May 5, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley speaks about Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (not pictured) after James received his fourth MVP award at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Riley says he expects Miami Heat to compete for championship next season

The Miami Heat might have lost four-time NBA MVP LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer, but Heat president Pat Riley isn’t ready to throw in the towel for next season.

Riley says the Heat will enter the 2014-15 campaign with the same championship expectations they had when James was in the fold, according to Bleacher Report’s Ethan J. Skolnick.

“We’re going to compete with everybody else to win a world championship,” said Riley. “We’re not going into this thing next year with this roster thinking that there’s anything less than that. That’s just the way I am as a man, and the way I coach and the way I manage.”

While the Heat being in the mix for a title next season might seem far-fetched to the general public, it’s hard to fault Riley for having confidence (or at least projecting it) in his group of guys.

Plus, the Heat rebounded quite well from James’ departure and will field a pretty good team.  Miami signed Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, while also bringing back many of the key players from last season’s team such as Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen, Mario Chalmers and most importantly, Chris Bosh.

Whether the Heat ultimately reach Riley’s lofty goals or not, this should be a team competing for a top seed in the Eastern Conference throughout the regular season.

Riley’s Heat will reportedly face James’ Cavaliers on Christmas Day.

Tags: Lebron James Miami Heat NBA Pat Riley

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