The first week of the Miami Heat season is complete, so we now have an idea of what kind of team we're working with. Between better health and better players, the Heat are already looking light years better than they did when they last left us. Jumping to conclusions based on five games may not be the wisest idea, but that's exactly what we will do.
The Miami Heat finally got to see the starting unit of Whiteside, Bosh, Deng, Wade and Dragic on the court together this season for the first time, and so far, it's been up-and-down. Here is what we've seen thus far — just one week into a promising Heat year.
Hassan Whiteside is worth the anxiety.
Yup — the results are in, and Hassan Whiteside is officially worth the trouble. Through the first four games, Whiteside has averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks a game — a nice follow-up start in his second season with the Heat. It wasn't a fluke: He's still tall and good at basketball. Maybe most impressive about Whiteside's start has been his ability to stay out of foul trouble — through the first four games, Whiteside has yet to pick up a fourth foul.
Every good game Whiteside has puts money in his impending free-agency bank. So far, that carrot has been enough motivation to keep Whiteside's temper down and his NBA 2K rating up.
At the current moment, Goran Dragic is more dragging than Dragon.
Whatever the reason is, Goran Dragic has not been good through the first week of the season. Many have speculated off-court troubles have impacted his play. Whether family issues or just lethargy caused him to come into camp out of shape, one thing is for sure — this is not the player the Heat planned on playing as point guard when it signed Dragic to a five-year deal for approximately $86 million this summer.
Let's assume he'll soon round into form and shake off the rust.
Chris Bosh is back to doing Chris Bosh things.
In the above video, Christopher Boshy Bear gets drunk with Dogfish Head Brewing Co. founder Sam Calagione, then brews some beer in the back of a stretch Hummer. Yeah, Boshua is back. After a big-time health scare last year, we weren't sure how fast Bosh would look like himself this season — but give or take a couple of missed jumpers, dude has looked super Boshy.
Bosh hasn't started the season particularly shooting flames — he's shooting just 37 percent through the first few games — but he is averaging nearly a double-double. Not too shabby for a guy who was lying in a hospital bed just a few months ago.
We've seen the best of Luol Deng's days, but the Heat could do worse. We think.
It's a love-hate relationship with Luol Deng. One minute, he'll string together a dazzling sequence of majestic awesomeness; the next, he will drop trouser and hit the shot clock with a three-point attempt. It's infuriating. Deng does one thing consistently well — perimeter defense. Well, two, if you count not recording assists. The Heat desperately needs Deng's defense and three-point shooting, and he's making $10 million, so he's not going anywhere.
If this is healthy Luol Deng, I'm afraid what he might look like in 60 games. Luckily, Justise Winslow should be doing everything Deng does, but better, by then.
The demise of Dwyane Wade was (again) indeed much exaggerated.
ESPN might want to rethink that 46th best player in the NBA nonsense it put out before the regular season, because Dwyane Wade looks just fine. Coming off an offseason in which he changed his diet and dropped some pounds, Wade has looked lighter and younger than he has over the past few years. Wade's average is up over 20 points a game — which is expected — but what has been nice to see is he has been blending in well with Whiteside on offense and seems to be taking Justise Winslow under his wing. Wade has also shown a willingness to drain the three early in the season, something the team desperately needs to compete in the East.
So far, so good in 2015-16 for the greatest player in Miami Heat history.