It would be fair to say that the Miami Heat has had an eventful season so far with a mixture of disappointing losses and impressive wins, all of which has seemingly proved that the Heat is not only capable of beating anybody, but losing to anyone too.
Frustrated fans are already having to sit through more clutch games than any other team, with the crowd on the edge of their seats right until the final buzzer in more games than they’d like. It might be great value for money but it’s not how championships are won.
The recent loss 104-100 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Miami-Dade Arena, saw a mixture of mistakes and poor form that ultimately cost them victory. Not only did the Heat commit a season-high 24 turnovers, which the Cavaliers gratefully turned into 29 points, but their three-point shooting struggles continued.
The loss was all the more disappointing after they looks like they’d got their season back on track with two wins against the Atlanta Hawks and leaves their hopes of making the playoffs look more and more unlikely, according to the latest NBA finals odds.
Stand Out Players
Despite their up-and-down form, the Heat still have some great players, but they will need every single one of them to stand up and be counted as they head into the season’s home stretch.
Bam Adebayo – Center-Forward
The standout player for the Miami Heat this season, Adebayo leads the team in points (21.2), rebounds (9.5), and assists (3.2) per game. His performances earnt him a spot in the NBA All-Star game for only the second time in his career, with the center the only Miami player to make the cut.
In December against the Washington Wizards, Adebayo recorded a triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. He also dominated the Hawks in March with 30 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks. That performance Adebayo broke LeBron James’ record for most 30/10 games in a season for the Heat.
Tyler Herro – Shooting Guard
Tyler Herro has been another key player for the Miami Heat this season, averaging a career-high 20.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Herro has also shown his quality in tight matches, scoring 27 points in a game against the Golden State Warriors in November to lead the Heat to victory.
Only turning 23 back in January this year, Herro has definitely made an impression since being drafted in 2019 and is starting to reach the All-Star level he talked about achieving at the start of last season.
His stand-out performance this season came in December 2022 in a game against the Houston Rockets. The Heat was without Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry but Herro stepped up to record a career-high 41 points with a franchise record-tying 10 3-pointers. He also became the first Heat player since LeBron James to have consecutive 35-point performances.
Kyle Lowry – Point Guard
The veteran Kyle Lowry has been a solid addition to the Miami Heat this season, bringing leadership and experience to the team. While his form has been inconsistent, much like his Miami’s, there have been some standout performances. Not least the 100-96 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans with Lowry registering 17 points and two assists. He also scored or assisted on 11 straight points late in the fourth quarter to steer the heat home.
Jimmy Butler – Small Forward
Since arriving in Miami in 2019, nobody in the NBA has more pick-six steals than Butler, and there’s no doubt the Heat miss him when he’s not on the court. His record-breaking performance in their tightly contested 112-111 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in January, saw a game-winning performance from the small forward. Butler’s much-needed three-point play with 12.9 seconds left him 23 for 23 from the free throw line and tied the second-most makes without a miss in NBA history, one behind James Harden.
What Miami has to do to make the playoffs
The team needs to cut out the sloppy play and silly mistakes and get some consistency back in their performances. An improvement in their record on the road will also be required if they are to make the postseason.
Several key players have been missing at important times this season, including arguably the best turnover crew in the league, Jimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo. Tyler Hero, Kevin Love, Gabe Vincent, and Kyle Lowry have all been key absentees too. If the Heat can keep their key players fit, they have a chance.
The Heat were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season and the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the NBA. Fast forward to March 2023 and Miami rank No. 27 in the three-point shooting. If they can get back to anything like last season’s stats for three-pointers, confidence and will results will soon turn around.
As Jimmy Butler put it back in February following a tough 103-108 loss to Charlotte: “I’m tired of losing… “We’ve got to figure this out very, very quickly.”