News

5 Reasons the Heat were Successful this Season

In a recurring Five Reasons series, here’s a quick look at why the Miami Heat went 41-24 before the NBA eason was suspended…

1. Jimmy Butler has done exactly what Pat Riley brought him here to do.

Jimmy Butler came into this season with the Heat with a lot of doubt. Many said he came to Miami to retire. Well that discussion ended quickly when the Heat started the season with an 11-3 record. It was clear right away that Jimmy made everyone better on the court, due to his unselfishness and hunger to win.

2. Bam Adebayo stepped up as “The Guy.”

Bam Adebayo did not have much hype around his name at the start of the season, but once he got the role that he’s wanted since he’s been drafted, he flourished. He’s almost doubled his points per game from last year, while averaging three more assists and three more rebounds than he did last year. Stats don’t show what Bam has done for this Heat team though. He’s a young star that is prospering right in front of our eyes.

3. The young guys grew up quick.

After the Heat drafted Tyler Herro, there was some uncertainty if he was the right pick for this team. Well, he was. He proved in Summer League and pre-season that he had the ability to help this team win. Duncan Robinson also was a guy no one thought would be in the rotation, let alone start. He has been one of the key players for this team and has broken many Miami Heat three point records along the way. Kendrick Nunn is another guy that flourished in the Summer League, but who would’ve thought he would’ve been the starting point guard to begin the season. Well, he did and has been in the discussion of Rookie of the Year.

4. The role players had no problem accepting their roles.

As sometimes these guys don’t get as much credit, they deserve it. Goran Dragic could’ve caused problems by saying he wants to have a bigger role as he’s not getting any younger. Meyers Leonard could’ve said that he wants more of a scoring role instead of just being a spacer, spot up shooter, and floor general. But they didn’t. They want to help this team win as much as possible which is why they’re here. Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala got brought in at the deadline to have experience going into the playoffs, and they both know their roles as well. These guys are major contributors to their success.

5. Chemistry actually matters.

When you walk into the Miami Heat locker room, you can feel the connection. These guys enjoy playing and being around each other, which is actually not common. This is the reason the Heat moved on from certain players that seemed to be a cancer in the locker room. Every player on this team now has the same mentality which is that they will do anything they can to win. You can see this chemistry on the court and hold each other to a high standard, which is exactly what Pat Riley loves to see in his players.

Miami Takes Down Dallas in Bounce Back Game

The Miami Heat needed a win desperately, and they got one, looking like their early season form in a 126-118 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.

Some of the highlights…

Dallas was 13 games over .500 coming into this game and Miami needed to defend the three at a high level if they wanted to win this game. Miami was once again without Tyler Herro and Meyers Leonard who could be out for a couple more weeks at least. The Heat were hoping to find one of the bench role pieces to accept a new role, and take a more prominent role in the offense to make up for those guys not being out there.

The guys in the Heat locker room know that Jimmy Butler should be a little selfish at times and take over on the offensive side of the ball from the start of the game. Well, that’s what he did in the first quarter, leading the way with eleven first quarter points. Kendrick Nunn also began the game with confidence shooting the ball, going 2 for 2 from beyond the arc in the first quarter. The troubles in the first came by Dallas’ Tim Hardaway Jr who started the game with 8 straight points. The Heat were tied with the Mavericks 31-31 at the end of the first.

The second quarter was lead by Dragić and Olynyk off of the bench, who combined for 15 second quarter points. Derrick Jones Jr replaced Olynyk in the starting lineup tonight and it seemed to pay off. Olynyk played well with the bench group and got his three point shooting going early. Duncan Robinson also helped the Heat in the second quarter with 9 points while hitting two threes and an And 1, which gave Miami great momentum after a tough layup on Porzingis. The Heat lead at the half 63-55.

The third quarter was a bit of a turnaround for the Heat after Dallas started to make a big run. This run was made behind Dallas’ Seth Curry and Luka Doncic who combined for 25 points in the third alone. Miami kept looking for somebody to give them momentum, but with every player having a negative plus/minus in the third quarter, it was tough. If the Heat could adjust their perimeter defensive struggles in the third then Miami could win, but the Heat trailed 93-88.

