The Miami Heat enter the season with high expectations.
For the first time ever, a starting lineup featuring Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside will take the court. Despite all five players having suited up for the Heat last season, that lineup failed to take the court together a single time during the 2014-15 campaign.
“It’s not the kind of lineup where you can just throw it out there, and you know it’ll work. It’s going to take practice.”
It’s worth noting that both Dragic and Whiteside enter their first training camp with the Heat this year. Dragic was acquired in February at the trade deadline, while Whiteside was signed as a free agent last November.
Spoelstra knows better than anybody what high expectations can do to a talented squad. When the “Big Three” was formed with Wade, Bosh and LeBron James back in 2010, everyone had them pegged as automatic NBA champions. In fact, many had talked about how the 2010-11 Heat could potentially break the 72-10 regular season record that the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls had achieved with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
The team didn’t start out that well as they began the season just 9-8 due to chemistry issues before winning 12 consecutive games to turn their season around. The squad eventually advanced to the NBA Finals, where they fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.
While this team doesn’t face nearly the same expectations as that squad did five years prior, many are expecting the 2015-16 Heat to have the type of roster to compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the defending Eastern Conference champions.
Though that is a definite possibility, Heat Nation needs to be warned that great things don’t happen overnight.
It’ll take some time before the 2015-16 Heat start to look like a true contender, despite how talented they look on paper.