It may have been just one regular season game in October against the putrid Orlando Magic, but the Miami Heat's 108-96 win in Wednesday's season opener has both Heat fans and the team itself feeling pretty damn good about themselves.
The 2016-17 season promises to be like no other Heat campaign in recent memory. Gone are the bonafide first-ballot Hall of Fame players Heat fans have become so accustomed to seeing. Their loss will inevitably lead to a sense of insecurity without the players who have been with the team for more than a decade.
On Wednesday, however, none of that mattered. A brand-new Heat team took the court and did the only thing it is capable of doing: playing for more wins. The players looked good doing it, just as they did in the preseason and throughout training camp. The Heat is a young, athletic, truly position-less team that is looking to run opponents off the court.
The new style worked to perfection, if only for a night against the Magic. Whiteside was dunking on people, Dragic was making clutch shots late in the game, Winslow obviously improved nearly every facet of his game, Waiters was useful in moments of offensive need, and overall, the spare parts the Heat picked up this offseason resulted in a cumulative successful outcome. The Heat is striving to be more than the sum of
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Can the team do it again tonight in their home opener against the Charlotte Hornets? If they can, it would go a long way toward showing that this Heat squad isn't some preseason fluke; it is a team that might just be something worth paying attention to. It could, if everything goes its way, be a team that is more than a placeholder for the free-agency season that follows. That's good news for Heat fans, and that makes everyone feel good. For now. In October. But we'll take it.