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Are The Miami Heat Contenders or Pretenders?

Some NBA analysts feel the Heat can compete for a title while others believe they are second-tier

With the Miami Heat at the midpoint of the season, many media pundits have already started asking the question. 

Are the Heat NBA title contenders or pretenders? 

Well, that depends who you ask. 

Earlier this week, ESPN released its list of playoff contenders. The six teams were the Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns. Despite the Heat being the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, they were left out. 

Last week, however, ESPN's Michael Wilbon said he believes the Heat will at least make the conference finals.

“Miami’s the forgotten team in this because Bam has been out and Jimmy’s been out," Wilbon said. "I know the Nets are the favorite, but I’m not willing to let go of Miami. I got Miami, and I’m still thinking that they’ve got a shot to interrupt that Milwaukee-Nets thing.”

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Naturally, the star power in Milwaukee and Brooklyn has casted a light upon their teams. However, Miami Heat’s depth has caused problems for opposing teams. The Heat have multiple players who have proven to lead on any night. 

With the Heat's All-Stars nearing their returns, we will finally be able to see its full potential. 

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Jayden Armant is a contributor to Inside The Heat. He is a student at Howard University. He can be reached at ayden.armant@bison.howard.edu or follow him Twitter @jaydenarmant