2005 Miami Heat Preview
At the time of publish the NBA regular season is around the corner. What better way to get you locked and loaded for a winning season than a free season preview from Maddux Sports. We remind you that MadduxSports.com is an expert NBA handicapper and offers NBA Picks against the point spread. For more information on this years basketball package click here. Onto the individual team preview for this years Miami Heat.
2005 Miami Heat Team Preview
Last year the Miami Heat finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference. The year before the Floridians won 42 games, in 2004-05 they raised that mark to 59. One reason for the boost was the Heat’s signing of big man Shaquille O’Neal, who started the season in top condition. The Heat seemed destined to turn on all burners and skyrocket to the championship. But the Pistons negated their trajectory in a hard-fought seven-game Eastern Conference Final Series.
This year the team has rededicated itself to raising the NBA Championship banner. It’s really all they have left to do, and they have a good chance of achieving that goal. They’ve improved their already impressive scoring potential by acquiring two more solid shooters—Antoine Walker and Jason Williams. Plus they possess a strong defender in the newly added James Posey.
The phenomenal Dwayne Wade returns having averaged 24.1 point per game last season. Wade is a force on the court, displaying an efficient manner of play, speed and an unselfish attitude towards his teammates. He’s a hard worker who labored to improve his pull-up jumper and defensive abilities during his first two years in the NBA.
Together O’Neal and Wade are perhaps the most potent one-two scoring punch on the professional boards. It’s clear that O’Neal has found a true teammate in Wade, something he never quite discovered with Kobe Bryant. Wade plays to create scoring opportunities as his 6.8 assists per game illustrate. This benefits everyone on the court.
Stan Van Gundy has done an admirable job since he took over for Pat Riley, who is now the Heat’s president. In two years Van Gundy has won 101 games. But despite his record and the vast improvements Miami has made over the past two seasons, some experts believe Van Gundy’s inability to see the NBA season as a marathon and not a sprint will continue to hurt him. He needs to feel free to rest veterans like Shaq; this may translate into a few less wins during the season, but it can be the difference between a healthy and productive center and an ineffective injured one when the second season begins.
With very few teams in their way for the conference title— Indiana, Detroit, and perhaps no one else—Miami has a strong chance to make it to the finals. The talent is there. The question is can vets like Shaq, Walker, and Williams mesh with the younger breed led by Wade? If the answer is “yes,” the question of who will be the 2005-06 NBA champs may be moot.
For more information on the 2005 Miami Heat Team, click here to visit their official team website.