With the midway point of the NBA season set to begin, the Miami Heat are expected to settle with their roster and not make any changes during the Trade Deadline in February. Fans and critics believe the Heat do not have enough talent to play a team like the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, or Boston Celtics in a seven-game series.
Miami might not have the big names nor incredible statistics player-for-player like other teams, but they do have overall chemistry that no other NBA has that will ultimately lead to success this season.
The Numbers Show Miami’s Success:
With a 27-10 record, the Miami Heat are sitting with the leagues’ third-best record. Preseason rankings projected Miami to be the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference at best. Exceeding expectations is an understatement for the Heat’s success early in the season.
The Heat are currently at Top 10 numbers in FG% (5th), 3PM (7th), 3P% (2nd), FTM (3rd), FTA (3rd), DREB (5th), AST (9th), and +/- (9th).
Miami’s depth comes from all sides offensively, with Jimmy Butler (20.2), Bam Adebayo (15.7), Goran Dragic (15.9), Tyler Herro (13.5), Kendrick Nunn (15.4), Duncan Robinson (11.9), and Justice Winslow (11.3) all averaging 10+ points per game.
Defects that could impact Miami’s success:
The major factor stopping Miami from not having a successful game or series is if they do not improve their turnovers per game, averaging 16.2 turnovers a game which is 28th in the league.
The Heat also need to improve on their field goal attempts per game, only averaging 84.0 FGA, tied with the Utah Jazz for the worst in the NBA.
Rebounding is something that has hurt Miami in previous years and will hurt them again if they do not get boards. The Heat are very successful when they win the rebounding battle against their opponents, having a 23-2 record when they do and a 4-8 record when they get outrebounded.
The MUST for the Miami Heat:
Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson NEED to be hot from three-point range every game. In some instances, either Herro or Robinson could have a bad night, but not both of them.
The most recent example of this is happening was on January 3rd when the Miami Heat were blown out by the Orlando Magic. Miami had easily it’s worst offensive performance of the season, shooting 37.5% (30-80) and 18.9% (7-37) from three. Tyler Herro shot 2-11 and 0-6 from three, Duncan Robinson shot 3-11, all his shots being three-pointers.
Miami’s shooting and overall performance are electrified when Herro and Robinson turn up the heat and have themselves high percentage shooting games.
When Miami does bring its A-Game shooting wise and win the rebounding battle, they are easily the best team in the Eastern Conference. Undoubtedly.
If Miami can continue to play their game defensively and stay hot offensively from deep and Bam Adebayo and the Heat bigs can continue to contribute, I believe the Heat are the favorites to not only win the Eastern Conference Championship but the NBA Championship.