NBA 2016-17 forecast: Southeast Division

Apr 25, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh (1) talks with guard Dwayne Wade (3) during a timeout in the second quarter against the Charlotte Hornets in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh (1) talks with guard Dwayne Wade (3) during a timeout in the second quarter against the Charlotte Hornets in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /
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MIAMI HEAT

Last season: 48 – 34

This season: 38 – 44

The Big Three is no more. Chris Bosh has been felled by chronic health problems, and Dwyane Wade, like LeBron James before him, wanted to return to his home city. The Miami Heat are a team in transition, and I may be generous in my 38-win prediction.

They still have Goran Dragic, though he shouldn’t be any team’s primary scoring option. Dragic’s numbers will fall off sharply unless resident genius Pat Riley gets him some backcourt help. Perhaps Justise Winslow or Josh Richardson can provide the scoring they will need. Dion Waiters isn’t to my taste, though he’s got a great opportunity if he can seize it.

May 15, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Bismack Biyombo (left) shakes hands with Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (right) at the end of game seven of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 116-89. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
May 15, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Bismack Biyombo (left) shakes hands with Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (right) at the end of game seven of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 116-89. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Up front, rebounder extraordinaire Hassan Whiteside has signed on for the long term. That’s fine, but it looks like slim pickins after him. There’s a lot of filler on the roster. Josh McRoberts, Luke Babbit, James Johnson – all are rapidly becoming end of the benchers, not people you can build a future with.

Riley won’t hesitate to blow this bunch up if they have a dozen wins by mid-January.