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NBA Miami Heat

5 Reasons Why Miami Heat Is Still Best Team In The East Without LeBron James

5 Reasons Why Miami Heat Is Still Best Team In The East

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh opt out
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With LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat will begin a new era with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh the main components of the Heat roster. The Heat have replaced James with free agent Luol Deng at small forward, and have brought back most of last year's rotational players. Here are five reasons why the Heat is still the team to beat in the East without James,

5. Return of Nucleus

April 14, 2014; Kevin Liles- The Miami Heat are now settled into the second seed, they can afford to rest their star players just a week away from the playoffs.
Kevin Liles - USA Today Sports

5. Return of Nucleus

April 14, 2014; Kevin Liles- The Miami Heat are now settled into the second seed, they can afford to rest their star players just a week away from the playoffs.
Kevin Liles - USA Today Sports

With the exception of James, the retired Shane Battier and free agent Ray Allen, the Heat has brought back every player that was a part of the rotation last season. There is still a chance that Allen returns, provided he doesn't retire or join the Cavaliers with James and former Heat forward Mike Miller. Most of these Heat players have been around for multiple NBA Finals appearances, and that won't change with James gone.

4. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh

Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs - 2014 NBA Finals Game One
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4. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh

Dwyane Wade Better Miami Heat 2014-15 NBA Season
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As great as James is, he didn't win those titles by himself. There were other members of the 'Big Three,' and those other members were none other than Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Both players were the best players on their respective teams before joining forces with James in 2010. Wade won a championship and was Finals MVP in 2006, while Bosh made five All-Star appearances with the Toronto Raptors.

3. Eastern Conference Is Weak

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 3
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3. Eastern Conference Is Weak

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 3
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One can argue that the biggest reason the Heat is still the best team in the Eastern Conference is due to just how weak the Eastern Conference is. The Indiana Pacers were the No. 1 seed in 2014, and one can make the case they were the worst No. 1 seed in NBA Playoffs history. Assuming the Cavaliers don't acquire Kevin Love, they still have a ways to go before they're a true title contender; they were 33-49 last season.

2. More Ball Movement

Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five
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2. More Ball Movement

Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five
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The main reason the San Antonio Spurs dominated the Miami Heat en route to winning the 2014 NBA Finals was due to their team-oriented nature and their ability to create open shots with ball movement. James is the best player in the NBA, but there are times where his ability to dominate the ball can work to the detriment of his teams. Without a true dominant player, Miami will now have to rely on ball movement to create shots.

1. Motivation

Miami Heat
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1. Motivation

Miami Heat
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Don't underestimate the mental aspect in the game of basketball. Everyone is counting out the Heat now that No. 6 is no longer in South Beach, but with the return of last season's nucleus, the leadership of Bosh and Wade, and the weaknesses prevalent throughout the Eastern Conference, the power within the East still resides in Miami for at least one more season.