Bid adieu to LeBron James, take over the Eastern Conference?

OK, maybe not quite, but the Miami Heat are sitting pretty, 3-0 one week into the NBA season. The Heat also own the best point differential in the Eastern Conference (plus-11.3 points per game), and have wins against a pair of teams that are projected to make the playoffs, the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors.

So are the Miami Heat a real contender in the Eastern Conference? SiriusXM NBA Radio’s Stacey King said they are, and he isn’t surprised by the team’s early success.

“I’ve been saying it since LeBron Left, that this is gonna be a much better team that what people think,” King said. “They still got a lot of players over there that know how to play. They got some very good veterans. You got a guy like Chris Bosh, whose role now, he’s going back to being the Chris Bosh that we saw in Toronto; more offensive-minded, he’s going to post up a little bit more, they’re going to go to him. He’s basically their go-to guy.

Dwyane Wade, and I do believe this, as long as Dwyane Wade is playing, and he can go out there and play 70-plus games, and continue to play – there’s going to be nights where he looks like the old Flash, the old Dwyane Wade, and there’s going to be other nights where he’s going to have to be a facilitator in their offense, and just basically be out there to give them something.”

This team isn’t only about the two remaining pieces of the Big 3 either, King argued.

“They’ve got Luol Deng out there, they’ve got some very good players out there. Spoelstra’s not a bad coach, he’s not going to have these guys just come over and roll over,” King said, “and I think they’re playing a lot on emotion right now, and a lot on pride, to show people they’re better than people think … even though LeBron left, that they’re just as good.”

King’s co-host, Frank Isola, said the team will live and die by the health of Dwyane Wade, and the level he can contribute. Listen to his analysis of the Heat from SiriusXM NBA Radio below.

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