Miami Heat Picked by ESPN as Third-Most Likely Team to Win Eastern Conference

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The Miami Heat have had a big offseason with the additions of Amar’e Stoudemire, Gerald Green and Justise Winslow.

However, ESPN feels they’ll have an even bigger season when they actually take the court. According to ESPN’s annual summer forecast, their panel projects the Heat as the third-most likely team to win the Eastern Conference. The Cleveland Cavaliers were voted as the most likely to win the East, with the Chicago Bulls coming in second.

The Cavaliers ran away as the “most likely team to win the East” in voting as they had 158 total points from the panel. The Bulls followed with a total of 53, with the Heat at 29 points.

This is a step-up from the voting for Eastern Conference standings by the panel earlier this month. The Heat were projected to finish as the fourth-best team in the Eastern Conference by the end of the regular season in ESPN’s forecast.

It’s clear that many are picking the rejuvenated Heat to contend with the Cavaliers for supremacy in the East this upcoming season. Miami returns key players such as Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic and Chris Bosh. If the team is able to remain healthy in 2015-16, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be on the same level as the very best the conference has to offer.
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D.J. Siddiqi grew up in the heart of South Florida in Broward County. Growing up in South Florida during the late 90's and 2000's, D.J. witnessed the Pat Riley years where the Miami Heat faced off with the New York Knicks all the way to the painful late 2000's seasons where the Heat were a one-man team with Dwyane Wade. D.J. has closely followed the Heat over the past decade-and-a-half, and unfortunately witnessed Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals in person when the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to knock off the Heat. D.J. has writing experience as a columnist with sites such as Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, and he is proud to bring his knowledge of the Heat and the NBA to Heat Nation.