I think we can just about confirm that the Miami Heat will make it a fourth consecutive season where they will make it to the playoffs.
However, they have different plans on their mind. Plans that won't bring back recurring memories of last year's debacle, where the Heat steamrolled their way through the Eastern Conference playoffs in 15 games before falling in six games in the NBA Finals. Miami had plenty of momentum after defeating two of the league's top defenses but fell short due to some costly late-game execution.
The Heat have made their improvements and adjustments since then to hopefully avoid another collapse of that magnitude. They've added some shooters in the process, have seen their big three gain better chemistry and have taken a more aggressive approach when it comes to running the offense.
Miami now has its starting small forward and shooting guard both hitting career highs in shooting percentage because of this philosophy that was established at the beginning of the season. It's also led the way for a better-flowing offense that keeps the role players involved and the defense on their toes.
Of course, there will be plenty of competition to face in this year's playoffs. The Chicago Bulls are the league's best team record-wise and have split two games with the Heat, the Orlando Magic split their four-game series with Miami and Boston will always prove to be a challenge in the postseason. Even teams like Indiana, Philadelphia, Atlanta and New York could prove to be difficult.
We explored how the Heat can defeat these teams by finding the five keys to the success of the team in the playoffs.