The Miami Heat was projected to be a playoff team before the season started. However, they have outdone themselves, currently sitting as the first seed in the Eastern Conference. They have a 47-27 record and should reach 50 wins on the season. Unfortunately for Heat fans, they recently lost three games, and as StatMuse points out, they played teams that had notable omissions and the Heat also had a lead in the fourth quarter in all games. Still, the Heat should not worry about their recent skid. Here are three clear reasons why Jimmy Butler, Heat's cold streak is no cause for alarm.
Reasons for Heat's confidence amid a recent cold streak
It is just three games
While the three losses were against the Sixers without James Harden and Joel Embiid, Warriors without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, and the Knicks without Julius Randle, it is just three losses in the grand scheme of things. If we look at the bigger picture, the Heat have a 9-6 record since the All-Star break. Obviously, for a 50-win team as they should be by the end of the season, going 9-6 is not good, but it is a positive record and it is absolutely no cause for alarm.
Also, one thing that has to be considered is that this is not the first time they have lost consecutive games this season. Notably, the Heat also had a three-game skid at the start of November, losing to the Nuggets, Lakers, and the Clippers, and also lost three in a row at the end of January and the start of February, dropping games versus the Celtics and twice to the Raptors. However, they have also answered both of these streaks with multiple wins in a row, meaning they can bounce back. In November, they won four in a row, and in February, they won five in a row and six in seven games before the All-Star break. Just because the nature of these losses was somewhat worse, due to the fourth quarter leads and notable absences on the opposing teams, does not mean that this will cause the Heat to drop further games.
They are a very experienced team
Usually, skids like that can make and break a younger team. Younger guys are usually dependent on the confidence that wins bring, so heartbreaking losses can cause the team to gradually lose confidence and drop games. However, the Heat are a very experienced team. Even the younger guys, like Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson have substantive experience in the NBA. They all made the Finals in 2020 with the Miami Heat, so they have a ton of basketball behind them. The two leaders of this team are Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry, both incredibly experienced guys that made the Finals in the past, with Lowry even winning the title with the Raptors in 2019.
The reason why making the Finals is so important is because, for one, that is the goal of the Miami Heat. More importantly, however, guys that have made the Finals know that it is a marathon, not a sprint. It is really not important for a squad to lose three games in a row in the regular season, whatever the circumstances may be. Obviously, they want to win all 82, but getting to the postseason and then through the rounds of the playoffs is the ultimate goal. Dropping three in a row might be a setback, but with the playoffs starting fairly soon, it is all about looking ahead to the first round and their matchup. That is something that experience brings, the ability to look over small skids over the season and to look ahead to the important part – playoffs.
Getting the first or second seed might not be that good at the end of the day
Right now, the first seed of the Eastern Conference is held by the Heat, but they might be looking to drop down, rather than keep that spot. That is due to a simple reason – the first and second seed will likely face the Raptors and the Nets, although we cannot say anything with certainty until the final standings are decided and the play-in is played. Now, the Raptors and the Nets really should not be there, in the play-in spots. The Nets just got Kyrie Irving back, and with Kyrie, Kevin Durant, and a possible return of Ben Simmons, they are definitely not a natural eighth seed. The Raptors have been on a tear in the new year, posting a 27-15 record in 2022, including eight, six, and five-game winning streaks.
Of course, all the teams are good in the postseason, but there are definitely better options than the Raptors and the Nets. They also need to win their games in the play-in to be there, but they really should not have any issues with either the Hawks or the Hornets. On the other hand, the Heat might prefer to drop all the way down to the third seed, possibly play the sixth team in the conference. Right now, the sixth seed is held by the Cavs, an opponent that has been somewhat sliding in the second part of the season. Of course, with the volatile records of the teams in question, the seeding might change dramatically by the end of the season, but looking at it now, the Heat have some better options if they are not one of the top two seeds in the East.