough shots and a top 10-12 offense isn’t out of the question.

There may not be a bonafide star on the roster, but when you have the depth, versatility, collective IQ, conditioning and coaching Miami has, they’ll be a tough out for anyone.

Harrison Cytryn (46-36, Previous: 40-42): The Heat have continuity from last season: Hassan Whiteside is on the verge of an All-Star Game, an angry 🐲 coming off a fire-scorching display in Europe and great complimentary “positionless” pieces for Spo to work with. And after hating on Josh Richardson for two years, I think he’ll win Most Improved Player this year.

Alex Toledo (47-35, Previous: 42-40): Because Harrison doesn’t have the guts. While Miami’s movement-heavy offense takes a little while to hit its stride, the Heat’s top 5 defense keeps them winning games. Although they’ve got two top-50 players coming off strong seasons, we know the roster isn’t very top-heavy.

What they do have is about 12 deep, versatile rotation players. With guys like the Johnson Bros and Justise [better] coming off the bench, they’re going to trot out several lineups that outplay most teams’ second units because of their ability to swarm on defense and run/move on offense. The Heat finish as the fifth seed and beat the fourth-seeded Celtics in 6. DALE.

Leif (50-32, Previous: 44-38): Off the strength of the Culture.

Alf (49-33, Previous: 48-34): A four seed and a hard-fought second-round exit against Boston. The Heat’s depth and shooting will help them overachieve during the regular season, but their lack of a true star will cause their luck to run out in the playoffs. However, another strong showing by this team may be enough to coax a superstar talent to the sunny beaches of Miami next year.

Christian Hernandez (45-37): Was this team closer to 11-30 or 30-11? Data suggests that the team was indeed closer to 30-11, although their shooting prowess and defense of the 3 in the second half should regress back closer to the mean.

Replacing Luke Babbitt with Kelly Olynyk should pay noticeable dividends as long as the team utilizes Olynyk’s career 51 percent 3-point shooting from the corners. His addition will also allow Miami to play bigger with lineups featuring guys like Winslow and JJ at the 3, which should prove a headache for opposing offenses.

Expect Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson to make leaps towards becoming real impact players. Overall, I suspect this team will go the way Justise goes. Better…

BrassJazz (47-35, Previous: N/A): Lots of people are sleeping on the Heat this year. Many rolled their eyes this summer when they signed much of last season’s team to multi-year deals.

This is something that we haven’t been able to the last few seasons. Sure, Miami’s offense may feel sparse at times, but defensively they should be a nightmare for opponents for a full 48 minutes. The Heat still have players that can take over a game.

Dragic will be a monster this year. Olynyk will go from the most-hated signing to a hometown favorite. Bam Adebayo, if he gets the playing time, will surprise everyone that slandered Pat Riley when Miami drafted him. Barring any major injuries (besides Rodney McGruder), this team will be better than last year.

Record predictions are pure guesswork. There’s only one thing I know for sure… THE MIAMI HEAT WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. They have to. If not, I promised Gianni to watch the remaining episodes of Scum’s Wish. Yes, it’s an anime. Yes, it’s awful. And no, I can’t do that again. This team wouldn’t do that to me, right? I’ve been a fan from year one…

Oh, God…

What have I done? I can’t watch any more anime.

Help me.

Anybody know how I can wire some money to Adam Silver?

Brian Goins (Could Go Either Way, Previous: Outlook Good):

I asked a Magic 8 Ball last season, so I’m pressing my luck with the Nostradomical sphere once again. This was what I got…

magic_hate_ball


MHB’s Consensus Oracle (46-36, Previous: 41-41): You better @ us when we’re right again.

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