Watchability Rankings: No. 1 HEAT
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports’ Adi Joseph and Sean Highkin have spent the past 30 days leading into the start of the preseason Saturday counting down 2013-14 NBA teams based on how watchable they are for this season. The full rankings are all available below as we arrive at the final team on the list, the No. 1 Miami Heat:
2012-13 record: 66-16, won NBA Finals.
Adi Joseph’s 2013-14 record projection: 61-21, second in Eastern Conference, win NBA Finals.
Two best players: SF LeBron James (26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists a game, 56.5% shooting), SG Dwyane Wade (21.2 points, 5.1 assists, 5.0 rebounds a game, 52.1% shooting).
Overview: When Heat President Pat Riley brought James and Chris Bosh in to join Dwyane Wade in 2010, this is what he envisioned. The Heat have won consecutive championships (after losing in the 2011 Finals) and clearly cemented themselves as the team to beat entering this season. They won 27 games in a row at one point last year, but they spent this offseason continuing to build their roster. Coach Erik Spoelstra has taught this team to play together, while James has earned his third and fourth MVP awards on both ends of the court and is the favorite for another this year. When the Heat are playing well, when wings Ray Allen and Shane Battier are shooting well and big men Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen are rebounding and point guards Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole aren’t making mistakes, no one can beat them.
WHY YOU CAN’T MISS THEM
‘Bron legacy: James is the best player in the NBA and has been for five years. There’s no good way to refute that, and it’s more obvious now than ever. But he said at Heat media day that he wants to be the best ever. And the crazy part is, he could go down as just that. He’ll need a few more MVPs (his four put him behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Bill Russell) and championships (two isn’t cutting it for that title). But James boasts the most impressive array of skills of any player in … [For more on NBA Watchability Rankings: No. 1 Miami Heat, click here.]