Duncan Robinson led the way in the fourth quarter as well, scoring 9 points and hitting two threes. He finished the game with a very efficient 24 points with six threes. Miami, needing to make a fourth quarter run, decided the best way to do it would be spreading the ball around. Every player scored in the fourth quarter except Jones Jr, who was making himself a problem on the defensive side of the ball instead. Miami hit some big shots down the stretch of this game and won it 126-118.

This game was a much needed win due to the fact that this Heat locker room needs to bring the fun back to these games like Bam Adebayo said yesterday in practice. The Heat play with a different fire at home when they play off of the intensity of the crowd. The home crowd seems to affect their defensive intensities more than their offense at times, which is always a great thing. Butler finished the game with 26 points on 8-14 shooting from the field, which getting him back to 100% is all Miami needs. Now Miami needs to prepare for another game tomorrow night against Brooklyn for a tough back to back. A win against the Nets will give the Heat the momentum they’ve needed after a very tough stretch.

 

Miami Heat: Several factors point to a win for struggling Heat

As the Miami Heat get set to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, they will be looking to bounce back from their difficult loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. The good news for Miami is that Jimmy Butler will return to the lineup.

Butler has been out for the past two games. His loss has certainly been felt. Butler is the leading scorer for the Miami Heat with 20.6 points per contest. The last game he played in was against Atlanta. In that game, he scored 17 points. His presence on the floor as well as the energy he brings to the entire team has been sorely missed.

Miami Heat need to capitalize on opportunity

Not only will Butler return, but Minnesota star Karl-Anthony Towns will be out for Wednesday’s game. Leading the team in scoring with 26.5 points per game and rebounds with 10.8, he does it all. His well-rounded game is certainly an asset for Minnesota.

With the Timberwolves coming into Wednesday night’s action at 16-40 , they need a win badly themselves. Minnesota has lost 18 of the last 19 games, and is currently on a five-game losing streak.

All of the stars are aligning for Miami to have a bounce-back game on Wednesday. Especially with Miami’s key player coming back and Minnesota losing one, this is a perfect chance to get back on the right track. Miami has struggled after the All- Star Break.

Thankfully, they are playing at home. They have had tremendous success in their friendly confines, posting a 23-3 record.

Miami should be able to count on solid production from Bam Adebayo and Butler against Minnesota. Adebayo in particular has been playing strongly. He will need to have a repeat performance from Monday. The Miami Heat need this win in order to keep pace in the Eastern Conference.

They have to take advantage of opportunities that they are given. No superstar for Minnesota is certainly opens the door for a victory. Butler coming back allows this offense to have more of a rhythm and flow to it. Hopefully, Butler’s return will lead to success, and more cohesiveness on the floor.

Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler out against Cavaliers on Saturday

A key member of the Miami Heat will not play tonight. Jimmy Butler is not going to be in the lineup against the Cavaliers for personal reasons. It is not injury related and it is not related to his newborn child.

Butler has been a workhorse for the Miami Heat this season. He has recorded 20.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He has also managed to be an apt playmaker. Recording 6.2 assists per contest, he had nine in Thursday night’s loss to Atlanta.

This is a tough break for a Miami Heat team that will be looking to bounce back from the loss to the Hawks. They are facing a Cavaliers team that has had a tough go of things. They are the 15th in the Eastern Conference with a 15-40 record. Most recently, they beat the Washington Wizards 113-108.

Miami Heat look to bounce back

This is a big game for Miami as they look to keep pace with the rest of the Eastern Conference. The leading scorer in Miami’s last game was Bam Adebayo. He had 28 points and 19 rebounds. The All-Star will look to continue stuffing the statsheet on Saturday night.

Saturday night is also a special evening as the Miami Heat will retire Dwayne Wade’s jersey. Wade is a Miami legend, and it is great to see him getting his due on Saturday. Saturday also marks the three-year anniversary of the trade that sent Wade from the Cleveland Cavaliers to Miami.

