Heat 2018-19 Season Win Total: Can Heat Capitalize on Wade’s Farewell Season?
Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade.
- The pick: Under 41.5
- Confidence: 3 out of 10
The case for the under: Stagnation is simmering here. They have multiple guys on big contracts who aren’t producing and are facing larger reductions in role. Dwyane Wade is back, which I love as a Wade mark, but I also know what the on/off splits say about Wade, and it’s not good. It’s distracting when every night is part of the retirement tour. It’s hard to focus through all that.
At some point this team is going to have to address its future — which means Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson — and the Heat’s other movable deals could all be on the table. Those changes could destabilize things enough to land them below .500.
The case for the over: The Heat have finished with 41 or fewer wins just three times in the past 15 years. They’ve hit the over the past three seasons. They finished with 44 wins against an expected win total of 43, and they return pretty much the same team.
Where’s the weak point?
They finished 20th in offense, but they have shooters, creators, and bigs. Their defense ranked seventh overall. Their coaching is top-five best in the league with Erik Spoelstra at the helm. They have veterans, some good young players still getting better, and their division is very winnable.
This is a case of institutional strength vs. roster questions. This team shouldn’t be that good, but they play really well for their talent level in the system.
My concern is based on how long tension has been building with the direction of the franchise and how long it will be before the team stops looking to tread water and takes a realistic approach to its future.