The Miami Heat kicks off itstheir 2015-16 season tonight, and we're so excited our nipples can cut through diamonds. It's an exciting time to be a Heat fan. Pat Riley has assembled a helluva squad that's primed and ready to challenge former teammate LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers for the top of the mountain in the East.
The Heat as currently constructed is a bit of a mystery, mostly because this is the first time this particular squad is going to be playing whole since it was imagined by Riley and company last season. Injuries, bad luck, and scary health issues derailed Miami last year. But this year, the team is reloaded and ready. With a healthy Chris Bosh, a seasoned Hassan Whiteside, a re-signed Goran Dragic, a dynamic rookie, and, of course, Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat is ready to be the wrecking ball to everyone else's basketball dreams.
There's so much to get excited about this year.
But here are the nine things to get most excited about as the Heat tip off the season tonight:
9. Chris Bosh Roaring Like a Dinosaur
OMG SO HAPPY.
8. Gerald FINGER GUNS Green
If we learned anything in the preseason, it’s that Gerald Green is a thunderclap of awesome. Riley plucked Green out of obscurity from Phoenix and is unleashing him on the unsuspecting world. The guy can hit threes, knock down jumpers, and flush dunks with ferocity. In his brief stint with the Heat so far this preseason, Green averaged 17.8 points a night, shooting 48 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range. He’s the Human Goddamn Torch. And more than that, he actually defies gravity.
Green is going to be the perfect weapon coming off the bench for Miami. He’s electric, he’s dynamic, and he flings shots in the air without a conscience. Gerald Green is the living embodiment of “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Green is going to endear himself as a fan favorite this year, unleashing the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique on the Heat’s enemies.
7. The Starting Five
We’ve been friggin' waiting to see a lineup of Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, and Hassan Whiteside to take the court as the main core of your Miami Heat since way back in February. But everything that could go wrong went seriously wrong, including Bosh almost literally dying and Wade’s knees turning into a bowl of grits.
And while it seems like it’s going to take a minute for this starting five to get its chemistry in order, one thing is for certain: Once they do, every defense that comes in to the face the Heat will be riding into the Danger Zone. Except all of them will be Goose. Dragic is one of the most efficient scorers at the rim, Hassan is the Second Coming of David Robinson (please, please, please be that), Bosh is silky smooth, and D-Wade is D-Wade. We don’t care what the nerds say. This starting five is an assful of devastation.
6. A Full Season With Hassan Whiteside
The reason sites like FiveThirtyEight are predicting the Heat to miss the playoffs and finish ninth in the East is because their computers failed to account for Hassan Whiteside going all Whiteside on teams for a full season. In the half season he played for Miami last year, Whiteside threw the analytics world off-kilter, like when the Ghostbusters shut down their system, and all the ghosts went apeshit and took over the city. Hassan was Hakeem in a Manchild’s body, and no one understood what they were looking at. He’s a seven-foot enigma.
But if Hassan can knock it off with the rap videos and the getting all mad at dudes who trash-talk him, and keep himself from picking up opposing players and swinging them in anger at other opposing players, he’s going to turn the NBA into his own personal hand puppet. We have a full season of Hassan to look forward to. We're kinda excited, if not a little terrified.
5. Josh McRoberts’ Filthy Passes
4. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTISE
The rookie was the steal of the draft, and while he’s still rough around the edges, there’s no denying that the sky is the limit for Justise Winslow. Having the young stud coming off the bench is going to be such a luxury for the Heat as Luol Deng keeps his seat warm for one year. Winslow isn’t the dynamic scorer other rookies like Stanley Johnson is (not yet), but he possesses the one thing the Heat covet more than any other skill: the ability to crush the other guy defensively.
Winslow is an absolute vice grip of a defender, which is going to be huge when Miami plays guys like LeBron James. Now when Deng sits, he’ll be replaced with a younger, fitter version of himself defensively. That’s going to annoy the shit out of opposing teams. It’s going to be great!