As you may recall, Wade’s tenure in Cleveland was an effort to get as many star possible players around Lebron James as possible. Unfortunately for both parties, it did not work out as expected.

Saturday should work out much better for Wade and the Miami Heat as it should be a fun celebration of an iconic figure in the Miami sports scene. Tipoff is set for 8 PM.

Jimmy Butler takes his new Heat culture to Chicago

The media were waiting for Jimmy Butler in Chicago.

Butler, after all, make his name here — rising from 30th overall pick to Most Improved Player, All-Star, and maximum salary candidate player, even though he would have to go elsewhere to get that last reward.

Now Butler is back, as a member of the Miami Heat and of team Giannis in the 2020 All-Star Game.

He was a few minutes late getting to the podium Saturday for his scheduled availability but, once he did, he did not disappoint.

Here are a few of Butler’s more illuminating and/or amusing thoughts on his transition to the Heat and more.

First, the arrival….

Next, the deep thoughts on the changes to the All-Star Game.

He’s been, um, racking his brain about this one…

Then, on the Heat’s plan after the break…

His assimilation to the Miami culture…

What he has learned about Miami Heat president Pat Riley…

More on the Heat as they chase a home court seed…

How he feels about being a villain….

More praise for his All-Star and Heat teammate, Bam Adebayo…

And of course, the continued taunting of Philadelphia 76er fans..

Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo selected to All-Star Game

The Miami Heat will be sending two representatives to the All Star Game in Chicago. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will both be there, as the reserves were announced Thursday night.

For Butler, this will be his fifth All-Star appearance. Adebayo will be appearing in the game for the first time.

Butler is having a great year for Miami. Many thought he was snubbed for not being a starter, with the selections taking place last week. On the season, Butler is  averaging 20.2 points per contest to go along with 6.9 rebounds per game and 6.4 assists per game.

Both are thriving for Miami Heat

Butler’s impact goes beyond the statistics sheet however. He is a veteran on a youthful basketball team. While the team itself may have flaws, Butler has helped carry this group and masked those deficiencies. By all accounts, it seems like he is embracing the role of being a leader. His guidance is allowing Miami to stay in the hunt for a top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. In what has been an overachieving year for the team, he has led the way.

Adebayo is having a tremendous year himself. He is averaging 16 points per game on the season to go along with 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest. The rebounds, assists, and points are all career-highs for him. He has established himself as a dependable player for Miami. Miami has been waiting for him to have this type of year ever since he came into the league in 2017.

Now, it appears he is delivering. Not only that, Adebayo looks extremely comfortable within the offense.

With two Miami representatives in the game, there will certainly be something for Heat fans to watch. In what should be a fun weekend overall, these selections give the game a little extra meaning for players and fans alike.

Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler Snubbed as All-Star Game starter

The Miami Heat star will not be a starter for the All-Star Game.

Jimmy Butler will almost certainly represent the Miami Heat in the 69th edition of the All-Star Game. Held at the United Center in Chicago Illinois, this will be a homecoming of sorts for him.

However, he will not be a starter. Instead, unless Joel Embiid’s injury keeps him out of the contest — opening a spot in the frontcourt — he will be a reserve.

He played at the United Center frequently as a member of the Chicago Bulls from 2011-2017. Drafted by the Bulls with the 30th overall pick in 2011, he had great success while there.

Butler has been having a career year, and it has shown with how well the Miami Heat have played. In 38 games, he has averaged 20.3 points per game. Averaging seven rebounds and 6.5 assists per contest, he is bringing a multifaceted game to the table.

He is also bringing veteran leadership to a roster full of youth. The Miami Heat have several young players that that could turn out to be cornerstones for the franchise. Right now, it is all about development. Butler has been instrumental in helping the team succeed on the court. The fact that he is not a starter for the All-Star Game is surprising. Charles Barkley was surprised with how voting went.

More Barkley here.

It’s strange to hear him stand up for anyone on the Heat, considering the constant jabs he always took at Dwyane Wade.

For Butler, once he’s selected, it will be his fifth All-Star game. He was selected to be a part of the 2018 All-Star Game while with Philadelphia. However, he elected to rest instead as he was battling with injuries.

