The Miami Heat enter the season with high hopes for themselves. If you know what you are looking at, have seen the Miami Heat operate, have watched them over the last couple of years, and know how they approach the game… then your hopes should be high for them too.
Well, this may not apply to everyone. Well, you would like to believe that this applies to anyone that covers the game for a living, but sometimes, you just can’t be so sure.
While that was tongue in cheek, as the NBA ON TNT guys cover the game from an Entertainment perspective and are among the best doing it, sometimes, their takes can be a bit zany. Take this one from Tuesday on the premier edition for this season.
As they progress through some of the changes that the league has seen, roster and movement-wise, they eventually get to Kyle Lowry. When discussing his new team and how they look, something then happens.
The Miami Heat have a new look and are thinking ‘title’, heading into the year. However, some ‘experts’ think that the Chicago Bulls will finish the year higher.
Charles Barkley proceeds to express how he feels that the Chicago Bulls will finish higher than the Miami Heat this season. For what it’s worth and though, not shocking, his NBA On TNT co-host, former Miami Heat champion, All-Time NBA player, and big man, Shaquille O’Neal, agreed with the take and seemed to double down.
Here is the thing though and there are a few, to be clear, it just isn’t true. It’s hard to make a statement like this on a lot of occassions and especially without seeing anything shake out, but this is one that can be made.
When you look at the roster composition, to start, that’s a big question and statement at the same time. The question is how, if, and whether all of Chicago’s best parts will fit.
The statement is this. If you were to line the rosters up beside each other, the Miami Heat roster is, clearly, the better team.
Zach LaVine, might, be the best player of the bunch, but when you consider how ability translates to winning, some might could make a case for Jimmy. Either way you go though, the next three… perhaps even four, players come from the Miami Heat.
You take Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo, and maybe even Tyler Herro if he keeps his play up, before you take DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball or Vucevic… at this point. Don’t get it twisted, DeRozan, Vooch and Lonzo are all really good to great players, but they aren’t better than the Miami Heat’s number two and three guys.
When you think about that, combined with the fact that the Miami Heat already have a built-in chemistry, based on the Culture and the outside relationships, that further separates them.
Lastly, we are talking about a Championship Organization that’s only a year removed from the NBA Finals and a team that has struggled for relevance since Derrick Rose left, not to mention, one that hasn’t won anything since Michael Jordan.
That’s the team that will be better than the Heat this year? I think not.
That’s why there is no world where Shaq and Barkley’s “Bulls finish better” prediction is true.