Greg Cote

Heat Opening Night: How good will team be? Set bar on season expectations in new poll

Hassan Whiteside will be at the literal and figurative center of Miami Heat expectations as the new season begins.
Hassan Whiteside will be at the literal and figurative center of Miami Heat expectations as the new season begins. Al Diaz-Miami Herald

Expectations for the Miami Heat are all over the map as the franchise launches its 30th NBA season Wednesday night in Orlando. The team finished 41-41 and narrowly missed the playoffs last season, though it seems better in the recollection because of the 30-11 record the second half of the schedule. That leads to an assumption of overall improvement from a team led by Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside. Optimism within the organization is high. Yet outside expectations are somewhat modest. For example, ESPN's Power Rankings entering the regular season have Miami slotted only seventh best in the Eastern Conference (eight make the playoffs) and 18th overall in the 30-team league. The Heat's projected record is put at 43-39. Now what do you think? What is your honest, realistic expectation for the season based on anticipated number of regular-season wins? Remember: Not asking what you hope happens ... but rather what you think will. Vote now.

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