Pat Riley didn’t hit the Gordon Hayward home run in free agency, but he continues to bring runners home with double after double.
On Wednesday, Dion Waiters agreed to re-sign with the Heat. On Thursday, Riley added Kelly Olynyk, while re-signing James Johnson and trading away Josh McRoberts in a savvy salary dump. Aside from the Olynyk addition, Miami brings back last year’s nucleus.
“52 wins,” said Orlando Alzugaray, when asked for a prediction on Heat victories. “LeBron won 51 last year defending his title. The Heat will win 52.”
While it’s clinically impossible to measure his sanity without putting him through an expensive battery of tests, we’ve consulted Big O’s co-workers for a diagnosis.
Can Big O truly gaze into the future of a 52 win season, or does he belong in an institution? WQAM hosts weigh in.
Marc Hochman: “50 wins in an NBA season is very difficult. I don’t know who changed the milk in Big O’s cereal, but the notion that the Heat are going to win 50+ games with this roster seems a little silly to me. I normally think Big O is nuts and his prediction of 52 wins confirms it for me. He is nuts. He should do his show with a straight jacket on.”
Channing Crowder: “I don’t think Big O is all that crazy. They went 41-41 last year with Waiters being hurt for much of the season, and no Justise Winslow or Kelly Olynyk. I believe in continuity and the added talent of Olynyk. You have a future hall of fame coach in Spoelstra and a hall of fame executive in Pat Riley. Why would it be so crazy to add 11 wins to a great organization and an up and coming roster?”
Listen to Hochman and Crowder break down the latest in sports and pop culture daily.
Alex Donno: “Big O is wrong but he isn’t nuts. It’s a stretch to say the Heat win 52 games when Cleveland, Boston, Milwaukee, Washington and Toronto all look better than them on paper. However, bringing back virtually the same team that went 30-11 over the second half of last season should set the table for a good year. I see 45 to 48 wins as the ceiling for this team. The east is still bad. In fact, it’s worse overall than last year. I don’t chug the kool aid like O does. I sip it.”
Listen to Donno sip the Heat kool aid daily at his audio page.
Zach Krantz: “I think Big O is close but 52 wins is a few too many for me. I see the Heat somewhere around 40 to 45 with the king crab Dion Waiters leading them.”
Listen to Zach’s steaming hot sports takes on the Joe Rose Show audio page.
Doctor Hochman’s diagnosis is dire, but Crowder, Donno and Krantz can sympathize. What’s your verdict? Is Big O nuts?