Commentary

NBA Offseason Buzz: Miami Heat

Originally Published: September 21, 2009
By John Hollinger and Ric Bucher | ESPN Insider

Want to know who's heating up for a big season on the hardwood? Insider is tapping into John Hollinger's projected player efficiency ratings to see who's trending up and down across the NBA. Ric Bucher rounds out the report by examining a pivotal player you'll want to watch as the season approaches. The series continues with the Miami Heat.

The element of surprise that helped the Heat last year is gone, or at least it should be. Erik Spoelstra proved he has the makings of an exceptional coach, just as Mario Chalmers proved he has the makings of an exceptional point guard. Dwyane Wade is sure to be in the MVP conversation again, especially with free agency looming, but Jermaine O'Neal isn't turning back the clock, and the roster had no significant additions or subtractions. Expectations were so low last season that the Heat were lauded for winning 43 games and pushing the Hawks to a seventh game in the first round of the playoffs -- if they do no more than that this year, will the reaction be the same?

To see which player is taking off, which is crashing to earth and which name you'll need to know for the 2009-10 season, you must be an ESPN Insider.


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Ric Bucher

NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer