The Miami Heat have had their ups and downs throughout this shortened season. They started out the season hot, but took a bit of a dive post-all star break after some unfortunate injuries.
They played great against the top teams including Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia, and more. But they also struggled against many bottom tier teams which seemed to be their downfall. Playing down to their competition is the best way to explain it.
They also had a major trade before the trade deadline that added two veteran talents in Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala. This definitely takes some time to find the right chemistry and camaraderie both on and off the floor.
Through all of this, they managed to reach the four seed in the East with a 41-24 record. Well, these are some of the stats that may have lead to this winning record.
1. The Miami Heat were 28-12 when Bam Adebayo scored 15 or more.
It’s been said over and over throughout the season, Bam needs to trust himself as much as his teammates and fans do. He has proven he can score above the rim, in the paint, and has even showed flashes of a mid-range. But at the end of the day, he’s a born play-maker. He’s a point guard in a centers body with his passing and court vision skills, which is why he feels much more comfortable with that part of his game than with a jump-shot. But in many instances, we need Bam to be the aggressive offensive player that we all know he can be. When Bam scores 15 points or more, they have a 70% win percentage, which shows his offensive game is second to none.
2. Miami is 13-3 when Tyler Herro hits 3 or more threes.
Tyler Herro was drafted first and foremost for his outstanding shooting abilities, but the question was how long it take for him to translate his game to the NBA. That didn’t take long after he put on a shooting display in both Summer League and preseason. He’s also one of those players that once he gets going, he’s hard to stop. This is because of the confidence that he has every time he steps out on the floor. Once he hits 3 triples in a game, the opposing teams defense changes to make sure they double team and close out when he has the ball. This opens up the offense to others to attack the basket which then translates to many good team wins.
3. When Jimmy Butler distributes 6 or more assists, the Heat are 24-9.
It’s pretty clear that Jimmy Butler is the heart and soul of this Miami Heat team. He proved his leadership in Miami that was deemed cockiness and arrogance in his last few teams. The difference is that the Heat guys get it. They want to win just as bad as Jimmy does, which leads to Jimmy’s belief in his teammates. He has shown time and time again that his first offensive option is to get his teammates involved as much as he can. This obviously translates to wins since the Heat have a 73% win percentage when Butler plays as the outstanding play-maker that he is.
4. The Heat are 34-15 when Meyers Leonard starts.
It seems as if Meyers Leonard doesn’t get the credit that he should for this Heat team’s success. He has proven to be one of the team’s most important leaders for his voice on and off of the court. And as said before, his ability to stretch the floor against other bigs, gives Bam the spacing he needs to attack the rim. He also helps Bam with big defensive assignments since Bam thrives on perimeter defense. Meyers Leonard is the perfect fit for this team and continues to showcase his winning mentality that he’s had his whole career.
5. Miami is 14-3 when Duncan Robinson shots over 60% from three.
Duncan Robinson is one of the best three point shooters in the NBA and is number 5 in three point percentage. He seems to shoot the three ball at a high clip almost every night, but when he’s hitting 60% of his threes, the team is far from easy to contain. Especially with the off ball movement that Duncan displays seems to tire out defenses much faster. It’s pretty hard to be shooting the percentage that Duncan does since he’s shooting about 8 threes a game. The Heat will need him to uphold this three point dominance, since it seems to be pretty effective with winning Miami Heat basketball.