The Miami Heat will head into the 2020-21 season with lofty expectations after a trip to the NBA Finals. The good news is that Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra will be working with a healthy roster in this year’s training camp after a very short offseason for Miami. They will be running it back this season with almost all of their players returning from last season.
Miami Heat Season Preview
Recap of Last Season
The Heat had a solid regular season last year after landing their star player Jimmy Butler in free agency. They finished with a 44-29 record last year and earned the fifth-seed in the Eastern Conference. Butler’s presence and leadership for the Heat made them a formidable basketball team last year.
Aside from that, Miami had a nice balance of young players such as Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Kendrick Nunn as well as veterans like Goran Dragic and Kelly Olynyk. They also gained two more veteran players in Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala last season before the trade deadline. Furthermore, the emergence of their sharpshooter Duncan Robinson has made him an important piece to the Heat puzzle.
When the Playoffs rolled around last year, Miami took their team play up a notch. The Heat swept the Indiana Pacers, took down the Milwaukee Bucks in five games, and then defeated the Boston Celtics in six games to reach the Finals. Not many basketball fans expected Miami to come out of the Eastern Conference. However, the Los Angeles Lakers were too much for the Heat to handle and fell to them in six games. Miami dealt with some injuries in the Playoffs last season. The injuries to Dragic and Adebayo came at an inopportune time for the Heat.
As mentioned before, the Heat will have almost all of their players back from last year. The notable departures for the Heat during this year’s free agency are Crowder (who signed with the Phoenix Suns) and Derrick Jones Jr. (who signed with the Portland Trail Blazers).
The important thing for the Heat was that they were able to re-sign Dragic in free agency. He played a big part in the team’s success last year. Later on, they added free agents Avery Bradley and Maurice Harkless. In this year’s NBA Draft, the Heat drafted Precious Achiuwa from Memphis to bolster their frontcourt.
Miami was a strong offensive team loaded with three-point shooters. However, they were an average defensive team last year. With these new additions, the Heat will be better defensively.
Expectations for the Miami Heat
After making an NBA Finals appearance last year, there are lofty expectations for this year’s Heat team. They will look to redeem themselves this year after a bitter end to their season. However, their path to make another Finals appearance will be harder than last year since the East became much more competitive after what transpired during the offseason. For starters, we will see a much stronger Atlanta Hawks team after their free agency signings as well as a stronger Brooklyn Nets team that will get their stars back healthy at the start of this season. Furthermore, familiar foes such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee, and Boston will likely stand in their way.
While there is no doubt that the Heat will be contenders in the East this season, however, Miami may start sluggishly after a shortened offseason. But once this Heat team hits their stride, they are a dangerous team to play against. The Heat will play their two preseason games before opening their season against the Orlando Magic on December 23rd.
Miami Heat Season Prediction: 45-27
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