Photo From SB Nation.
These NBA playoffs have been very different from ones we have seen in the past, I mean how can’t it be? We are still in the midst of a global pandemic. We have been presented with a lot of surprises during this bubble, the LA Clippers got knocked out, neither of the top two teams in the east made the Eastern Conference Finals, multiple coaches have switched up, and we aren't even done yet. The Miami Heat, who are known as the underdogs, are making an appearance in the NBA Finals after what seemed to be a pretty ideal playoff run. What is making Miami Heat so successful in the playoffs?
Miami Heat has exceeded all expectations since arriving in the NBA Bubble. After missing the playoffs last season, they made a few changes and it is definitely working. During free agency the Heat landed Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade, they acquired Tyler Herro at pick 14 during the 2019 NBA Draft, gathered two undrafted free agents Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson, picked up Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala at the expense of Justice Winslow, all while still having reliable leaders Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic. Before the start of this season, there was more talk about another chance for Miami to gain more talent, thinking they still needed more to be considered a championship team, but they proved they had enough talent to be taken seriously during this NBA season.
As the NBA Finals approach against the LA Lakers, I think we can all agree that we are all surprised that this is the finals series we will be watching. The Heat have looked very dominant as they swept the Pacers in round one with their switch on defense, figured out how to limit Giannis and the Bucks to win only one game, and implemented a 3-2 zone defense in the ECF to beat the Boston Celtics 4-2. Their 12-3 playoff record backs up every single thing they are doing in the playoffs.
The Heat seems to be thriving in the Bubble considering it is a very different and difficult environment to just be thrown in for a large amount of time. It helps that they are all close and make sure to always have a good time together. It seems like they are just where they want to be at the exact time they want to be there. In other words, peaking at the right time.
Jimmy Butler has made such a big impact his first season with the Heat, averaging 20.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists during this postseason. It's safe to say he is the leader of the team and is doing a great job facilitating the offense. The same can be said for veteran Goran Dragic who boosted his stats during this postseason raising them to 20.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists during this playoff run. The next player we obviously have to give credit to is Bam Adebayo, he has been so amazing this whole season, and even more amazing this postseason as he averages 18.5 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. Rookie Tyler Herro has also had an unbelievable rookie season as he averages 16.5 points this postseason which is 3.0 more than he has been during the regular season, along with 5.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. This team has so much talent, I can go down the list one by one and talk about all their accomplishments this postseason but those four players I covered before have been standout players during the playoffs to me. Duncan Robinson, Jae Crowder, and Andre Iguodala are some of the other players that have been a great help during this postseason. The chemistry this team has, I think is the best we have seen this season and that starts with the friendships and chemistry off the court that is translated to situations on the court.
I am super excited to see what these finals hold and hoping Miami Heat can pull through. It's definitely going to be a challenge. The LA Lakers and Lebron James have shown a great amount of strength during this season and have accomplished more than enough to scare the Heat. But the Heat seems cool and collected as leader Jimmy Butler expresses how he doesn't “consider the Heat underdogs.”
What do you think? Does Miami have a chance? Should they be more scared than they are? Do the Lakers have any worries? Should they have any worries?