How the Miami Heat jumped from the 8th seed to one game away from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. This remarkable feat was achieved through the Heat’s stellar defensive play, a commitment to team-oriented basketball play, and Head Coach Erik Spoelstra’s leadership.
The East Is Experiencing HEAT
After a topsy-turvy regular season, the 44-38 Miami Heat won a berth in the NBA Play-in Tournament. From there, the Heat lost to Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Faced with a win-or-go-home mentality in the second round. Playoff Jimmy Butler and Max Strus combined for 62 points in a crucial win over DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls 102-91.
Heat Take Down One-Seeded Bucks
With the play-in tournament behind them, Miami would now prepare to face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. As a result of an apparent butt injury, Giannis suffered a setback in game one, while the Bucks paid the price with their superstar missing the next two games.
Despite the injury, Giannis still played a pivotal role in this series. However, the number one seed in the Eastern Conference proved no match for Jimmy Butler and the 8th seed Miami Heat. Who won the series? 4 games to 1, the Heat advanced to the second round of the playoffs, where they now lead the series against the New York Knicks 3 games to 1.
The Heat last made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020. This was when they defeated the Boston Celtics inside the bubble to advance to the NBA Finals. Where they, unfortunately, lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Three years later, the Heat look to rewrite history and win an NBA championship.
But first, they must beat the New York Knicks. So far, the Heat have been successful on their journey, leading the series 3-1. Now the Heat have the chance to win the series in the Garden on Wednesday. It’ll be a battle for the ages, and the outcome will determine the Heat’s fate.
Heat-Knicks Series Analysis
Throughout the four games, Miami has clearly been the superior team. However, the Knicks are a resilient team and have a home-court advantage. It will be a challenge for the Heat to close out the series and move on to the next round. In times of adversity, teams put their best foot forward. It’s win or go home, and no one wants to be the odd man out.
If the Heat defeat the Knicks and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, they will play the winner of the Boston Celtics versus Philadelphia 76ers series. Which is currently tied at two games apiece. The Heat have a 2-2 record against the Celtics and a 1-1 record against the 76ers this season. If they make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, they will not have a home-court advantage in the series.
Final Thoughts on Miami’s Run
Home-court advantage or not, this Miami team is built for adversity. They have the talent and experience to outlast any challenge that comes their way. The Heat have fought hard all season and will be ready for the challenge. It will be an exciting series to watch regardless of who they play against.
Both play-in teams from the 2020 NBA Finals are on the verge of competing for another NBA Championship. The Heat and Lakers have the potential to make it to the Finals, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.