3. The Bench
One thing every NBA team needs is depth. It’s the x-factor for every team's success. Yet, it’s arguably the hardest thing to construct. But thankfully for us, we’ve got this guy named Pat Riley running things, and he’s been able to assemble the kind of bench that will wreak havoc on opposing teams, crush their enemies, see them driven before them, and hear the lamentation of their women. Like the Immortals in the days of the Spartans, the Heat will just fling people off the bench at the other team until they cave in.
Josh McRoberts, Udonis Haslem, Gerald Green, Justise Winslow, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Mario Chalmers are among the most no-fucks-given type of players you’ll ever see on an NBA court, which means it’s going to be a whirlwind of manic basketball frenzy and carnage. They’re like the Suicide Squad of the NBA, a perfect concoction of blue-collar work and maverick mentality. Shots will be taken, elbows will fly, bodies will hit the floor, cats will be thrown, flames will engulf, and enemies will be consumed. There will be blood.
2. Those Goran-Bosh Pick-and-Pops
Again, we’ve been waiting to see this since February. IT’S GOING TO BE SO SEXY.
1. Angry Dwyane Wade
The nerds at ESPN and FiveThirtyEight have all but declared D-Wade’s career kaput. He might as well pack his Chinese shoes and weird clothes he models and hit the bricks, because what the hell is the point? Except, no. This is Dwyane Wade. The man whose house is the American Airlines Arena and whose Eurostep has been known to cause famine and pestilence. ESPN ranked Wade as the 46th best player in the league, and FiveThirtyEight basically declared him legally dead. Their main source for such blaspheme is the fact that Wade misses a lot of games every year. OK. Sure.
But when he’s right, he’s The Destructor. And these predictions are based on the fact that Wade is older and, therefore, is on the downturn of his decline. But what the nerds fail to tap into their calculators is that Wade has always thrived when he’s counted out. An angry Wade is a lethal weapon. And this year, he’s come in looking leaner and more fit than he has in years, after he decided he’s going on a strict diet of rocks, figs, and scrap metal. When Wade is disrespected, he proceeds to punch his collective critics in their collective balls.
You want a prediction, ESPN and FiveThirtyEight?
Here’s a prediction: PAIN.
Bonus: We asked #HeatTwitter what they're most looking forward to this year, #HeatTwitter did not disappoint.
@byChrisJoseph Turning the volume way up on my tv when Dragic is screaming at Chalmers and learning how to curse in Slovenian.— 3-13 (@FinzCraphole) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph If this is the year Crazy Andy gets busted for his amphetamine problem.— Chris Posada (@CPoTweetsStuff) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph All the hot takes coming from national media after the Heat get off to a fast start and Cavs look bad early on.— DepartmentOfJustise (@HonestlyAbel) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph Can Mario Chalmers wrestle the ball away from Gerald Green?— Chris Posada (@CPoTweetsStuff) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph Not a Heat fan, but i want to see Boshy Bear photobombs. A lot of them.— Juanelo Godínez (@srperezpolanco) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph Watching Justise Winslow's development and to see if they're a real contender with everyone healthy this year (hopefully)— Will D. (@ElectrikOne) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph Hassan Whiteside blooming to a dominant player.— Pablo G (@PabloGRadio) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph Birdman's improved 3pt shot being added to the arsenal— Justise is served (@b_leezy09) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph How many 3s will Udonis hit from the corner this season?— Big Tone (@ToneOzMIA) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph over/under 50 screenshots of new facial expressions Spo invents on the court— Brandon Bernhardy (@Larry_Sagna) October 27, 2015
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@bychrisjoseph Josh McRoberts doing a season-long 1996 Magic Johnson impression.— Azam (@AMas92) October 27, 2015
@byChrisJoseph justise Winslow puns from Eric Reid.— Sweep The Leg (@SweepTheLeg337) October 27, 2015