NBA Miami Heat

Distractions Could Come In Abundance For Miami Heat

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5 Ways For Miami To Avoid Looking Forward

Dwyane Wade
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The summer of 2014 is a little more than 10 months away, but that hasn’t stopped the basketball world from projecting draft picks or the future destinations of players like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.

If you listen to the critics, next year’s draft will be good enough to rival that of the Big Three’s of 2003. And they would love you to believe that free agency will be as hectic as when James decided to leave Cleveland.

Let them tell it and the 2013-14 season is almost irrelevant — saved solely by the possibility of a Miami Heat three-peat.

And according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Dwyane Wade is determined not to let anything spoil his focus.

"Everyone knows where I want to be," he said. "That's what it's all about to me, is making sure we focus on this season, winning this championship.”

In other words, Wade doesn’t want to deal with the thoughts of free agency disrupting his chance to do what only four NBA franchises have done.

"I'm not going to deal with it," he said of the speculation that will drown James. "I'm going to address it on media day and that'll be the last time I address it…”

"I want to be in Miami and I have nothing else to talk about. So there won't be no exciting news over here."

With any luck that mantra will be the theme of the team, because an obnoxiously top-heavy Eastern Conference awaits them. And they're not an ounce short of confidence.

So when Miami brings the heat to Brooklyn, Manhattan, Indiana and Chicago, you can expect it to be beyond competitive.

"The East obviously has gotten stronger," Wade said via ESPN. "Brooklyn has done something unprecedented — to put five All-Star players on the floor at one time... and bring something [Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett] to their team that they were missing, in the sense of winning and that toughness."

Forget the pundits, their prospects and their predictions, the 2013-14 campaign is going to be one that the Heat will make sure isn't overshadowed.

Check out the next five slides to see what else Miami can do to temper their future offseason distractions.

Please comment using the section below, or reach out to us using the hash tag #RML, for Rant My Life or #RantNBA.

Richard Nurse is a Miami Heat columnist for Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.

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Go For Another 27

LeBron James
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat should try to rattle off another lengthy win-streak to engulf their team (and the nation).

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Follow Dwyane Wade's Example

wade james
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Although highly unlikely, LeBron James should follow the lead of Dwyane Wade and let his free agency intentions be known before the season begins.

It would do a lot to lift the uncertainty cloud.

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Keep Wade Upright

Dwyane Wade
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With a healthy Dwyane Wade the Heat could avoid the questions of whether James would have to go elsewhere to find a quality running mate.

"I'm not done yet," Wade said to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I still got more in the tank. Like I said, my focus is just to make sure physically I can do the things I need to do. My skills haven't diminished by no stretch of the imagination."

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Do Not Rush Greg Oden

Greg Oden
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

After sitting out the last three seasons, Miami will look to slowly ease Greg Oden into the lineup after rehabbing from his third micro fracture surgery.

"He's come to the right place," Dwyane Wade said to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "They will do everything in their power to make sure that he's able to be on the court and be effective. They're doing a good job. Hopefully he doesn't rush it. We take him step by step."

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Chase History

Chicago Bulls
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Riley may own the term three-peat, but the Chicago Bulls made it famous. They also became famous for their NBA record 72 wins during the 1995-96 season.

It’s a record that the Heat should strive for; and one that many believe that they could reach.

“They will break the (Michael Jordan Bulls’) single-season win record (of 72),” former coach Jeff Van Gundy told the Miami Herald back in 2010. “…They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are just too good…”

What better time than now to prove the sarcastic Van Gundy right?