Welcome To The 2015-2016 NBA Season

(Photo Credit: www.nba.com)

The 2015-2016 NBA Season is FINALLY here!

Last night, the year kicked off with the Detroit Pistons coming up 106-94 over the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls sneaking slightly past the Cleveland Cavaliers, 97-95, and the reigning champions (Golden State Warriors) outworking the New Orleans Pelicans, 111-95.

There are 14 games on the slate tonight, including the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves, but most importantly: the Miami Heat will take on the Charlotte Hornets at the AmericanAirlines Arena, for their first game of the new season.

2014-2015 was what one could call a total disaster for Miami; from LeBron James announcing his departure in the summer, to Chris Bosh sitting out half the season with blood clots in his lung, it was one crisis after another. There were high-points of course, such as Hassan Whiteside’s blossoming talent, and signing Goran Dragic, but I think it’s safe to say that overall, Heat Nation would like to forget last year for good.

The good news is, Pat Riley and company went to work during this offseason.

Between re-signing both Dragic and Dwyane Wade, drafting Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson, and bringing aboard the likes of Gerald Green and Amar’e Stoudemire…things are about to get exciting.

While some may still be skeptical of this Eastern Conference team, saying they look better on paper than can be translated into reality, Heat fans are all in.

Generally speaking, not much can (or should) be taken away from preseason…and yet, seeing the guys back on the court only reminded me of what is to come.

This will be the first time Dragic and Bosh get to play alongside one another.

Dragic and Stoudemire will reunite from their days playing together in Phoenix.

Whiteside has only further developed.

Green is already on the radar for Sixth Man of the Year.

Should I go on?

Catch tonight’s matchup on a free trial of NBA League Pass, at 7:30 PM (ET).

And get ready Heat Nation, this season is ours.

Heated Topics: Free Agency Begins

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As the clock struck midnight on July 1, another summer of NBA free agency came upon us. And while there is still plenty of time for players to sign and re-sign contracts, some deals have already gone through.

In fact, big news hit Miami Heat fans before the free-for-all even began. While forward Luol Deng decided to opt in, Dwyane Wade finally broke the news that Heat Nation was waiting to hear for months: he would opt out of his current contract with Miami and become a free agent.

That last bit of information may have stung, especially after getting to rejoice drafting Justise Winslow and applauding Deng for sticking around, but since then there has been redemption.

It was just announced this morning that Goran Dragic will indeed re-sign with the Heat, on a 5-year, $90 million contract. And as if that was not good news enough, by not taking as much money as expected, Miami has room to better entice Wade into staying.

In terms of other free agency news, here are some of the bigger stories that have recently broke out…

*Damian Lillard nears $120 million extension with the Portland Trailblazers

*Al-Farouq Aminu agrees to 4-year, $30 million deal with the Trailblazers

*Kawhi Leonard stays with the San Antonio Spurs on a 5-year, $90 million deal

*Mike Dunleavy agrees to a 3-year, $14.4 million deal in order to stay with the Chicago Bulls

*Anthony Davis takes a 5-year, $145 million extension to remain with the New Orleans Pelicans

*Danny Green signs a 4-year, $45 million deal to stay with the San Antonio Spurs

Ah, to be a professional athlete…

Dwyane Wade: Leaving Miami?

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In probably the most shocking twist of events for the Miami Heat thus far (and they have had one heck of a season), guard Dwyane Wade may not end up being a Heat lifer after all.

According to various reports, Wade and the Miami organization have reached an impasse regarding his future contract.

Last year, instead of taking his guaranteed $41.6 million, he opted out of his final two years and agreed to a new two-year, $31 million deal. This included a player option for next season, for $16.1 million.

Wade also alluded to testing out the negation-waters in 2016, when the team salary cap is expected to rise from $67 million to $89; therefore, many people believed the superstar would opt-in this summer.

However, now it appears as though he will be opting out.

Rumor has it that the 33-year-old is looking for a max, 3-year contract. And although he would like it to be with the Heat (he has called South Beach home for the last 12 years), he is open to looking elsewhere if an agreement cannot be reached.

There is no question that Wade has given his all to Miami. From helping win the championship in 2006, to bringing over LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the veteran should have no problem getting whatever he wants. But unfortunately, things are not so simple.

The Heat are currently looking to re-sign Goran Dragic (who too, has expressed desire to stick around). Couple that with the likelihood that Hassan Whiteside will expect an impressive payday, Bosh’s approximate $23.6 million a year and McRoberts’ owed $5.8 million and well…Miami no longer has any room to revamp the team.

On top of financial issues, there is also Wade’s health to keep in mind. Although he showed glimpses of “Flash” last season ,and has been keeping in shape this summer, there are still concerns. Besides just his age (I mean, Ray Allen anyone?), Wade has reoccurring injuries. And while they may not be career, or even season-ending, they bring about inconsistency. The Heat may not want to put everything on the line for a guy that physically cannot bring his A-game, every night.

