After finishing the 2016-17 NBA campaign on a 30-11 tear, the Miami Heat had two options: They could lean into their half-season detonation, reinvesting in a promising squad that didn't make the playoffs, or they could pivot into a quasi-rebuild or full-scale teardown.
Surprise, surprise, Pat Riley chose the former.
Except, he didn't just steer into the 30-11 Heatles. He cannonballed into them.
Both James Johnson and Dion Waiters got new contracts. Then he added Kelly Olynyk. And then he signed Josh Richardson to an extension. Clearly, Riley believes his squad can recapture the magic from last year's 41-game miracle.
Well that, or he knows he won't be around much longer and doesn't want to spend the next one to two years losing a crap ton of games.
Whatever, though. The Heat are all-in on this season either way—and, as of now, the next two to four, since they'll be lucky to avoid the tax in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
But we digress. This podcast is about 2017-18, albeit with plenty of big-picture talk. We must decide whether the Heat can bust their way into the fight for fringe contention or made a mistake doubling down on a .500 roster.
We also need to talk about Goran Dragic being a god, Hassan Whiteside's trade value, Erik Spoelstra's sheer greatness and future five-time MVP Rodney McGruder, because that's what we do.
Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) from The Step Back and Locked On Heat podcast joins us as we dive head first into one of the NBA's most fascinating teams.
As always, be sure to subscribe to and rate Hardwood Knocks on iTunes. You can also find us on Stitcher and BlogTalkRadio. And as 50 Cent's biopic suggests: Follow Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey), Dan Favale (@danfavale), the show (@HardwoodKnocks) and NBA Math (@NBA_Math) on Twitter or die trying.
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