The Miami Heat are sitting pretty in the Eastern Conference. They are second in the conference, only to the Milwaukee Bucks. With a 27-12 record they have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season. The fact that he was sixth in player voting was surprising as well. However, Barkley offered a reason for why that occurred.

Butler should have been a starter for this game, in light of the Heat’s success and his role in it. Nevertheless, the fact that that he will be a reserve is at least some sort of silver lining. It’s certainly unfortunate, but Butler could use this as more motivation.

And what about Bam Adebayo joining Butler as a reserve, as he should?

We’ll find out next week.

Miami Heat Need the Three Against Knicks on Sunday

The Miami Heat need to shoot better from deep on Sunday.

The Miami Heat are set to take on the New York Knicks in what is going to be a bounce back game for Miami. One thing is for certain: If the Miami Heat want to beat the Knicks on Sunday, they need to be more efficient from three-point range.

In Friday’s loss against the Brooklyn Nets, Miami struggled from deep. They went seven-of-29 from beyond the arc. By comparison, the Nets went 15-of-44 from deep. That equaled out to a 34.1 three-point percentage.

The starting lineup was not efficient shooting the three ball. Duncan Robinson was the most productive for Miami. He went two-of-six from beyond the arc, finishing with eight points on the evening.

Interestingly enough, the bench did a bit better with their opportunities. James Johnson went two-of-two from beyond the arc and finished with six points in 12 minutes of play. Goran Dragic had a rough evening, going two-of-seven from deep.

The numbers bode well for Miami Heat

The three-point shot is undoubtedly the bread and butter of Miami’s offense. They are second in the league in three-point conversion percentage. Shooting at a 37.6 % rate, that puts them only second to Utah.  Over their last three games, they have been pretty consistent with the shot, shooting at a 36.9% clip.

New York is last in the entire NBA in opponent three-point field goal percentage. Their opponents have been converting at a 38.8% rate.  Things haven’t been much better for them over the past three games. They have been susceptible from long range, allowing opponents to convert on 43.6% of their tries. This is great news for Miami, and should allow for plenty of good looks for the shooters.

If Miami wants to beat New York on Sunday, getting more production from the starting lineup is crucial for a victory. This team plays much better when everyone contributes.  Miami needs to make sure they convert from beyond the arc, and put behind the poor performance in Brooklyn. If they can do that, a win is certainly in their future.

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat blow kisses to TJ Warren on social media

The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers aren’t exactly the best of friends.

This has been the case for years. Remember Udonis Haslem and Lance Stephenson? And LeBron James and Lance Stephenson? And Ray Allen and Lance Stephenson? And Juwan Howard and Lance Stephenson?

OK, you get it. There was some stuff with David West and Danny Granger too.

Things got a little chippy between the two teams again on Wednesday night, with Jimmy Butler and T.J. Warren had an exchanging of pleasantries during the Miami Heat’s 122-108 win over the Indiana Pacers. Butler had a great night, scoring 14 points on five-of-six shooting from the field. He also made all four free throws he attempted, and recorded six rebounds.

Warren had a rough night to say the least. He went one-of-five from the field and made one of two attempts from the free throw line. He had three points in 23 minutes of play. Warren was also a -25 while he was on the floor. When these two teams meet again on March 20, things should be interesting.

Miami leads the season series by a 2-0 margin. Prior to this game, they met on December 27 at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won narrowly, 113-112. The series is certainly trending in the right direction, particularly since the Pacers won the last three meetings prior to Miami winning the pair.

Friday, March 20 should be a whole lot of fun. That is the next time the Heat and Pacers will face off. Bankers Life FieldHouse will be the venue, and  it will set the stage for a Butler-Warren rematch.

If Warren shows up.

Maybe not if someone shows him social media from tonight.

It’s safe to say that Jimmy Butler is looking forward to this matchup. His post on Instagram said it all. Derrick Jones Jr., who played with Warren in Phoenix in 2017-18 also added his two cents on Twitter in regards to Wednesday night. Meyers Leonard did the same.  One thing is for certain: There is certainly no love lost between these two teams.

