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The Other Side: Miami Heat

If you want me to inspire you, Wizards, I will. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat is a walking billboard for what the Washington Wizards want to accomplish: Want to go from putrid to the playoffs? Follow these steps. First, hire a new coach. Next, have your all-star guard with a history of knee troubles spend an entire summer in Chicago with renowned trainer Tim Grover. Play hard, and hello postseason.

The Heat made a dramatic turnaround last season, going from 15 wins to 43 wins, a 28-game turnaround that ranks among the best in NBA history. After two injury-plagued seasons, Dwyane Wade spent a summer with Grover and was reborn as a league's most valuable player candidate. Problem for Miami was that Wade was a one-man show with little to no help and it led to a first-round exit against the Hawks.

Miami didn't make any major improvements this offseason, other than trading for the easily attainable and tradeable Quentin Richardson. That didn't stop the Heat won from winning their first three games, before a fourth-quarter flub contributed to their first loss of the season last night to the Phoenix Suns.

1. Dwyane Wade will be a free agent next summer. Wade is probably the member of the 2010 free agency class most likely to stay in Miami, but that isn't a foregone conclusion. His hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, will go hard after him, and with Wade turning 28 next summer, this might be his last big money contract, making it imperative that he tie himself down with a contender.

2. Miami is counting on Michael Beasley to have a big season. Beasley had a difficult summer that forced him to enter a substance-abuse treatment facility and he recently got caught in another controversy when he photographed asleep on a boat, surrounded by liquor bottles. He is now the starting power forward and the Heat seems pleased with his overall progress.

3. Jermaine O'Neal also spent the summer in Chicago with Grover after considering losing a step after left knee surgery. He showed his improvement early when he became the first player in franchise history to open a season with consecutive games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, after dominant performances against Indiana and New York. He suffered a broken nose in practice on Sunday against Chicago but scored 14 points last night against Phoenix.

By Michael Lee  |  November 4, 2009; 4:04 PM ET
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Next: Heat (3-1) at Wizards (2-2)



miller shouldnt be starting at the two anymore. we should start ummm foye...foye is a rythm player that needs some time to go. Often times last night Miller looked like he didnt even want to touch the ball on offense. Last night he scored a miniscule 12 points but he needs to create for himself more and shoot!

Posted by: mrhney03 | November 4, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I didn't notice any plays to set up Miller for any 3's.
Any thing he gets it seems that he has to work hard for. If he gets an open 3 it seems it is more likely the last option.

Posted by: VBFan | November 4, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

mrhney03, i think miller's teammates are doing a bad job of getting him the ball. He's setting up on the perimeter, ready to shoot the three but the ball isn't swung his way until it is too late. I like foye and i wouldn't care whether he started or not, but I think Miller will begin to make more of an impact once his teammates get him the ball when he's in a position to start. Of coarse, he's got to shoot when he's open.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | November 4, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"You won't be seeing my tagline here again."

Promises, promises.

"Enjoy your entertainment."

I'm sure I will without your myopic bleating around to distract me.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 4, 2009 2:45 PM |

Dude - why can't you be a little decent once in a while?

Posted by: Blurred | November 4, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I think tonight is a barometer game. If we cannot beat Miami at home, we can forget about the "top 4 in the East" talk!

Posted by: sagaliba | November 4, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Its early in the season and we are still missing one of our best players, but I agree somewhat.

I look forward to seeing Jermaine Oneal go against Blatche. Maybe Blatche can get stoked at seeing what he could become...4 years getting ready and 6 years being a top flight PF and a few more with the injuries.

Always liked Oneal. Couldn't ask for much more from Blatche than to get close to his output.

Posted by: Blurred | November 4, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I just got texted by a friend of mine who knows an NBA ref and he said the refs are going to make all of the calls against the Wizards so put your money on the Heat!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 4, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Your friend is a day late, wouldn't you say?

Posted by: ArmChairQB | November 4, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

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