A chapter in the history of the Miami Heat has now closed, after LeBron James took the decision to depart from South Beach and head back to his hometown and become a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Heat will now taste how life without LeBron is. How far can this team under this new formation really go?
Thankfully, Pat Riley has managed to keep the other two members of the Big Three together, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and he has also brought in several valuable pieces to support them. So, what’s next for Bosh, D-Wade and the Miami Heat?
The Heat have already brought in (or back) several capable players to form a solid supporting cast around their Big Two. At first and even before the announcement of LeBron’s Decision V2.0 Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts were brought in. After James chose to depart for Cleveland, the Heat re-signed Bosh, Wade and also brought in a third star, Luol Deng. Those three will be the main pillars of the team next season.
Wade and Bosh will have to take more responsibilities on offense. Bosh will now have to remember his Toronto Raptors days and try to reach that level of performance once again. The 32 – year old Wade, who experienced several health issues over the last two years, will now have to prove that he still is a superstar, capable of emerging as the true leader of the Heat once again. Luol Deng, on the other hand, will try to fill the unfillable void LeBron James left behind. Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers were also brought back while the Heat already have two more capable point guards, in Norris Cole and Shabazz Napier.
Pat Riley is gradually placing all the pieces of the Heat’s 2014 – 2015 puzzle together. Of course, there will now be major changes in the way Miami plays. With LeBron no longer dominating the Heat’s game, on both ends of the floor, other members of the team will have to step up and try to take over. Of course, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will be the first ones to do so.
Whilst Miami currently doesn’t look as one of the top title contending teams in the Eastern Conference, it will most probably stay within one of the top four spots in the East, despite losing LeBron. The Heat still have lots of quality onboard and enough star power to stand up firm against the powerhouses of the NBA, like the Indiana Pacers, the Chicago Bulls or even the OKC Thunder and the LA Clippers.
When it comes to title contention, however, Miami doesn’t seem capable of reaching the NBA Finals. Even with LeBron onboard, the Heat fell easily to the San Antonio Spurs and they even lost the top seed in the East from the Pacers. So, now, with a huge portion of their up to now success removed, Miami just doesn’t seem to have what it takes to make it to the top.