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Top Five Reasons Miami Heat Will Make Playoffs in 2016-17
- Updated: September 8, 2016
The Miami Heat has endured a tumultuous offseason in which it lost out on Dwyane Wade, who had served as the face of the franchise for over a decade. Though losing the three-time NBA champion certainly hurts, there is much to look forward to in Miami in the coming seasons.
Losing the aging guard may have even been a blessing in disguise for a Heat team that looks to transition to a faster pace of play with a more youthful cast of players serving clearly defined roles.
Though some experts expect the Heat to regress in 2016-17, there are a handful of factors that actually point to them having a stronger season than most may expect. If you ask Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, he still expects nothing less than greatness from his team, even after losing Wade:
“There are some things that will never change with this organization,” Spoelstra stated in a video posted to the team’s website in July. “Our expectation is to win. Our expectation is to compete for an NBA championship regardless of who we have in this uniform.”
While the ninth-year head coach maintains his confidence in the team’s ability to compete for a championship this season, reaching the postseason must come first. Despite some of the outside noise from the naysayers, the Heat certainly have a strong chance to do just that.
Here are the top five reasons the Heat will make the playoffs in 2016-17.
1. A Healthy Chris Bosh
Basketball Gods willing, Chris Bosh will be fully healthy in 2016-17.
After missing the latter half in each of the last two seasons due to blood clots, it finally sounds like Bosh is ready to return to the court. The playing status of the 6’11” forward has been in question for many months now. Around the time the Heat’s playoff run began last season, Bosh had believed he was ready to get back to the court, however, he and the team clashed over whether or not that was a good idea.
Since the offseason began, Bosh has been seen training on the practice court and working out with his teammates which points to him likely being available to start the season. Granted, there have been reports that the Heat may be trying to force Bosh to retire early, the prevailing expectation is that he will be out there leading the way for a young Heat team beginning in late October.
Before Bosh went down with blood clots in his calf last season, he was leading the team in scoring, averaging 19.1 points per game. That’s certainly a respectable output considering that Wade was still considered the team’s go-to option on offense. Given the fact that Wade, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, is now playing for the Chicago Bulls, the offense will surely rely more heavily on Bosh’s playmaking abilities.
Though the stretch four is surrounded by young talent, this upcoming season may finally present the perfect opportunity for Bosh to get back to the high-scoring ways of his Toronto Raptors days when the offense ran primarily through him. Ever since Bosh arrived in Miami, he’s been more of a second or third scoring option behind the likes of LeBron James and Wade. Now, for the first time since 2009, Bosh appears to be the clear-cut No. 1 option. Barring another untimely health scare, look for Bosh to have a monster season in 2016-17.
Next: A Dominant Hassan Whiteside