The Miami HEAT started the 2017-18 season with a loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday might at the Amway Center, but make no mistake folks. This isn’t the same HEAT team that started the 2016-17 season 11-30. That was a darker time in American Airlines Arena history. Pat Riley and Andy Elisburg managed to keep the core of the team that finished the season 30-11, and now it’s time to see if the real HEAT team will stand up.
It may only be the second game of the season, but we’re seeing some flashes of both the good and that bad of last season. If you’re wondering what the bad flashes are, then let’s not forget that the Heat built a 21-point 3rd quarter lead Saturday night only to have the game come down to the final seconds.
But still, they won. That’s a game the HEAT would’ve lost last season. In fact, it did happen last season in their home opener when they went up to a 19-point lead, but finished the game with an L the Charlotte Hornets. Everyone remembers it like it was yesterday, including Dion Waiters, and while Waiters recognizes that squandering big leads isn’t the best situation to put the team in, the fact of the matter is that the HEAT closed the game out with the W.
There are things that need to be worked on, like allowing the Pacers and the Magic to score 56 points in the paint. This roster wants you to know that they’re not the same team from early last season. Like Waiters said, everyone is here to do their job, and that’s exactly what HEAT fans can expect.