NBA Season Preview: Our MHB Experts Forecast The Miami HEAT’s 2019-20 Record
Just in time for Wednesday’s season home opener against the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m., our Miami Heat Beat experts use their collective brainpower to accurately predict the Miami HEAT’s 2019-20 season record. Just like were dead-on right in 2016-17, shy by two wins over in 2017-18, and way off in 2018-19, here it is all over again under one post, so it’s on the record.
Jack Alfonso (46-36, Previous: 44-38): Jimmy Butler is as good as any player the Heat have had since LeBron James. I expect both Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo to progress, and I’m excited to see Goran Dragic grow into a savvy-veteran sixth man. The team has top-level talent, and the youth gives them some intriguing upside. That said, I think the roster is a bit of a mess. The backcourt is cluttered and the frontcourt is shallow. I trust Erik Spoelstra to make things work, but a move needs to be made if they’re going to reach the top of the East. I can see them seeding anywhere between No. 3 and No. 6 at the end of the season.
Giancarlo Navas (45-37, Previous: 47-35): This team is gonna be solid defensively — bare minimum top-10, I feel — so it’s gonna be a matter of how good the offense is gonna be that steers their success. The Heat haven’t had much success on that end in a few years, and the question now becomes how much better does Jimmy and Herro make your offense. I would bet on it being enough to get them over .500 and possibly push 50 wins, if things click. They have a star, young players, and good vets. A second-round appearance is due.
Nekias Duncan (47-35, Previous: 45-37): I’m pretty high on Miami’s defense, particularly with Justise Winslow at the point of attack instead of Goran Dragic. The addition of Jimmy Butler gives the Heat a much-needed closer. A top-8 defense with even an average offense should help the Heat stack up wins in the East.
Lauren Gewirtz (51-31, Previous: N/A) There’s a lot of newness to this team, but with that comes the potential for an “expect-the-unexpected” kind of season. Since Hassan Whiteside is gone, Bam Adebayo has an opportunity to excel in his role and contend for Most Improved Player. With Jimmy Buckets in Miami, I expect the kids to buy into the ~culture~ and for the Heat to finish fourth in the East.
Most importantly, Jimmy Butler’s presence is exactly what this team needed: a two-way alpha scorer and playmaker. A shot in the arm. Given decent health, they should finish as the fourth or fifth seed at just about 46-36. I also like their chances over the likes of the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, or Toronto Raptors in the first round. Bring it on.
Leif (50-32, Previous: 46-36): I am as excited for this season as I have been for any campaign since the Big 3 era. The combination of having a new superstar, promising young players expected to assume primary roles, and the subtraction of those who wore out their welcome is the perfect storm to feel the Heat down in my soul, as much as ever.
This Heat team has a ceiling of a three seed and a floor of a six seed, in my eyes. Anything less than that would have to be considered an underwhelming result. I expect a top-10 defense that will inevitably be ahead of the offense, as it always is. However, having Jimmy Butler to do some heavy lifting when the offense get stagnant will help tremendously. The presence of a scoring, alpha wing such as Butler, combined with pieces that just seem to fit, has me very optimistic about the overall outlook of this team.
The play of Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow in their starting roles will be the crucial element for how far this team can go this season. If Tyler Herro is as good as advertised, it further elevates the trajectory in a big way. With the Heat having the type of depth that should allow the team to survive the occasional injury bug, and a combination of expiring contracts and young players to remain in position to execute a trade for another frontline player, I see 50 wins.
Alphonse “Alf” Sidney (46-36, Previous: 47-35): I see the Heat finishing right outside of the top 4, beating Toronto in the first round (take that Giancarlo Navas!) and losing to the Bucks in 5. I was starting to come around to the Heat being a 3 or 4 seed, but with the uncertainty surrounding Dion Waiters and James Johnson, suddenly the team’s depth is in question.
Christian Hernandez (50-32, Previous: 45-37): Let’s put this into words: Swapping Josh Richardson for Jimmy Butler will be a net positive, especially in late-game scenarios, where Miami struggled mightily last season. Hassan Whiteside is gone, which automatically gives the Heat more shooting and switch-ability at the 5.
The preseason results from a defensive and rebounding perspective give me hope that they will be able to cover up the areas Hassan dominated in his minutes. I suspect this team will get out in transition like few Heat teams in the past. Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn are BUCKETS. 50.
Rob Slater (46-36, Previous: 48-34): The Heat have a number of things going for them heading into the new season: A decluttered roster, Jimmy, Herro, Point Justise. This feels like, and in many ways is, a new era. Spoelstra puts together a top-three defensive team and the Heat wrestle the THIRD seed from Boston.
Brass Jazz (50-32, Previous: 47-35): Really? 50 games? 11 more wins than last year? I don’t think it’s that crazy. Our roster is much more balanced for a variety of reasons:
Addition by subtraction: We don’t have the glut of guards we did at the start of last season and now all of our centers can set screens.
Addition by addition: The last few years we had real problems generating offense but our rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn look like they can be real offensive threats.
Oh yeah, we also added an arguably top-15 player in Jimmy Butler that can take over games. A team that Jimmy actually WANTS to play for. Our bench also has the talent to be one of the best in the league, providing every player buys in…
Wait…er…shouldn’t name names, I guess.
Brian Goins (There Are No Obstacles, Previous: Today Is The Day):
I’ve asked a Magic 8 Ball the last three seasons, and I’m going to keep pressing my luck with the spherical fortune teller once again. This was what I got. Not sure what this means…
MHB’s Consensus Oracle (48-34, Previous: 46-36): Don’t forget to @ us when we’re right.