Three Heat Players Make SI’s Top 100 NBA Players of 2015

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Sports Illustrated recently released a comprehensive list of who they think are the top 100 players heading into the 2014-2015 NBA season. Three of our very own Miami Heat players have cracked the top 60 on the list, however, you may be surprised at some of the rankings.

55. Luol Deng

Luol Deng Responds to Danny Ferry's Racist Comments

Forward | Age: 29
6-9, 220 pounds 
Last year: No. 55

2013-14 statistics
 16.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 43.1 FG%, 30.2 FG%
• 15.2 PER, 4.5 Win Shares, 0.5 RAPM

After having to fill the gargantuan shoes left by LeBron James, Luol Deng is no role player by any means. He is one of the NBA’s elite defenders and is known for his accurate midrange jumpshot and his ability to perform in the clutch.

Other players on the list that Deng beat out were Chandler Parsons of the Dallas Mavericks (#56), Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz (#57), DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors (#61), Monta Ellis of the Dallas Mavericks (#66), and Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings (#67).

20. Dwyane Wade

Video: Gabrielle Union Shows up Dwyane Wade
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Guard | Age: 32
6-4, 220 pounds
Last year: No. 8

2013-14 statistics
• 19.0 PPG, 4.7 APG, 4.5 RPG, 54.5 FG%, 28.1 3P%
• 22.1 PER, 5.5 Win Shares, 2.9 RAPM

As if the three-time champ needed any more motivation to prove the doubters wrong this upcoming season. After an abysmal NBA Finals performance last season paired with ailing knees that kept Wade in and out of games, albiet a bit low, this ranking is more or less an accurate representation of Dwyane’s 2013-2014 campaign. Last year, Wade was ranked #8 by SI and by all means Wade still has the talent to be a top 10 player in the NBA. However, it all comes down to his work ethic, conditioning, and most of all HEALTH.

Notable players ranked lower than Wade on the list are Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers (#21), Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers (#22), Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls (#23), and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers (#24).

18. Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh white jersey
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Forward | Age: 30
6-11, 235 pounds
Last year: No. 17

2013-14 statistics
• 16.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.1 APG, 51.6 FG%, 33.9 3P%
• 19.1 PER, 8.0 Win Shares, 2.7 RAPM

Chris earned himself a max contract this year and deservedly so. He now has to prove that he can anchor the offense for the Miami Heat. With James out of the mix, expect Bosh to receive more post up opportunities, isolations, and spot-ups. With only one ball-dominant player left in Dwyane Wade, Bosh will receive plenty more touches this time around and his ranking at #18 may even be unjustifiably low come 2015.

Other notable big men that Bosh beat out on the list were Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder (#19), Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks (#25), Al Jefferson of the Charlotte Hornets (#26), and Demarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings (#27).

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