MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat are returning eleven players from the squad that went 30-11 in last season’s second half.
They’ve added first round draft pick Bam Adebayo and former Celtics Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Mickey.
While they certainly won’t boast the star power of the big three era, the Heat will offer depth at every position.
If you ask long-time Heat broadcaster Eric Reid, he’ll tell you the depth will be a major luxury for head coach Erik Spoelstra.
“It’s as deep a team, maybe, as Spo has ever had,” Reid said Tuesday on The Joe Rose Show. “I don’t think he’s going to try and force ten guys in. He’s good about the feel.”
The ‘feel’ comes with Spoelstra’s sense for developing a rotation. He not only strives to create the mismatches that come with a big or small lineup, but for nurturing chemistry. Tyler Johnson and James Johnson play exceptionally well together, prompting Spo to typically use them together off the bench rather than starting one or the other.
If the Heat’s roster is any indication, size matters. Projected starting lineups show the Heat starting two seven-footers with Hassan Whiteside at center and Olynyk at power forward.
Yet still, to Reid, Miami’s guard play will be the focal point.
“The (Goran) Dragic and (Dion) Waiters backcourt, I still think is the strength of the team,” Reid said. “(Josh) Richardson will start at the three, (Kelly) Olynyk at the four, James and Tyler (Johnson) will keep coming in off the bench.”
Point guard Goran Dragic is the Heat’s veteran on-court leader. Internationally, he just led his Slovenian team to a EuroBasket championship. He played into autumn, with the final game not contested until September 9th.
This leads many Heat fans to wonder if Dragic is burned out after not enjoying a true offseason.
“As you saw in training camp camp, Goran wanted part of every drill,” noted Reid. “I think Goran has had some of his best years when he’s participated in European competition.”
Typically, Spoelstra has to beg Dragic to take it easy in practice. The begging usually doesn’t work.
Dragic and the Miami Heat will open up their regular season this Friday, October 18th in Orlando. The Heat will face the Magic at 7:00 PM from the Amway Center.
You can listen to the full interview with Eric Reid on The Joe Rose Show above.