2007 Miami Heat Season Preview
Over the past three years, the Heat have been slowly losing their edge, going from 59 wins three years ago, to 52 wins when they won it all in 2005- 2006, to 44 wins and an early exit from the playoffs last year. This year you have to wonder if the team will be in the playoffs. Age and injuries took their toll on last year’s defending champions.
In the frontcourt, Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal (.591 FG%, .000 3P%, .422 FT%, 7.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 17.3 PPG) is the centerpiece and his health is essential. O’Neal missed 42 games last season. Forwards Udonis Haslem (.492 FG%, .000 3P%, .680 FT%, 8.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 10.7 PPG) and Antoine Walker (.397 FG%, .275 3P%, .438 FT%, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 8.5 PPG) fill out the front. It’s a solid frontcourt that features some fine bench players.
Dynamic guard Dwayne Wade (.491 FG%, .266 3P%, .807 FT%, 4.7 RPG, 7.5 APG, 27.4 PPG), who missed 31 games in 2006- 2007, is one of the best scorers in the league. Guard Jason Williams (.413 FG%, .339 3P%, .913 FT%, 2.3 RPG, 5.3 APG, 10.9 PPG) is also an essential element of this backcourt. Both players were injured last season and are still on the mend. There’s some tentativeness to both as to when they will be 100%. With that being said, four-year player Smush Parker (.436 FG%, .365 3P%, .646 FT%, 2.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 11.1 PPG) and 13-year veteran Penny Hardaway will be important elements of the Heat backcourt.
The legs are getting tired on this team and a long NBA season is unforgiving. This is a club that should be worried since seven of its top 10 players are over 30 years old and nine of the top 10 failed their conditioning test. Last season this club was slow, unmotivated and often injured. And as everyone knows, when you’re out of condition it’s easier to get hurt and when you’re over 30 and injured it takes a lot longer to recover than when you’re in your 20’s. This may not be the Heat but the Tepid.