In the midst of a bounce-back year, the Miami Heat have looked like a dominant force on both ends of the court this season. Even though they've been ravaged with injuries and health and safety protocols as of late, they've still managed to hold to the no. 4 seed in the tight Eastern Conference.
As more of their key rotation players return to full strength, the Heat will have a lot going for them in the second half of what's already been a highly eventful NBA season.
Let's now take a look at a pair of 2022 New Year's resolutions for Jimmy Butler and the crew from South Beach.
Acquiring more frontcourt depth
Despite their success early into the season, a glaring weakness for the Heat still exists in the paint where they continue to get outworked by some of the bigger teams. Coach Erik Spoelstra continues to find ways to improvise a solid game plan for the Heat, but given their lack of depth at the center spot outside of Dewayne Dedmon, opposing teams have definitely had their way in the restricted area.
The additions of PJ Tucker and Markieff Morris have provided them with more firepower at the power forward spot and the emergence of KZ Okpala and Omer Yurtseven has been highly beneficial, but adding an established veteran presence at the center position would undoubtedly push them to the top.
This would also give the Heat the deepest and most complete two-way roster in the NBA. The acquisition of an offensively gifted big man who could provide them with elite rim protection, rebounding, and interior defense should definitely be among the Heat's 2022 New Year's resolutions.
Granted this may not be the easiest find, but there are definitely underutilized centers that are seeking a change of scenery. Competing for an NBA championship in South Beach would be very appealing to potential trade targets, buyout candidates, or impending free agents.
Stay healthy and COVID-free for the remainder of the season
With 10 players currently out due to health and safety protocols and injuries, the Heat's biggest goal in 2022 should be to stay healthy for the duration of the campaign. With their less-than-ideal situation, Spoelstra and company will desperately need all their key rotation players back as soon as humanly possible. After all, strength in numbers is their strong suit.
The Heat will need everyone back at full strength if they want to bounce back from a disappointing first-round exit during the 2021 NBA Playoffs. It's still early into the season and they've got plenty of time to get things back on track, but they have still held their own despite playing shorthanded over their past several games.
As they look to bring back all their guys fully healthy heading into 2o22, the Heat must do all they can to avoid running into further health issues in their relentless pursuit of an NBA championship.