Miami Heat still being disrespected by preseason rankings everywhere

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) drives to the basket as Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) defends Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard (0)(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) drives to the basket as Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) defends Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard (0)(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

This Miami Heat still doesn’t make the cut for the media, are their preseason thoughts right?

The Miami Heat are the Eastern Conference Champions. Come the 2021 season, which starts this coming Tuesday, Dec. 22nd, that effectively means they are the conference champs until dethroned or if they repeat their bubble success.

So then why are the Heat slipping down in some of these pre-NBA season rankings?

First of all, I think the reasoning behind some of these lists are justified due to free agency signings, NBA draft, and trades around the league. But none of these can guarantee success and history has shown this to be true.

Even if these rankings tend to favor the recent success in acquisitions, like the newly formed Warriors or Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving finally coming back from injury to take over the Nets in the East, it still isn’t a definitive thing.

These pre-mature rankings, at least in terms of the top two, should always favor the respective defending conference champions. These power rankings, if you will, vary and will obviously shift from time to time, so both the Lakers and the Heat deserve all the top recognition until the season officially kickoffs.

The Miami Heat aren’t getting nearly enough respect this season as we look to start the year.

ESPN’s “way too early” rankings kicked it off first, starting off with an overall ranking of nine with the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers all in front of them. They gave the Heat more love after free agency but still didn’t budge on a second rank as they should be.

They decided to let them rest at number five. has the Bucks as the team to beat in the East in their preseason rankings, even though Miami beat them 4-1 in the playoffs. The recent addition of Jrue Holiday did solidify their backcourt significantly, but that still shouldn’t be the factor over the Conference Champs.

Both CBS Sports and Sports Net have them third. CBS ranks them overall behind the Bucks and Lakers, while Sports Net has them third in the East behind both the Celtics and Bucks.

The Heat sent them both home. They finished one of them off 4-1 and the other off 4-2 in the playoffs.

I know this might seem like a stretch or even an overreach to analyze preseason rankings this deeply, but I feel like this Miami team has proven their worth and should be greatly recognized for it. At least before the new season mayhem commences.

The world knows the Heat are one-star way from truly being a championship contender, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are lost without that one star. If anything, this past season has shown that their depth and versatility make them truly a threat in the East and a team not to be messed with.

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They made some slight adjustments but kept their major players and all while the Bucks seemed to add some backcourt help. With them only in mind, the Miami Heat still need to come out and truly show that they’re ready to take on the challenge of owning the East again.

Until then, put some respect on the Miami Heat. The league and its fans know they truly deserve it.