Previewing the NBA Eastern Conference with a staff roundtable on the Heat
How good are the Miami Heat? Did they get better this offseason? Where do you expect them to finish in the Eastern Conference?
Added: Nikola Jović
Lost: P.J. Tucker
Every day, I feel more and more inclined to fade the Miami Heat. It may not be the smartest gamble, as their core trio of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry are certainly talented and experienced enough to have a chance against basically anybody. Around them, though, I’m not convinced of how helpful this supporting cast is in a playoff series. They have a lot of shooters (like Duncan Robinson) but also a lot of guys that can’t see the floor in playoff situations (like Duncan Robinson). They’ll be very good, and they’ll finish near the very top of the Eastern Conference in the regular season, but I don’t think this team is very likely to make a return to the NBA Finals.
Your individual take on the Heat likely has to do with how much you buy into “Heat Culture”. They typically overachieve and pluck good players out of obscurity. Adebayo, Butler and Lowry are all All-Star talents, and Tyler Herro is a good offensive piece. The loss of PJ Tucker will be felt, and they appear a tad thin on the wings to me. This is a small team that can really shoot it, so they’ll be in a ton of games, but to me they aren’t in the top echelon of the East. A firm 4-5 seed
For some reason, the Heat are always slept on. Outside of the awkward 2020-21 season, they’ve consistently been one of the top teams in the league. That being said, they had a rough offseason. Losing PJ Tucker was a tough blow, and they didn’t do anything to replace him outside of drafting Nikola Jovic. They’ll still be a top-six team, but depending on the development of other squads, that could mean being closer to six than one.
The Heat are very good, and Coach Spo is always going to maximize the talent that he’s given. With that said, it feels like this group may have peaked already. Which is probably why Riley is looking to land a star (they were mentioned in the Durant and Mitchell trade talks fairly often). The problem is that they only have Tyler Herro and picks to offer up. Can they finally make a move to add another piece? If not, they might be resigned to being the “team nobody wants to face in the playoffs.”
Your turn. Are the Heat good?
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