Miami Heat History
The Miami Heat entered the league in 1988, a year before their neighbors the Orlando Magic. Miami was the first NBA team in the state of Florida. Despite the franchise’s youth, Miami already has a rich history. The Heat were largely a disappointment until 1995 when the team hired famed coach Pat Riley. Riley immediately traded for all-star center Alonzo Mourning and turned the franchise around. After another small playoff drought in the early 2000s Miami drafted guard Dwayne Wade in 2003 and signed free agent Shaquille O’Neil the following year. The team would go on to win the 2006 NBA Finals with Wade claiming the Finals MVP award. Needing to rebuild again in 2010 the Heat signed free agent all-stars Chris Bosh and LeBron James and resigned Wade. Miami lost in the NBA Finals in 2011, but returned the next year to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder where James was awarded with the MVP.
Miami Heat Ownership
Current heat owner Micky Arison is the owner of the Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise operator. Arison has gained a reputation of spending whatever dollar amount is necessary to win. He acquired this reputation by spending large amounts of money on prized free agents in the off-season. Since the NBA does not have a hard salary cap this is legal, but frowned upon by some fans that like to see parody in the league.
Miami Heat Arena
American Airlines Arena has been home to the Miami Heat since 1999 when the old Miami Arena was replaced. The arena played host to the NBA Finals in 2006, 2011 and 2012. The most distinguishable part of the arena is the large aircraft painted on the building’s roof with the American Airlines logo on it. The painting is so large that planes taking off and landing at the Miami airport can see the work of art.
Miami Heat Fan Base
The Miami Heat have one of the strongest and most national fan bases in the NBA. The team’s acrobatic athletic ability often draws sellout crowds to American Airlines Arena and gets primetime games as fans tune it to see spectacular dunks. On the other hand, fans that like to see parody in the league dislike the heat for spending more money than the salary cap suggests.
Miami Heat Coaching
Miami was lead to the forefront of the NBA by legendary coach Pat Riley. In 2008 Riley surprisingly stepped down from the head coaching position to become the teams president. Riley then hired Erik Spoelstra to fill the head coaching vacancy. Some people feel that Riley may still have head coaching aspirations and could reclaim the Heat’s position as he did in 2005 by taking over for Stan Van Gundy. Spoelstra was initially criticized for Miami’s poor start and loss in the 2011 NBA Finals, however he gained more respect after their 2012 victory.
Miami is coming off a very successful season after winning the NBA Finals in just five games. However the path to the finals was not all smooth sailing. The Heat often found themselves defenseless against good post players and often out rebounded. A lack of depth on the team made injuries, especially to the big three of Wade, James, and Bosh, extra impactful. Also, Miami’s streaky three point shooting allowed teams to guard the paint and limit the driving ability of Wade and James. In the off-season Miami signed three point sniper Ray Allen. Allen’s presence should stretch out opposing defenses and open up lanes for the rest of the team. While this signing helps the depth and three point issues, the Heat could still use another big man beside Bosh. In the playoffs Miami solved this problem by having James fill that roll, however it is unseen weather or not he can play this position for a whole season. In any case, the Heat are one of the best teams in the NBA and will likely be picked often to repeat as champions on the sportsbooks at nbabetting.org.