2014 Miami Heat Predictions and NBA Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 10/23/2014
The Miami Heat may not be as bad off as fans might expect after losing the best player in the NBA over the summer. Or they may be even worse off. That assessment really depends on how Heat superstar Dwyane Wade shows up for the season. If Wade can return to Miami anywhere near his pre-LeBron James form, particularly his 2007 self, where he produced one of the finest statistical seasons in recent memory, then basketball fans in South Beach can rest easily.
However, if Wade's body is too far gone from constant injury, Miami may be in for a long, disappointing season. The squad added an excellent rookie point guard during the draft and was able to retain the services of Chris Bosh-who will play a larger part in coach Erik Spoelstra's new offense-as well as signing free agent Luol Deng. If they can stay healthy the Heat have the talent to contend in a weak Eastern Conference. Let's take a closer look at Miami's 2014 futures odds with predictions and analysis.
2014 Miami Heat Betting Story Lines
Prior to the start of the NBA Finals, the thought of losing James was nonexistent. The squad won two championships, was coming off four straight finals appearances, and James' decision to opt out was a mere formality designed to earn him extra money, a long contract, and put a scare into Heat President Pat Riley, who had balked at making any significant additions during the 2013-14 season. However, by midsummer, when James still had not signed and stopped returning calls to Riley, the writing was on the wall.
Miami will now be forced to transition Bosh into the focal point of the offense, which can be effective if the all-star forward still has that fire and drive to lead a team the way he did during his days with the Toronto Raptors. Bosh received his share of criticism during the "Big 3" era and was forced to sacrifice and change his game more than any other player on the team. NBA fans and bettors might forget that the 11-year veteran was an elite player before coming to Miami and being forced to hang around the perimeter and shoot threes.
2014 Miami Heat Additions and Departures
Key Additions: Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Shabazz Napier
Key Departures: LeBron James, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, James Jones
Miami lost one of the biggest free agents of all time and can't really expect to replace him. The team did, however, add two valuable pieces with the signing of Luol Deng and the drafting of former Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier. The rookie has looked better than most NBA experts projected and could become an impact player for the Heat right away. Deng is another valuable addition that can score as well as defend the basketball. If Coach Spoelstra can retool his offense around his new core of Wade, Bosh and Deng, Miami may not fall as far down the conference as most people expect.
2014 Miami Heat Futures Odds
NBA Title Odds: +5000
Eastern Conference Odds: +1800
Division Odds: +250
Win Total: O/U 44.5
MVP: Dwyane Wade +10000; Chris Bosh +1500
Miami is not a title contender no matter how things shake up. The Eastern Conference belongs to Cleveland and Chicago, with a few other teams lurking. The squad could end up in the Top 5, but is more likely to squeak into the postseason with a seven or eight seed and make an early playoff exit. The team's only futures wager with value is its win total at 44.5 wins. If Wade can stay healthy and play 70-plus games then the team should be able to grab 48 wins-Miami has a smart coach and solid core. However, if Wade spends the year injured, the Heat could be in a bad situation and not even break the .500 mark. This wager depends on your belief in Wade.
2014 Miami Heat Predictions and Futures Odds with Picks
Playoffs: First-round appearance
Miami's deficiencies without James might not manifest themselves early in the year as Wade and Bosh will probably be on a mission to prove the critics wrong-the team may even start out hot. But the Heat are not a deep squad and will rely on Bosh far too much and begin to turn into a .500 squad my midseason. Expect Miami to make a playoff appearance and not do much else-the organization is still riding the wave of confidence from making four straight finals appearances and may not realize that it is not a championship threat anymore.
We would like to offer you $60 of member's predictions free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. Click Here for $60 in free NBA predictions. Also, for a limited time only, you can get three handicappers NBA picks for the price of one! Click Here for more details!
Read more articles by George Monroy
Get all of Today's NBA Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert NBA Picks