With the addition of Kyle Lowry this offseason, it is clear that yet again, the Miami Heat are all-in on winning a championship. The Heat have been one of the most consistent teams since their origination, making the playoffs 22 out of their 33 years as a franchise. Miami has also been to six NBA Finals winning three championships. With this current roster, the Heat will be heading into the 2021-2022 season with serious expectations. In this article, we will be looking at the Miami Heat 2021-22 season preview.
Miami Heat 2021-22 Season Preview
Recap of Last Season
The Miami Heat had a sub-par 2020-2021 regular season with a record of 40-32, finishing sixth in the Eastern Conference. The expectations for last year’s Heat team were very high based upon their run to the Finals, in the bubble, just a year prior. However, these expectations would be short-lived as the Heat stumbled through the regular season dealing with COVID protocols and a number of injuries. The Heat were once again led by their unquestioned and ferocious leader, Jimmy Butler who put together an outstanding season. Butler averaged 21.5 points, 7.1 assists, 6.9 rebounds, and a league-leading 2.1 steals per game. Along with Butler, Bam Adebayo also continued to progress and put together an amazing season. Adebayo averaged 18.7 points, 5.4 assists, and 6.7 rebounds per game.
The Heat had a solid balance of young players such as Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, and Kendrick Nunn as well as veterans in Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala. However, as the trade deadline approached it was clear that the Heat needed to add an offensive creator to compete. They did just that by adding Victor Oladipo from the Rockets in exchange for Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk. Oladipo fit in great immediately but in last season’s trend, Oladipo suffered a season-ending injury after only four games with Miami. However, as the regular season came to a close there was some belief that the Heat could make some noise in the playoffs. This was unfortunately wrong and the Heat were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Miami Heat attacked free agency head-on addressing their major weaknesses. They first added Jimmy Butler’s best friend, Kyle Lowry. Lowry will bring a number of things to the table including offensive creativity, playmaking, and point of attack defense. The next move the Heat made was acquiring P.J. Tucker. Tucker helps the Heat’s size and rebounding deficiency which hindered them against the Bucks. The last out-of-town pickup was Markieff Morris who will bring the same attributes as P.J. Tucker.
The Heat also made sure to resign their own players. They brought back Duncan Robinson, Victor Oladipo, Dewayne Dedmon, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Udonis Haslem. Both Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn decided to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers while Andre Iguodala decided to head back to Golden State. Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa were traded to Toronto as part of the Kyle Lowry sign and trade.
Expectations For Next Season
With their tremendous offseason, the Miami Heat are likely going to be competing around the top of the Eastern Conference. It will not be easy for the Heat to get to the NBA Finals with teams such as the Nets and Bucks blocking their path. However, it is always hard to bet against a Jimmy Butler and Eric Spoelstra-led team.
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