Does Miami have enough ingredients to make another run at the title? The haven’t been talked about nearly as much as other Eastern Conference contenders, but a lot of the pieces are in place that we know drive teams into championship contender status. Here are a few reasons I think Miami has a chance to go all of the way.
Erik Spoelstra is by far the superior coach over Nate McMillan. This is the case not only in his coaching record, but also in his x and o’s as well.
This is not saying that McMillan is a bad coach, but Spoelstra has the ability to make use of what he has on his roster. With a career record of 660 – 453 with a winning percentage of .593 over 1113 games in 14 seasons. With his solid record over that many games I’ll place a bet on Spoelstra over McMillan. By the way, McMillan’s career record of 736 – 641 with a winning percentage of .534 over 1377 games in 18 seasons.
Also, with X’s and O’s, I think Spoelstra is better able to plan for his opponents than McMillan. Spoelstra is more willing to make changes to his rotations and lineups than most coaches. He’s willing to bench someone like Duncan Robinson, (who is getting paid $90 million on his new contract, by the way) for Max Strauss (a younger rotation player) to improve the lineup. Sometimes you have to make line up changes to help with the rotation, to help the team perform better and Spoelstra is more than willing to do so. Also. he’s willing to change his schemes, to throw off his opponents on both ends of the floor (on offense and defense).
This roster is surprisingly more deeper than we would think it is. The Heat has one of the better rosters in the League and it’s not because they drafted high either. With Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro the only Heat draft picks in the rotation (and even they are late lottery picks) the Miami Heat had to rely on getting their talent from free agency (for the most part).
Some of those that the Heat have found are players that many people miss.
The Miami Heat have built their roster with overlooked free agents mostly from the G league, overseas or cast offs from other teams and turn them into real rotation players to help their team. Guys like Gabe Vincent, Max Strauss, Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin, etc. With guys like these they have also found valuable rotation key pieces who aren’t big names but can still produce and provide depth in the rotation.
They also were able to have the big free agency signings (Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker, Kyle Lowry) to create their core that fit into their Heat culture and the Heat way. It also doesn’t hurt to take chances and flyers in players like Victor Oladipo and Markieff Morris, although not the players they once were, are all veterans who know how to play and bring experience to a team to help them along their way.
Chemistry and Teamwork
As I mentioned before with the coaching and roster, you have to find the right type of players and the right type of fit. You don’t get the number one seed in the Eastern conference for no reason. The Heat finished the season at 53-29 and a big reason for that is because of their chemistry and how well together they play on both ends of the court. Right now they are fifth in defense rating at 109.1 and are tenth in offensive rating with a rating of 113.7 .
I think a huge part of having a high rating on both ends is having good chemistry, knowing where your teammates are going to be at, trusting the system and trusting your coach. This is the key of having success in each season.
This is not particularly relating to Miami but to their opponents. The Milwaukee Bucks don’t have Kris Middleton for a while, The Philadelphia 76ers have Joel Embiid playing through an hand injury (which will limit him in some ways) and the Boston Celtics just had Robert Williams lll return from a Knee Injury. With those teams most likely to advance, each team will be hampered by someone with an injury. Despite The Heat missing Kyle Lowry ( and now Jimmy Butler), I think the Heat are the best team equipped to deal with injuries of their own, plus are most likely to benefit from the injuries of their opponents.
Now with that being said, can the Heat capitalize on their homecourt advantage and take it all the way to the finals?