Posted by Neil Paine on October 21, 2010
Welcome to our 2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews, in which we contact the finest team bloggers on the web and ask them to contribute their thoughts on the squad they cover. What follows is their take, along with the team's depth chart (courtesy of ESPN.com), projected 2011 stats via our Simple Projection System, and polls where you get to have your say. Enjoy!
Coach: Erik Spoelstra
Record: 47-35, Finished 3rd in NBA Southeast Division
Pythagorean W-L: 48-34 (13th of 30)
SRS: 2.00 (13th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 89.6 (28th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 106.6 (19th of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 104.1 (6th of 30)
2011 Depth Chart (with 2010-11 projected per-36 minute stats ... yellow = newcomer)
2010-11 Blogger Outlook by Neil Paine, Basketball-Reference.com
Everyone seems to agree that when Pat Riley's grand experiment commences play in earnest, we'll witness an impressive combination of superstar teammates the likes of which may never have been seen before. We also pretty much agree that this group is long on frontline talent and still lacking in depth, despite Riley's best intentions to find solid role players (in a salary-capped league, spending $43 million on 3 guys will do that). But the consensus of most observers is that, at the very least -- and barring major injury -- this Heat team will rank among the East's top seeds when the smoke clears.
Beyond that, though? It's anybody's guess as to how things ultimately play out here. The numbers are enthusiastic, as are certain coaches-turned-commentators. But as we've seen with the preseason so far, health is not a given for this team, nor is synergy between the 3 megastars without any rehearsal games to work out the kinks in their collaboration. Starting without a warm-up lap, so to speak, it may be too much to expect this Heat team to roll at full speed right away, much less at an historically-dominant pace.
Then again, that's just guesswork, too. All we really know for sure about this Heat team is that, on paper at least, Miami is one of the most talented squads in the league. As to whether being presumptive champions of the offseason will translate into challenging the Lakers, Celtics, Magic, etc. in June... Well, like most things Miami Heat, we'll just have to wait until the games count to know for sure.