Miami’s Heating Up. Can The Miami Heat Make a Run in this Very Difficult Eastern Conference?
Things weren’t working out at first for the Miami Heat.
They had lost the previous Eastern Conference Finals the season before to an unfortunate miss by Jimmy Butler to almost win the game against the Boston Celtics. They carried that jet lag into their offseason, not picking up any new additions and losing someone solid within their core in PJ Tucker to the Philadelphia 76ers.
We saw Jimmy test some new haircuts in the offseason, and with him seeming slimmer than ever, we thought we’d see a similar result the following year. We also lost the 6th man of the year in Tyler Herro, so his return this season was very promising, to say the least. An Erik Spoelstra-led unit has never failed to impress, as sold-out seats in the Heat Arena are usually expected in Miami.
Well, the Heat got out to a rough start. With them starting 4-7, you could see they weren’t the same. The shooting was erratic and inconsistent. Newly picked-up draftees were making little to no ripple. And Jimmy Butler, who once seemed to be a tank on the court, was now playing a more off-ball passive role in the offense letting Kyle Lowry control the team.
We could easily see the apparent difficulties on the defensive side after the loss of PJ as Miami was giving up a ton of second-chance points opportunities which was too hard for the team to stomach. Spoelstra seemed frustrated and tired from the look in his eyes, and it seemed like this team was on its way to entering the “Wembanyama Sweepstakes” to try to acquire the next year’s head star in the NBA draft.
Well, the Miami Heat has been proving me and others wrong. And they seem to be back.
The Miami Heat’s Recent Performances Speak Volumes
In their last few outings, they’ve been dominating. With two big wins against the Charlotte Hornets and a win last night against former Western Conference leaders in the Phoenix Suns, this Heat team has put up at least 113 points in their last three games, and I think they’re finally picking up where they are supposed to be.
With their shooter in Max Strus scoring over 30 against the Hornets, and their Kentucky big in Bam Adebayo collecting 30 himself against an elite big on the Suns in Deandre Ayton, I think this squad is gelling together through great coaching led by Spoelstra, and I think the playoffs are once again highly probable in Miami.
We can’t also stop to forget “Jimmy Buckets” had 35 in their first meeting with Charlotte, along with six steals to look like the vintage playoff Jimmy we’re used to seeing.
At their best, this team proves to be a contender. With loaded potential in the shooting department, savvy veterans, and ball-hawking half-court defense, this team can definitely cause trouble for other giants in the Eastern Conference.
With still a need at the power forward position, you know Pat Riley’s Miami Heat is always in the mood to make a big splash for a star. With rumors of them currently trying to acquire New York’s forward in Julius Randle, this could bolster the Heat into a new category amongst the ranks and limit their errors in the rebounding department we mentioned earlier.
Other Miami Heat News
Other news unrelated to the performance of the team is the recent removal of the name of the arena. With the previous company going out of business, other companies are trying to capitalize on an opportunity to brand the most prestigious team in South Florida.
While an offer from one of the biggest adult entertainment companies in the industry does match up most likely with the demographic of the locals, I don’t think Miami Heat organization would like to soil its name for a partnership that would just bring bad chatter and overall laughter throughout the league if such a deal was permitted.
Overall from a betting perspective relative to this team’s performance, I’d expect Miami to win at least 3 of their next five outings, taking both against Washington and potentially defeating Toronto and Minnesota, with Cleveland being their toughest opponent in that time span.
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