Pre-Draft Analysis

Areas Of Strength
The Heat’s winning culture that they have touted for years took a little time to come together for this crew. But once it did, they were as dangerous as any team in the Eastern Conference down the stretch of the season. Any questions about Erik Spoelstra’s leadership and coaching abilities should have been answered long ago. But if they weren’t before this season, they have now. He did some of his best work with a team that just missed out on a playoff berth.

Needs Work
Whose team is this anyway? Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and even free agent Dion Waiters have all exhibited the alpha dog trait at times that would earn them the designation of this being “their team.” While it’s not as pressing a question in the post Dwayne Wade era, someone does have to assume the leadership controls in the locker room. Whiteside is clearly the biggest talent and Dragic has the ball in his hands but Waiters, might be the best suited for the role … provided things work out in free agency.

Two Stats That Matter
1 -- Only East team that ranked in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency after the All-Star break. Were strong defensively all season (and finished in the top five for the fourth time in Erik Spoelstra's nine seasons as head coach), but it was offensive improvement that turned their season around. After scoring just 100.6 points per 100 possessions through their first 41 games, the scored 109.7 over their last 41.

27% -- Allowed their opponents to take only 27.0 percent of their shots from 3-point range. They were successful defensively by running their opponents off the line and funneling them into the rim protection of Hassan Whiteside. Their opponents shot just 57.0 percent in the restricted area, the second lowest mark in the league.

The Way To Go
NBA.com's Draft expert, Scott Howard-Cooper, offers up his suggestions:
The breakup with Chris Bosh is official, and Luke Babbitt and Josh McRoberts combined to start the majority of games, so power forward is a reasonable destination for No. 14. It’s also a good spot if that’s the position need, with T.J. Leaf, John Collins and Harry Giles all possibly on the board.

2016-17 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 105.2 (16th)
Defensive: 104.1 (5th) 

Under Contract
G: Goran Dragic
G: Tyler Johnson
G: Justise Winslow
C: Hassan Whiteside
G: Wayne Ellington
F: Chris Bosh 
G: Rodney McGruder
F: Okaro White 

Free Agents
G: Dion Waiters (unrestricted)
G: Josh Richardson (restricted)
F: Udonis Haslem (unrestricted)
F: James Johnson (unrestricted)
F: Luke Babbitt (unrestricted)
F: Willie Reed (unrestricted)
F: Udonis Haslem (unrestricted)

Recent Draft History
2015: Justise Winslow (10), Josh Richardson
2014: P.J. Hairston (26) traded to Charlotte
2013: No picks
2012: Arnett Moultrie (27) traded to Philadelphia
2011: No picks

 

-- Sekou Smith


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