Now that the band is back together, Wayne Ellington believes Miami Heat are ready to take off

Now that the band is back together, Wayne Ellington believes Miami Heat are ready to take off

 

Miami’s James Johnson and Wayne Ellington celebrates during a victory in Detroit last season. (Photo by Getty Images)

DAVIE – Miami Heat guard Wayne Ellington has a unique analogy when looking at the upcoming season.

Ellington compared the 2016-17 version of the Heat to a race car, but not any race car, the toy version that you keep revving the tires in a backwards motion before letting it slingshot forward.

The Heat were that car but they never were able to take off. …

Until now.

“We had to kind of go backwards and learn each other and figure it out,” Ellington said Tuesday from the Heat’s summer youth basketball camp at Nova High School. “Towards the end of the year the car was all the way back and ready to go forward. I think we’re ready to just go forward.”

That optimism stems from most of the core players returning from a team that had the second best record in the NBA (30-11) the second half of the season, including Ellington whose contract was picked up by the Heat the same day Miami officially re-signed James Johnson and Dion Waiters and added Kelly Olynyk.

“We’re all anxious man,” Ellington said. “We know the work that we put in and we know the work we’re continuing to put in this off-season. So we’re ready to show that last season, the second half, was what we are, who we are and we can have some great success.”

To a man, Heat players expressed their desire for Pat Riley to keep the old band together despite the disappointment of being denied a playoff spot on the final day of the regular season. For that reason Ellington, whose return was not assured until July 7, kept up with the progress of his teammates, particularly Johnson and Waiters.

“I was watching everything,” Ellington said. “I was talking to those guys, too. I was talking to James. I spoke to Dion a little bit. Everybody had great feelings about coming back before free agency even started. Everybody knew where they wanted to be.

“I’m not the only guy that feels like this about our team and about this organization. Everybody is excited. Everybody is here and everybody wants to be here. Everybody is really putting in a lot of work this summer so we can show and prove this season coming up.”

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