The 2017 NBA Preseason Report: The New Look Miami Heat [Suicide] Squad

breaking-news-animated

Normally, here at Nothing But dot Net we are fully committed to attempted entertainment and the hope that you guffaw out loud once or maybe exhale sharply out of your nose, but I’m being told we have a special breaking news report from [REDACTED] concerning an audio tape of Pat Riley and Chris Bosh. Now, on this tape, the full transcripts of which we will release below, you can hear… hang on, I’m being told my attorney is on the phone.

nevermind

Sometimes in the middle of a large collaborative project like an NBA franchise or a multi-million dollar movie franchise or a free blog post, things go sideways. Lawyers might threaten with unsubstantiated claims that you are a fraud and a troll who does no research and makes up frivolous and possibly libelous facts, or executives might read the critical reviews of Batman vs Superman and then mess with the script to your movie, or your franchise superstar might walk away even if you offer him the max available in your coffers. These challenges can alter the contents of your team, your comic book movie or the very post you are currently reading everything is fine.

suicide-squad-movie-poster
Worst. Comic Book. Movie. Ever.

Suicide Squad is a movie. Of that I am certain. What the movie is about or how good it is, that’s all debatable, but the one thing we should agree on is that Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn were the only positive things to come out of its production. It is a mess of ideas; an amalgamation of trying to be dark and gritty while simultaneously attempting to bring the laughs. A weirdly built and poorly paced story full of useless characters that we won’t remember in less than a year. Suicide Squad is a train wreck of fun with the footprint of executive over management.

Sound familiar?

The 2016-17 Miami Heat are an NBA team. Of that I am certain. What this team is or how good it can be, that remains to be seen, but the one thing we should agree on is that they are going to be way more entertaining than the final cut of Suicide Squad (Why were they fighting giant, mutated raisin people?). This team is a mess of ideas that spawned from unfortunate circumstances nobody but the most pessimistic Heat fan could have ever seen coming. A weirdly built, high paced combination of useless characters that we won’t even remember in less than a year and the promise of youth. The 2016-17 Miami Heat are a train wreck of fun with Pat Riley managing.

Buckle in, because this year might get a little insane.

joker-the-killing-joke

So a mediocre movie and a re-imagined NBA professional basketball team walk into a bar…

NOTHING BUT dot NET PRESENTS:

SUICIDE SQUAD FEATURING THE NEW LOOK MIAMI HEAT*

*WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Suicide Squad, if you don’t want to be disappointed before watching it, stop here.

In 2016, a crack NBA unit was sent to the lottery by a former player for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from 4-8 seed hell to the NBA underground. Today, still wanted by their former superstar they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them….maybe you can hire The Suicide Squad. *cool guitar solo*

Imagine, if you will, the entire interesting members of the cast of Suicide Squad played by your 2016-17 Miami Heat. Or read this instead:

harley_quinn

Character: Harley Quinn – Harleen Quinzel was a former psychiatrist who worked to rehab the worst criminals in Arkham Asylum. In the opening scenes of the movie, we find her captured, crazy and without  a doubt the one thing on the screen that your eye always follows.

Throughout Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn’s character is constantly caught between what she wants and what she thinks she wants: To matter or her puddin’? She possesses no real powers, but somehow comes across as the most dangerous of the group. She is an enigma, entertaining and, in the end, a little off.

Tyler Johnson signed a massive, and questionable, contract extension in the offseason to be the Heat’s main backup point guard. TJ possesses something similar to the Margot Robbie portrayal. It is entirely possible that he will become an X factor type player that changes the outcomes of games regularly. But, he could as easily be playing overseas in China sooner than we’d all expect. He is an enigma, entertaining and, in the end, possibly a little bit more. 

Whereas Harley is amoral, homicidal and a huge Joker mark. Bumpy is aerial, suicidal and a huge question mark.

tylerjohnsonharleyquinn
image by @Houtz

slipnot

Character: Slipnot – The Slipnot character is next to useless, but perfect in Suicide Squad. His character does one thing and does it well as an homage to the original comic. He dies pointlessly.

Who better to play the forgettable Slipnot than the Heat bench mob? Because most of them probably won’t be memorable or around very long either.

