After winning consecutive championships in these past two seasons, the Miami Heat are taking a long-deserved break from basketball. Well, at least some of them are. The Heat were taken to the brink of elimination in both the Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals series against the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs, respectively. Both series were extremely hard fought victories for the Heat, and the level of exhaustion could be seen throughout the Miami roster. But as the season has come to an end and the Heat have added a third championship to their collection of trophies, they are thoroughly enjoying their well-earned victory lap around South Beach.
The Summer League has also come to a conclusion, and while the Heat look forward to the beginning of a new season in October, the question Miami must be asking themselves is how do we stay on top? As history has shown us, in any sport, once you’ve reached your highest peak, everyone is looking to knock you down. And with numerous teams across the league making big moves this offseason in hopes of challenging the champs in next year’s playoffs, the Heat must be on top of their game.
According to an article written by Dr. Harlan Selesnick, the team physician for the Heat, the end of every season begins with an exit physical in which they determine what sort of health each player is in and how their injuries, if any, are healing up. One of the many players who went through this physical was Udonis Haslem, who had been ailing a torn right meniscus for the majority of last season. It is apparent that he will need surgery this offseason, but he feels confident that he will return to full health by the beginning of next season.
There is no doubt in my mind that LeBron James will be working as hard as ever to better his game this offseason, but with his upcoming marriage to longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson on the horizon, he will have more than his jump shot on his mind. However, with the two planning to tie the knot around mid-September, James should have plenty of time to enjoy his honeymoon and return to the court well before the Oct. 29 NBA season opener.
As for acquisitions, the Heat have been working out Greg Oden in hopes that he might fit into their “big man” role, for which they are in desperate need. The Heat have also extended contracts with Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, James Jones and Rashard Lewis, as they look to three-peat next season.
While the rest of league tries to find the missing pieces to their lack-luster roster, the Miami Heat are just trying to keep together their core group of players so they might be able to hoist up another trophy at the end of next season.