Miami Heat Have More on the Line Than You Think in 2016 NBA Playoffs

April 16th, 2016 by Zach Buckley Leave a reply »

MIAMI — It's tempting to think of this as a pressure-free playoff run for the Miami Heat.

The burdensome championship-or-bust expectations left South Beach with LeBron James. Their best two-way player, Chris Bosh, has been out since the All-Star break with blood clots and isn't expected back anytime soon. And though Miami holds the Eastern Conference's No. 3 seed, it also finished with an identical record as its first-round opponent, the sixth-seeded Charlotte Hornets, at 48-34.

The Heat shouldn't feel the weight of the basketball world bearing down on their shoulders.

And yet, there's still a massive amount at stake for all members of this proud, postseason-proven franchise: There are playoff legacies to be written, free-agency millions to earn and a scary sleeper upside to realize.


Dwyane Wade Back in the Driver's Seat

In recent years, Dwyane Wade famously ceded Miami's lead role to James during their shared tenure and split those duties with Bosh over the past two seasons. 

That's no longer an option.

This is unequivocally Wade's t ...

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