Pat Riley has worked his magic to make the Miami Heat contenders again

It wasn’t supposed to happen, we’re not sure how it happened. But Pat Riley managed to work his magic yet again, leaving the Miami Heat looking like a lock for the playoffs during a summer in which nothing was expected, and certainly not of that magnitude.

With Dwyane Wade having retired this season after helping the Heat come close to finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference, this offseason was supposed to be one for patience. Sources close to the team kept claiming it was going to be a quiet summer, yet there they are, looking much stronger than they were when the season ended in just a few moves.

All-Star guard Jimmy Butler is now a Heat player, and on a max deal too. But even more surprisingly, the team got another ball club to take Hassan Whiteside’s annoying contract off of their hands. The downside here is the fact that Josh Richardson had to be sacrificed, and the Philadelphia 76ers will be all the better for it.

In Butler, though, the Heat have an All-Star caliber player who excels on both ends of the floor and will likely push their youngsters to do better. As any pundit will tell you, Butler was made for the Heat; he’s a Pat Riley kinda guy. The guard’s work ethic has often been the cause of him clashing with management and teammates alike, but that isn’t likely to happen in Miami, a team known for their graft and the dedication that has become what many call “Heat Culture”.

Of course, no one is expecting the Heat to challenge for the title next season, that’s still a few moves and a few years away. But they’re certainly a very formidable side in an Eastern Conference quite visibly weakened by the departure of LeBron James and most recently Kawhi Leonard, who’s agreed to play basketball for the Los Angeles Clippers next season.

The Heat also picked up what looks to be a diamond in the rough at the Draft, throwing all their chips at Kentucky’s Tyler Herro. The 19-year-old, known for his three-point shooting, has starred in the three Summer League games he’s played so far, scoring 18 points in his first game against the Los Angeles Lakers – knocking down five threes – and then 20 against the Golden State Warriors. He followed those performances up with a 23-point outing against Team China and is averaging 20.3 points this summer

With a backcourt of Butler and Herro, along with the likes of Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk up front, there’s some real potential. And, since Butler’s arrival, the odds on them winning the title next season have improved. Miami’s now 60/1 to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the 2019/20 season with Bet365. Fans who are new to betting but are looking to get in on the action for the 2019/20 season will be happy to know that a bet365 review at freebets.co.uk could be had.

Leonard’s move to the Clippers has changed the NBA’s dynamic, more so as he’s convinced Paul George to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join him in LA. The Clippers are now favourites to win the title, with Bet365 also offering 11/4 odds. The Lakers are 15/4 with the same bookies and are second favorites after locking Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins up, while the Milwaukee Bucks are currently in at third with Bet365 having placed odds of 5/1 on their chances.


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