Miami Heat’s season turns to an unexpected success

Miami Heat's season turns to an unexpected success

Sporting News

Julia Kropo, Staff Reporter

At the beginning of the season, choosing Miami Heat as the Eastern Conference champions would’ve been considered crazy. In the 2018-2019 NBA season, the Heat found themselves missing the playoffs and placing tenth within the Eastern Conference. The Heat wasn’t considered a serious contender by many and was overlooked by other teams, players, and fans. But, this franchise defied the odds by putting up an impressive fight in the 2020 NBA season.

The Miami Heat is one of the NBA’s most iconic franchises. Since 1988, the Heat has showcased all stars such as Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Hardaway, and, most recently, Jimmy Butler. But ever since their title in 2013 and appearance in the NBA Finals in 2014, the franchise hasn’t been viewed as a threat within the league. 

After missing the playoffs of the 2018-2019 season Miami’s head coach, Erik Spoelstra, was determined to rebuild his team.   

The Miami Heat ultimately had a successful run in the NBA 2019-2020 season due to rebuilding their roster and all players contributing. The Heat picked up 2 key players in the summer of 2019. Over the summer, the Heat signed Jimmy Butler, a five time all star, and Tyler Herro, a sharpshooter and first round pick in the 2019 draft. 

The Heat also acquired Andre Igadola, two time member of the All-Defensive team and previous sixth man of the year, as well as Jae Crowder, a forceful power forward, just before the NBA trade deadline day. These players joined the Heat roster that already included Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, and Kendrick Nunn. 

After playing a total of 73 games, the Heat ended their regular season with 44 wins and 29 losses. The Heat’s 44-29 record not only seeded them fifth within the Eastern Conference, but also secured them a spot in the playoffs. 

Once in the playoffs, Miami took off. The Heat swept The Pacers 4-0 to make it past round one, went 4-1 to claim the win against The Buck’s in the Semifinals, and went 4-1 against Boston to claim the victory in the Eastern Conference Championship.

Even though Miami was led by all-star Jimmy Butler’s 22 point and 6 assist game average, the rest of their roster was crucial to their playoff run. Goran Dragic averaged 19 points a game while teammate Bam Adebayo respectfully contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds per playoff game. Following in their leads, three other Heat players found themselves averaging points in the double digits. By working together, this team found six of their players averaging double digits and making a strong name for the Heat. 

Erik Spoelstra explains that the contribution from his team stems from the players “love for competition and the challenge. They are here for a purpose.”

But once Miami arrived to the NBA Finals, their winning streak took a turn. Butler suffered an ankle injury in Game 1 against the Lakers which created a rocky start to the Heat’s Final’s experience. Miami lost the Finals in a series that ended in 4-2. 

From missing the playoffs the previous year to earning a spot in the NBA Finals, the Heat had a successful season. But, Jimmy Butler’s already looking ahead to next season. Butler told reporters, “I told them (his teammates) that I’d win them one and I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain, so that means I have to do it next year”.

Miami is moving past their finals loss. The Heat is now focusing on repeating their regular season and playoff success in the 2020-2021 season.