Brisbane lost their first four games of BBL05 to sit in last position at the half way mark of the season.
Three wins from their next four games turned their season around, but it wasn't enough to see the Heat play in the finals, as Brisbane finished sixth on the table, one win behind the fourth placed Thunder.
Ins and Outs:
Ins: Alex Ross, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne
Outs: James Hopes, Peter Forrest, Nick Buchanan
Squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Samuel Badree, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Andrew Fekete, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, James Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth
While the Heat didn't make any big international signings over the break, the return of captain Brendon McCullum may turn out to be their biggest inclusion from the BBL05 squad.
The Kiwi was on international duty last summer and missed Brisbane's entire season, but McCullum returns to make Brisbane's big-hitting line-up one of the league's most feared.
The 35-year-old joins three of the biggest ball-strikers in the game, as Chris Lynn, Nathan Reardon and Ben Cutting all currently sit inside the top 20 players in terms of sixes hit in the competition's history.
Lynn leads the pack with an impressive 68 sixes from just 39 games, while Reardon (12th, 32 from 38) and Cutting (16th, 29 from 32) both aren't afraid to slog a ball.
With all four players at different positions in the batting line-up the Heat would be one of the only teams in the competition to have batting firepower all the way through the order.
With all the batting strength the Heat have, there's no doubt that their bowling line-up isn't as powerful.
Apart from paceman Ben Cutting and spin bowler Samuel Badree, the remaining bowlers in the side don't have vast experience at the T20 level, which could hurt Brisbane in tense game situations.
Cutting and Mark Steketee are the only two Brisbane bowlers to have taken more than 10 wickets for the Heat in BBL history, which just shows what little success this bowling attack has seen over recent years.
Key player: Ben Cutting
The 29-year-old has turned himself into a T20 allrounder over recent years, and this season is one of Brisbane's most important players.
As has been pointed out above, Cutting must lead the Heat bowlers throughout the campaign and use his BBL experience to put Brisbane into winning positions with the ball.
Conversely with the bat, Cutting is one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in the entire league, and will more often then not be called upon if Brisbane are in search of quick runs.
For the Heat to overcome last season's poor finish and make the just into the top four, Cutting will need to impress with both bat and ball all season long.
Of the bottom three sides last season (Sixers, Hurricanes, Heat), Brisbane certainly have the most potential to shake up the competition and knock a top four side off their perch.
Unfortunately for the Heat however they haven't strengthened their side with personnel as much as other have, and their big jump into championship contention may just need to wait another year.
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