#16 James Johnson
luke-babbitt-head
#5 Luke Babbitt
#22 Derrick Williohhhhno
#22 Derrick Williohhhhno
Mcbob aka McInjured
#4 Josh McRoberts
Heh
#2 Wayne Ellington

 

rick-flag

Character: Rick Flag – Leader. Soldier. Mercenary. A man out of time and options fighting for the one thing he loves.

The only Heat player that could run this squad of misfits, maintain focus in a year already building towards turmoil and grow his own legacy is Goran “Deuces” Dragic.

Last season, Goran admittedly entered the season out of shape. It showed in his early season production and conditioning. As the season flagged and dragged (pardon that), Dragic was one of the few Miami players to elevate his game and spread his wings heading into the postseason.

Those photoshop skills, baby
#7 Goran Dragic

There are trade rumors swirling around the Heat’s veteran point guard, but if Dragic can regain his shooting stroke and build on last year’s first visit to the postseason, The Dragon could be awoken earlier this year than any other.

amanda-waller

Character: Amanda Waller – Waller is a ruthless, high-ranking government official who uses the Suicide Squad to achieve her aims, often in the name of national security. Like Lex Luthor, Waller possesses no super abilities other than her own genius and cunning.

Erik Spoelstra is bright, imaginative and underappreciated. A coach with a current record of 399-241, a .623 win/loss percentage and 70 playoff wins all accomplished before turning 50.

This season will be a true test for the twice crowned coach, as he attempts to ruthlessly use Andy Elisburg to achieve his aims. Spoelstra possesses no super abilities other than his hilarious facial features and reactions during games, but if anyone could talk a group of high-powered, cocky superheroes into giving up their egos to win, my money would be on Coach Spo.

image by @cch1125
new-big-3
The New Big 3?

diabloCharacter: Diablo – In full disclosure, I only read an eight comic special that involved the Suicide Squad when I was younger, and I don’t remember anything about Diablo. But that matters very little, because in the movie, this guy is essentially DC’s Jean Grey without the looks. He melts everything once he gets over the fact that he’s a dangerous mutant who killed everyone close to him or something. To be honest, by the time the squad led by Deadshot got his sads all sorted out, I had stopped paying attention.

Josh Richardson is currently nursing his way back from partially tearing his MCL on September 9th. His importance to the team can not be overstated. This Heat squad is dangerously low on true wing defenders, and Josh Richardson, affectionately known as JRich to Heat Twitter, is an underrated defender both coming from behind and playing head on. His length and athleticism can cause the other side’s guards trouble.

jrich-dunk
#0 Josh Richardson

The four year Volunteer averaged a touch under 7 points a game on 45% shooting as a bench contributor last season, but the rookie averaged 10.2 points on 50% shooting after the All-Star game. Add that to the 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists and his league leading 53.3% behind the arc from the break on and you can see why the Heat felt comfortable with their backup shooting guard position.

Most rookies fall off due to fatigue when hitting the rookie wall or the Atlanta strip club scene, but Josh seemed to get better as the season progressed and his minutes climbed. If JRich can catch fire, accept his weaknesses and embrace his strengths, the Heat may have their very own flame-throwing Devil.

Richardson will need to get healthy and then reclaim his role as the primary combo guard for the team to reach an upward trajectory, but the most important player (in my estimation) on the court for the Heat will be last year’s lottery pick Justise Winslow.

deadshot

Character: Deadshot – An antihero, who is the most important, most redeemable member of the squad.

Dwyane Wade is wearing Chicago Bulls red (hold on) *vomits all over the office* (gah, okay), Chris Bosh is in a tailored suit on the bench, and that other guy is sporting a dark wine colored uniform with a lilted rapier on it. As such, Coach Spoelstra will be looking to Justise Winslow to play his own brand of high-IQ, bruising, composed basketball and carry the Heat, especially on defense, this year.

There are those that think Hassan Whiteside is the main cog in the machinations that will work towards a successful campaign. I would posit that Justise Winslow, a former Duke player who is the most important, most improvable member of this squad, is the actual key. As a smaller small forward, Winslow has a combination of poise and explosiveness as well as that annoying Dukie trait of being a perfect pest on defense and getting in position to take charges.  If he can shoot a decent percentage from three, the spacing on the team will immediately change for the better and open up for Whiteside to operate down low. If he can learn to build on a stellar rookie defensive campaign and avoid cheap foul trouble, the lack of true wing defenders in the absence of Luol Deng may be survivable.

