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by February 06, 2009

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Part of making predictions is admitting you were wrong (as well as rubbing it in when you’re right). Alright, we confess: The 15-67 record we predicted for the Miami Heat was very, very wrong. Before the 2008-09 season, the SLAM preview issue ran five Obama campaign-inspired covers before America elected its first African-American president. Previews, in general, take a shot at predicting what the future may hold. Let’s just say SLAM didn’t come off particularly omniscient about the Southeastern Division.

After a 52-win season and a second round playoff exit, Orlando was the one division certainty to have a winning season. And no team was more of an enigma than the squad down along the peninsula. While Dwyane Wade played extraordinarily well in Beijing, the jury was still out on weather he could keep it up for an entire season. Shawn Marion took a leap back from his days as a Sun, and two rookies figured to play major roles from the get go. As we know, Wade’s MVP-level play this season has the Heat in contention for a top-four spot in the East. Wade’s dominance opened the door for his teammates to be successful and grow. By now it’s definitely no illusion: The Heat have a reliable (and somewhat deep) rotation on which they can rely night in and night out. The Heat are a good bet for the Playoffs and have more than a decent chance at finishing with more wins than losses.

When you’re wrong, there’s usually a lesson. This one’s pretty clear–Dwyane Wade is stronger than your doubt!