The Heat are a team struggling to find an identity, but the core has remained the same the last few seasons. Injuries plague the Heat more than most teams, so the starting five changes quite frequently. When healthy, Goran Dragic leads the Heat from the point guard spot, and when he is not healthy, Tyler Johnson will draw starts. After that things can get a little weird. Josh Richardson has been their best wings scorer, who will often start at small forward, but has moved to shooting guard to allow Rodney McGruder and Justise Winslow to start. With Dwyane Wade being just a bench player these days, this is what the Heat have to do. With James Johnson back healthy, he often lines up at power forward, where he goes alongside Hassan Whiteside. Miami has some depth, so Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo will get the occasional run behind them.
Preseason Analysis: Will Need More Depth to Make an Impact
The Heat remained competitive this season, and it has a lot do with their scrappy roster and good coaching staff. They lack a star youthful player to build around, as Justise Winslow did not pan out to be the star, but is a quality wing player. Miami is going to be in contention to sign some free agents or make a move down the line. In a weaker Eastern Conference this team will be in line for the last four into the playoffs. Goran Dragic isn’t an elite talent at point guard, but continues to produce solid fantasy numbers. Dragic doesn’t have much competition as Tyler Johnson just sits as a depth guard behind him.
Dion Waiters had surgery last season and was a major usage player when healthy. Waiters is not a good basketball player, but sometimes volume trumps efficiency, and that is Waiters. If healthy he is going to suck away some usage from Dragic and other offensive players. Josh Richardson and Winslow will take a bulk of the workload at the three, and while they don’t stand out like some of the elite small forwards they will have their value. Winslow could see some time at the four given only James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk remain as power forward options. Both also can play center and Miami is not committed to Hassan Whiteside. We saw the big center drop some big games, especially with blocks, but he was also one to sit out fourth quarters due to opposing lineups going small. Bam Adebayo could take a jump in minutes this season, who is one of the younger centers. Miami will look to add some depth in the front court, and now with Anthony in Houston, the market has dried up quite a bit.