Eurosteppinwolf
#20 Justise Winslow

In an SI article, when asked about expectations for the season and the different climate of the team from the veteran loaded roster of his first year, Justise replied with a Pat Riley impression: “… we got a lot of competitors, a lot of dogs.”

The biggest dog on the team this year will be named Justise and much of the league is about to feel his hot, vicious, angry breath on their necks. And if Winslow can somehow become a live-action Deadshot, a younger version of Kawhi Leonard may already be loose in the league.

joker-suicide-squad

Character: The Joker – The Clown Prince of Crime. A character with more variations of his origin and current chapters altering his present iteration has yet to have been written. Jared Leto’s adaptation, an albino rap mogul who is also a prison tattoo and purple leather fetishist, is the latest.

joker-rap-mogul
80s coke dealer Joker

Despite this weird portrayal, it works because the Joker is really the caper-loving cartoon buffoon from the 1960s, the deeply believable psychotic Jack Nicholson of the 1990s, the dark and unhealthy Heath Ledger from a handful of years ago, as well as this present extremely toothy, meth head Paul Hogan version that one can only assume was a direct result of David Ayer’s fever dreams, all wrapped up in one big bag of crazy.

And who better to play the villain with the complicated origin story who once said “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another … if I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!” than the Heat’s own newly signed, seven-foot puzzle who walked his own twisting path: Hassan Whiteside?

hassanwhiteside
#21 Hassan Whiteside

The freshly minted $98 million dollar big man hopes to do better than Miami’s other most recent unproven $90 million dollar athlete (You know who I’m talking about) and position himself as one of the dominant and elite centers in the NBA. He’ll be following in the footsteps of other Hall of Fame seven-footers such as Alonzo Mourning and the peerless actor Shaquille O’Neal, while hoping not to mimic Leto’s following of an Oscar worthy work with the equivalent of a 90s MTV skit performance.

The Joker’s role in Suicide Squad was introduced to generate interest and provide a secondary conflict for the heroes and government operatives trying to control them. It was not pivotal or substantive. Instead he proves a pointless distraction as well as a constant interruption to the pacing of the film and offers nearly zero incentive to watch. In order to be the opposite for the Heat, Whiteside must prove to be more than a gimmick in the action on offense. We know what he can provide on defense, but to become an effective Jester of Genocide, Harlequin of Hate, or Ace of Knaves for the Heat this year, Hassan Whiteside can’t be a distraction off the court nor a detriment to the flow, pace and space of the offense on it.

And there are reasons to believe he will be an outstanding title character in this role. For example, through four preseason games, Whiteside ranked first in the league in blocks, second in rebounds while putting up over 17 points per game. In the 2nd half of last season, the big man averaged 17.5 points, 13.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while only playing a little over 30 minutes a night. Needless to say, his per-36 numbers look less like a box office flop and more like a $98 million dollar success.

I wanted to write a catchy ending to this article, but that wouldn’t really fit in with the motif of meh that was this film. At the conclusion of Suicide Squad, the group of villains acting as individuals finally execute as a team and win the day against an immortal, magical, teleporting witch who makes the tactical decision to stop using her powers and instead fight hand to hand. As one does.

Here’s hoping this Miami Heat season is less frustrating than this subpar movie.

miamiheatheader

The 29th season of Miami Heat NBA basketball kicks off Wednesday, October 26th at 7:00 pm EST.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

EXTRA news:

Thanks to @cch1125 and @houtz for their photoshop skills and freetime.

A special congratulations and very hearty good luck to the new Coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, David Fizdale. Hope you have a great rookie season, Coach Fiz.

And finally, it should be acknowledged that the only Heat captain this season is the last man standing from the 2006 championship squad: Udonis Haslem. Mr. 305. The bad dude enforcers call to enforce stuff.

Thanks for always having the guts, UD.

udoniskillspsychot

 

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One thought on “The 2017 NBA Preseason Report: The New Look Miami Heat [Suicide] Squad

  1. Hey pants, Super Cool Guy here. Just wondering how everything is and how long your suspension will last. Also, are you trolling on a backup account? If so, what’s the @. Anyway, enjoy your fourth, and from everyone on twitter, thanks for not being a sheep.

    Much Love,

    @HASLEMSTAN

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