If you ask me, the solution to all this would be giving him a fortune for one year, and reevaluating the situation after that. This way, Wade is the highest paid player on the roster (as deserved), but has not taken away Miami’s financial wiggle room.

Wade has until late June to figure out if he will opt out of his player option for this upcoming season. After all Heat Nation has been through this year, we can only pray that this matter is resolved in such a way that brings Wade back.

Another Injury Looming For The Miami Heat?

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The 2014-2015 season has been, for lack of a better term, a hot mess for the Miami Heat. Obviously LeBron James set the pace when he announced he was headed back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but since then the team has been plagued with seemingly never ending injuries. Fortunately only one so far has been serious, with Chris Bosh’s season being cut short due to blood clots in his lung, and he is thankfully expected to make a full recovery. But even so, the Heat just cannot seem to catch a break. Miami’s newest addition himself, Goran Dragic, who was only acquired by the team right before the NBA trade deadline, has already suffered from back spasms.

Last week, blossoming superstar Hassan Whiteside cut his hand on the rim, and it is being said that it will take at least two weeks for his gash to fully heal. While I do not suspect that he will be out for that entire time, he will certainly miss a couple of games. And even when he does decide to come back, will not be able to reach his full potential for a while.

But of course, the story does not end there. Hassan’s backup, Chris Andersen, is also out with a bruised calf. And while some thought that perhaps the Heat would pick up an additional player (like JaVale McGee), it seems as though they are sticking with their original squad. So it may be up to Michael Beasley to hold things down for a while.

And there is more. Recently, Dwyane Wade spoke out about the potential need to get fluid from his knee drained; something that during a normal season may not be a big deal, but currently would set Miami even further back than they already are.

Wade played 22 minutes on Friday night, in a loss against the Atlanta Hawks, and was not able to accomplish much. There is talk of head coach Erik Spoelstra sitting the guard in this afternoon’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons, in hopes of having him available and in better shape, for longer down the line.

Whether or not Wade will get his knee drained is still up in the air, but regardless, his physical condition at the present time is certainly bad news for the Heat. As of Sunday, Miami stands at the seventh seed, with the Boston Celtics close behind them. For the boys in South Beach, the playoff push is real.

When will the injuries end? I wish I could tell you. But I can only hope the answer to that is very soon.

Heated Topics: March 25th, 2015

This season has been anything but a walk in the park for the Miami Heat. After LeBron James announced that he was leaving South Beach and heading back to Cleveland, fans knew that there would be hard times ahead. But between the back-and-forth shuffling of players to and from the D-League, seemingly weekly minor injuries, and the loss of Chris Bosh for the rest of the year…there did not seem to be a break in sight.

However, since the playoff push began, it has not been all bad. President Pat Riley pulled off the impossible once again, acquiring Goran Dragic right before the trade deadline. Michael Beasley made his way back to the Heat, determined to prove that the third time is a charm for him. And as things are now, Miami stands to make the offseason.

Here is the latest:

Heat lose to the Milwaukee Bucks after leading for most of the game.

Hassan Whiteside injures his hand on a play, may be out for a couple of games.

Dwyane Wade receives Player of the Week.

Michael Beasley is playing like his life depends on it.

Miami will take on the Boston Celtics, Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.

Heated Topics: December 10th, 2014

Although they are fresh off of a loss against the Denver Nuggets, the Miami Heat continue their journey forward tomorrow night, in hopes of proving their naysayers wrong.

Here is the latest news:

Not all hope is lost for the Heat.

Josh McRoberts embraces “the weird.”

Rookie James Ennis is showing his worth.

Could Brook Lopez be a good fit for Miami?

Other trade options for the Heat include Lance Stephenson.

Dwyane Wade supports “I Can’t Breathe” shooting shirts

Chris Bosh is “okay” with losing to the San Antonio Spurs in last years’ Finals.

Dwyane Wade: Home Is Where the Heat Are

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Sources are reporting that Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat have finally reached an agreement in terms of his new contract. Wade, who announced the news himself via his Instagram account (pictured below) has signed onto a two-year deal, worth roughly $34 million. However, it is important to note that there is a player-option set for the 2015-2016 season.

Home Is Where The Heart Is… My Home,My City,My House..#HeatLifer

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This is the second time Wade has taken a pay cut (the first being in 2010 when the infamous Big Three were born). In this instance, Wade is helping to give teammate Chris Bosh a full five-year, maximum deal, and new Miami Mafia member, Luol Deng, a two-year deal worth $20 million.

Although some NBA fans spoke of their desire for Wade to branch out to another city (after LeBron James’ announcement that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers), it is no secret that Wade has dedicated his entire career to making the Heat the best team it can be; and personally, I do not see that changing anytime soon. Wade may support James’ decision but that certainly does not mean he plans to head to the Chicago Bulls, down the line.