There is no doubt that his words with Warren ignited a competitive fire. That’s the type of Jimmy Butler we love to see. There is little doubt that he will be booed when Miami travels to Indiana. However, that will undoubtedly fuel the fire for him to play even harder. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out, and if the tensions increase in subsequent matchups.

Because all the Heat players appear to be firmly on Butler’s side, including the rookies:

And the veterans:

Handicapping the Miami Heat’s 3-Game Trip

The Miami Heat are playing great basketball. It feels almost like a return to the days of old,  back when the Big 3 were in town, even if they don’t have the front line starpower.

 

Now, the Heat are healthier than they have been — with Jimmy Butler and possibly Justise Winslow returning — and are firmly entrenched in the top three, we a two-game lead on the No. 4 Toronto Raptors and a full three games on the Philadelphia 76ers, who had fallen into a terrible slump prior to beating Oklahoma City.

 

After a five-win stretch, which included sweeping their 4-game home stretch against the Knicks, Jazz, Indiana, and Sixers, the Heat have gone lose-win-lose-win over their last four. They have the Indiana Pacers coming up again on Wednesday in Indiana, and then a trip to New York brings aways games against the Nets on Friday and the Knicks on Sunday.

 

It’s funny because the Heat has beaten Utah, Indiana, Philadelphia, and Toronto since December 23rd, and still the power rating algorithms are a bunch of haters. Miami is No. 3 in the NBA standings and beat these teams, but still, the predictive power ratings have them rated back at No.11. Toronto is rated at No. 7, Philly is rated at No. 9, and Utah is rated at No. 10. Ok. So what gives?

 

I guess the Heat will just have to go and beat these teams – and other top teams – again and we’ll see if they get any love in the power rankings.

 

Heat vs. Pacers | Wednesday 7 PM ET @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse

 

The Indiana Pacers just lost to the Heat in Miami, but now the boys have to go and prove themselves up in Indiana. Both teams are good on defense. The Heat allows just 107.28 and the Pacers let 106.16 points by per game. On offense, Miami puts up 111.11 against Indiana’s 109.46. So, on any given night, these two teams are very evenly matched.

But the Heat’s road offense is scoring around five points fewer per game than their overall average. Out on the highway, they score 106.17, which is the No. 21 road offense. The Pacers put up 111.21 per game at home which is the No. 18 home offense. Home vs. Away defense shows the Pacers improving to 104.7 points per game allowed, and the Heat falling to 110.11.

 

So, we could see the Pacers coming in as significant home favorites on the NBA odds offered at sportsbookreview.com. If the point differential is any indicator, we could technically see a spread of around 10 points. However, I would expect the handicappers to go with straight-up averages and cap this game out to be around 105 for the Heat and 111 for the Pacers.

 

If this is the case, and the point spread is set with the Heat +6, hop on it because they very well could win this one outright.

 

Heat vs. Nets | Friday 7:30 PM @ Barclay’s Center

 

Since we have already gone over Miami’s road stats, we’ll just stick with Brooklyn here. The Nets put up 109.63 per game at home, which falls right in line with Miami’s defensive numbers. So, that is the score we should expect from the Nets; roughly 107 to 109. However, they are not as good on the defensive front as the Pacers and allow 109 and change to go up on the visiting team’s scoreboard in Brooklyn. This one should come down to a pretty close game, but the personnel matchup favors Miami. Remember, we beat the Nets in Brooklyn last time around, 109-106. I predict a similar outcome in for this meeting.

 

 

Heat vs. Knicks | Sunday, 3:30 PM @ Madison Square Garden

 

The Heat have beaten the Knicks in seven of the last 10 meetings in the three most recent, the Heat have smoked the Knicks 3-0 by an average score of 111.67 to 101. The last time these two played was on December 20th when Miami smashed New York 129 to 114.

 

The Heat might not get the road sweep. But they very well might. I think they at least go two of three for the remainder of the week. They’ll keep their win ratio rolling and stay at the top of the Eastern Conference.