Top Five Reasons Miami Heat Will Make Playoffs in 2016-17

Top Five Reasons Miami Heat Will Make Playoffs in 2016-17

Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, and Hassan Whiteside

5. Depth at Shooting Guard

Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson

Having to choose between the newly re-signed Tyler Johnson, the sharpshooting Josh Richardson or the recently acquired Dion Waiters to start at shooting guard is a “good” problem to have. Each guy brings a unique skill set with superior athleticism to the table. As of about a month ago, Waiters was reported to have an “inside track” at the starting role, but the young guard will be hard-pressed to fend off Johnson and Richardson for minutes at the two-spot.

Richardson emerged late last season as a knockdown 3-point shooter who provided quality minutes in the playoffs. Ananth Pandian of CBS Sports even recently selected Richardson as one of his breakout sophomore candidates in 2016-17. However, the fact is that the Heat have also invested a a great deal in Johnson after signing him to four-year, $50 million deal. Johnson’s grittiness and playmaking ability make him a viable candidate to see significant time.

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In addition, the Heat was also fortunate enough to sign long-ball specialist Wayne Ellington to a deal in the offseason. The competition for the starting two-guard spot will be fierce, to say the least. That competitiveness will likely bring out the best in each of these young guards. The depth at the shooting guard position is certainly one of Miami’s strongest assets heading into next season.

All of these factors make the Heat a legitimate playoff contender in 2016-17. Fortunately, most NBA teams, experts and analysts will not have Miami very high on their radar coming into the season. That will bode well for Miami as opponents may foolishly underestimate them early on. Regardless of expectations, the Heat will be a well-balanced force to be reckoned in the Eastern Conference next season.

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