3 reasons the Miami Heat won’t win the 2022 NBA Championship
Right on the first day of NBA free agency, the Miami Heat made a ton of noise by signing Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker from their Eastern Conference rivals. Additionally, they resigned Duncan Robinson massive contract extension and made sure to keep Jimmy Butler as the face of the franchise for the long run.
Despite losing Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn in the process, fans are also expecting a massive leap for third-year stud Tyler Herro.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra is hoping to rekindle the success the Heat had in the bubble. However, that is easier said than done given the number of talents in the East–with Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks favored to win the conference.
Despite the Heat culture and rugged defensive capabilities, here are the three main reasons on why Miami will not win the championship this season.
3. The Heat Have A Shortage Of Offensive Options
On the defensive side of the floor, the Heat have no problem because they can switch everything and not create mismatches against the other powerhouse teams. With Butler being the go-to-guy of the squad, he is a terrific asset for Spoelstra because of his skillset and improved jumper.
However, Lowry’s offensive production has already dwindled from his peak seasons with the Toronto Raptors. Moreover, Tyler Herro experienced a sophomore slump, while Victor Oladipo’s downfall has been just unfortunate for him. Adebayo is not expected to average 25 points per game for Miami because he is tasked more to anchor the defensive end.
Jimmy Butler imitating Markieff Morris dribbling the ball 🤣 pic.twitter.com/Gw4kRwJz28
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 15, 2021
In a seven-game series, opposing coaches are able to scout every single player from the other team. With the lack of offensive options when defenses lock them down, the Heat may have a difficult time manufacturing offense and racking up points on the board. Defense is just one side of the floor, but they need someone like Herro or Robinson to average close to 20 points to expand the options for the South Beach franchise.
2. Lack Of Depth
Miami has one of the strongest first units in the NBA. A Starting 5 of Lowry, Robinson, Butler, Tucker and Adebayo is just plain scary. Simply put, they have a plethora of options on both offense and defense.
However, it is their bench that has a ton of question marks–and each must be addressed before playoff time.
Herro should be able to provide that scoring punch off the bench, while Dewayne Dedmon and Markieff Morris should be able to bring toughness to the second unit.
Other than the three reliable individuals, though, the other role players of the team have to really step up. Heat president Pat Riley will have to work his magic over the course of the season and add a few pieces that would solidify their case as a championship contender.
Since that has not happened yet, it will be difficult to predict the outlook for Miami, especially if they incur injuries to their stars.
Tyler Herro with the long-distance dime to Jimmy Butler on ESPN 2 🎯 pic.twitter.com/Zja3bJ9nYK
— NBA (@NBA) October 15, 2021
1. Slow Starts Is A Recipe For Disaster For The Heat
The Heat are known to start off slow in most seasons. In fact, in 2020-21 alone, they won just seven of their first 20 games. Meanwhile, in the final 20 contests, they reversed things registered a 13-7 record to finish sixth in the East with a 40-32 record.
However, with numerous teams improving in the offseason, Miami cannot afford to start off in the wrong foot once again.
The Boston Celtics are expected to avoid the play-in tournament this season. The Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls are more than capable of cracking a play-in berth or a top six spot in the Eastern Conference. Not to mention the likes of the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, who should both be in contention for a Top 4 seed once again.
With that said, if the Heat continues their old habits and start off slow, they could slide down to seventh or eighth and increase the risk of being eliminated right away in the play-in tournament.
As Butler and Adebayo continue to lead the charge for Miami, it will an entertaining season for the team from South Beach. Nonetheless, it will definitely not be an easy road.