Placing last season: 46-20 (2nd in Eastern Conference, Playoffs: NBA Champions)
Key moves: The Heat took advantage of Ray Allen’s quest for another ring and signed the shooting guard to a cheaper contract than the Celtics had offered.
Allen will bring the perimeter shooting that the Heat wished Mike Miller had given them in his first two years in Miami. They also brought in Rashard Lewis, although his best years are well behind him.
Challenges ahead: The big challenge for the Heat is for them to retain the championship they have just won.
The only flaw the Heat had last year was a lack of size and they have done nothing to address it in terms of player acquisitions.
LeBron James is slated to start as a power forward rather than small forward, moving Chris Bosh to center.
Once again this will leave the Heat playing a lot of small ball, although with Dwight Howard now in the West this shouldn’t be too much of an issue until the NBA finals.
Reason to be positive: They are the reigning champions and have added one of the most potent three point shooters the league has ever seen. J
ames should be playing with significantly more confidence now he has managed to get the monkey off his back.
Prediction: 57-25 (1st in Eastern Conference, Playoffs: Runners-up)
image: © Keith Allison