Miami Heat: Looking Ahead

David LeneyCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2008

Record: 9-42

I will start by saying the Miami Heat are one of my least favorite teams in all of sports. 

In fact Miami sits somewhere between Duke Men's basketball and the Dallas Cowboys on my hate, hate, hate list. 

I know what you're thinking, how can I disdain a team that has a 9-42 record at All-Star break.  Its bad enough that their fans were subjected to watching the Dolphins this season, so hating the heat is like picking on the handicapped kid, right?


The Trade 

The Shawn Marion trade wasn't stealing, as the Lakers so eloquently did when aquiring Pau Gasol from Memphis, but it wasn't far from it.  Marion is as complete a player as they come.  He's basically a younger, smaller, more energetic version of Rasheed Wallace.  Then again, I understand why Phoenix did what they did by going after Shaq (Tim Duncan, the quiet reason), but Shawn Marion is sorely underated.

Many people laugh about the whole "Derek Jeter and his intangibles" spout, but like Jeter, Shawn Marion brings a few of his own.  In his Miami debut Marion got the team to play an up-tempo offense against the Lakers, on the other end of the floor he sparked the Heat to play sound defense for the first time all season.  Obviously the Heat aren't any threat to the Pistons, or the Big 3 (soon to be the Big 4 with the way Rajon Rondo has been playing lately).  Just don't be surprised to see a big turnaround by the Heat next November. 


The Draft 

Wade and Marion can't do it alone, but they won't have to with Miami's record as bad as it is.  Another star could be aquired through the 2008 draft (Michael Beasley, Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, etc.). 

I am counting my lucky stars that Miami pulls a page from the Philadelphia 76er's book of bad logic and starts winning some meaningless games that won't get them in playoffs or a Top 5 lottery pick. 

I'm also intrigued about the development of Dorrell Wright.  He is still so raw, but if you watch him he is by far the most athletic guy on the team.  With a little more experience and direction, Wright could be a very solid player in a few years. 


Free Agency

Is the Heat worried about Shawn Marion leaving after this season? 

Here's a better question: How many cities (not teams) would you, or a young man such as Shawn Marion, rather play for? 

Exactly the reason why a team like the Milwaukee Bucks wouldn't have a chance of grabbing him in free agency.