What can we expect from Miami Heat this season? Experts can’t even agree on answer

Miami Heat's Dion Waiters (11) drives past Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (15) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Miami Heat’s Dion Waiters (11) drives past Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker (15) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

With 10 new players on the preseason roster and no Dwyane Wade for the first time in 14 seasons, the Heat are one of the toughest teams to figure out entering this NBA season.

Need proof?

Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover staff writers nominated the Heat as a team that could end up being the biggest flop of the NBA season and a team that could end up being the biggest surprise of the NBA season. Continue reading “What can we expect from Miami Heat this season? Experts can’t even agree on answer”

Five Miami Heat stat tidbits to know through five preseason games

Miami Heat Wayne Ellington (2) looks for help from the defense of Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Miami Heat Wayne Ellington (2) looks for help from the defense of Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

We’re getting close to the regular season.

The Heat fell to the Timberwolves 101-96 on Saturday night in Louisville to drop to 3-2 this preseason. But Miami’s big names did not play on the second night of a back-to-back, as Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, Udonis Haslem and Tyler Johnson sat out to rest. Continue reading “Five Miami Heat stat tidbits to know through five preseason games”

Which lineups have the Miami Heat used most during preseason?

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra watches play during the first half of the team's preseason NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra watches play during the first half of the team’s preseason NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

After an impressive 108-100 road win over the Spurs on Friday night, the Heat are now 3-1 this preseason.

But this preseason really isn’t about wins for Miami. With 10 new faces on the roster, Erik Spoelstra is using the preseason to experiment with different lineups to find the right ones to use in the regular season. Continue reading “Which lineups have the Miami Heat used most during preseason?”

Improved spacing helping Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Heat offense

MIAMI — Wayne Ellington has played against point guard Goran Dragic and center Hassan Whiteside over his NBA career, but he has never been the beneficiary of their unique skill sets.

That changed in Tuesday night’s preseason game against the Nets when Ellington got the start in a lineup that included Dragic and Whiteside. Ellington finished with 14 points and shot 4-of-8 from 3-point range.

“That was my first time being on the floor with Goran and Hassan in a game,” Ellington said after Tuesday night’s preseason win over Brooklyn. “They open up a lot. When the ball is in the paint, Hassan is going to have it. Hassan and Goran definitely open up things for me on the perimeter.” Continue reading “Improved spacing helping Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Heat offense”

Miami Heat’s per-36 numbers show that Hassan Whiteside could be an All-Star this season

Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat drives on Jeremy Lin #7 of the Brooklyn Nets during a preseason game at American Airlines Arena on October 11, 2016 in Miami, Florida (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat drives on Jeremy Lin #7 of the Brooklyn Nets during a preseason game at American Airlines Arena on October 11, 2016 in Miami, Florida (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

It’s only the preseason. It’s important to keep that in mind when looking at stats from the Heat’s first three preseason games.

But let’s have some fun and extrapolate Heat players’ current stats over 36 minutes. Here are the current per-36 numbers for Heat players this preseason. Continue reading “Miami Heat’s per-36 numbers show that Hassan Whiteside could be an All-Star this season”

Here are the stats from the Miami Heat’s preseason loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio, front, has his shot blocked by Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo. (Joe Ledford /The Kansas City Star via AP)
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio, front, has his shot blocked by Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo. (Joe Ledford /The Kansas City Star via AP)

The Timberwlolves outscored the Heat 62-38 to earn a 109-100 comeback win in Saturday night’s non-televised preseason game played in Kansas City (. Miami is now 1-1 in the preseason.

The Heat’s starting lineup was similar to the one they used in the preseason opener with Goran Dragic at point guard, Tyler Johnson at shooting guard, Justise Winslow at small forward and Hassan Whiteside at center. But after starting Luke Babbitt at power forward in the preseason opener, Miami opted to start James Johnson at that spot Saturday.

Miami will have a busy few days at AmericanAirlines Arena this upcoming week, as it will host its intrasquad scrimmage, the “Heat Red, White & Pink Game,” on Monday at 7:30 p.m. before hosting the Nets on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Here are the Heat’s stats from Saturday night’s preseason loss to the Timberwolves …

Heat stats from Saturday's preseason game. (Courtesy of ESPN)
Heat stats from Saturday’s preseason game. (Courtesy of ESPN)

[Will point guard Briante Weber make the Miami Heat’s 15-man roster?]

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Stat of the Week: How does Heat’s impressive ball movement in preseason opener compare to last season?

Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat looks on during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Arena on May 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat looks on during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Arena on May 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Time to introduce another new feature on the Heat Zone blog.

Each week during the season, we’ll come up with a “Stat of the Week” for the Miami Heat. We’ll pick a number that tells us something interesting about the team.

This week’s number comes from the preseason opener and it’s a positive number for the Heat. Continue reading “Stat of the Week: How does Heat’s impressive ball movement in preseason opener compare to last season?”

Miami Heat starters Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside not worried about knee soreness

NASSAU, Bahamas — Erik Spoelstra walked away from training camp Saturday feeling good about the Heat’s health.

Even with starting point guard Goran Dragic and starting center Hassan Whiteside limited in Miami’s final training camp practice Saturday morning, Spoelstra said the Heat leave the Bahamas fairly healthy. Continue reading “Miami Heat starters Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside not worried about knee soreness”

Goran Dragic ‘ready’ to lead new-look Heat roster without Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

MIAMI — Goran Dragic spent most of the summer playing with the Slovenian national team.

When he returned to Miami this week, the 30-year-old point guard came back to a new-look roster. With 10 new faces on the Heat’s 20-man roster entering training camp, Dragic is still getting to know some of his teammates. Continue reading “Goran Dragic ‘ready’ to lead new-look Heat roster without Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade”