The Miami Heat finished the first half of the season with a 32-27 record coming into the All-Star Break. This is not a poor record, however, more is expected from last year’s first seed in the Eastern Conference. Health has been an issue for the Heat.
Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro have all missed stretches of time this season. Herro did participate in the Starry 3-Point Contest, you can see our previous predictions for it here. This is normal for the grueling NBA schedule, however their absences have hurt the cohesion of the group. There have been inconsistencies in finding a cohesive starting lineup, causing roles to shift for the younger Heat players. The Heat are currently the seventh seed in the East and will surely be fighting to move up the ladder.
All-Star Bam Adebayo has served as an anchor for the tenacious Heat defense. Adebayo’s ability to guard all five positions has allowed for the Heat to have the second ranked defense in opposing points per game.
The Defensive Player of the Year award has been a trophy that has escaped Adebayo in previous seasons. The five-year veterans versatility and strength make him a defensive weapon unlike anyone else in the league. Adebayo currently has the third best odds of winning the award according to Vegas odds.
Adebayo’s offense has also taken a leap this season. The Kentucky product is more aggressive on offense, shooting a career high 15.7 shots a game. Adebayo has become more efficient in the midrange this season. Adebayo’s currently scoring a career high 21 ppg on a team-leading field goal percentage.
The Heat are near the bottom of the NBA in three point percentage. The team is nearly 5% lower than last years percentage at 33.3%. This was a major part of what made the Heat the top seed in the East last year. Duncan Robinson is shooting a career low 35.6% from three and has struggled getting time on the court this season. There is not a single player on the roster this year who has played at least ten games shooting 40% from three. There were five Heat players who hit this benchmark last season.
What Lies Next?
The Heat are currently only five games out of the fourth seed in the East. The team has proved themselves as an unit in seasons past and finally are healthy out of the All Star Break. The Heat bench and their ability to shoot the ball will be essential to the team’s success.
The Heat have a knack for developing late draft selections and undrafted players to be valuable role players. Max Strus and Gabe Vincent have been integral to the team, and should find their shot as the playoffs approach.
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