Miami Heat: 5 big questions for 2021-22 NBA season
The Miami Heat are poised for a revenge season. After making it to the Finals last October, they succumbed to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs last season which was a huge disappointment.
This season, they retooled their roster by acquiring Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker and a couple more veterans to upgrade both the team’s offense and defense. The Heat are arguably a top three team in the Eastern Conference but they still have certain questions to answer in order for them to cement their place in the standings.
Here are those five big questions that the Heat will face as the seasons gets underway:
Can Bam Adebayo have a career season?
It was a busy offseason for Adebayo, who spent some time with the USA Men’s Basketball team in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. This Olympic experience should do wonders for Adebayo as he was around the likes of Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Jayson Tatum and a couple more notable stars.
Will he be able to transition whatever he picked up from his Olympic experience to the regular season? There’s a path for Adebayo to have his best season yet as he is now playing with a point guard like Kyle Lowry.
Bam Adebayo is not playing around this year. He has intent to every move. This was sensational pic.twitter.com/33Ef5hCIWO
— E'Twaun Paramoore (Second Edition) (@MarcoRomo_) October 11, 2021
The Heat should hope that Adebayo is one of the candidates to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award. It would also be great for the 24-year-old to make it back to the NBA All-Star game, average consistent numbers and scratch the NBA All-Team list.
Can Jimmy Butler return to Bubble Jimmy Butler?
Butler was phenomenal during the NBA Bubble, most notably in the Finals. Can he replicate this performance for the Heat? Last season was a bit blurry for the Big Face Coffee owner as he battled through injuries and fatigue (from the shortened offseason).
Now that he’s well-rested and will have a lesser workload of bringing down and handling the ball (thanks to the addition of Lowry) Butler should be poised to have an all-star season as well.
Is Tyler Herro really THAT guy?
Over the past two seasons, the Heat have shown how much trust they’ve put on their young promising player, Herro. The 13th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft has shown flashes of what he can be.
Herro has the potential to score anywhere on the floor, shoot the three ball and even rebound, which has become his most underrated skill. Herro’s confidence is evident on the court but it’s also gotten him a ton of flack especially on social media.
Bam Adebayo became an All-Star in year 3…it’s Tyler’s turn 👀 pic.twitter.com/dCuCPMgWzS
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) October 10, 2021
In a recent podcast appearance with Bally Sports Sun: Heat, Herro was candid about where he feels he belongs in the league.
“I feel like I’m in the same conversation as those guys, the young guys coming up in the league who can be All-Stars, superstars one day,” Herro said. “Luka [Doncic], Trae [Young], Ja [Morant], those guys like that. I feel like my name should be in that category too.”
This was a huge statement to say for sure and it’s going to be up to Herro to back up his words this season.
Can Kyle Lowry consistently be that third all-star the Heat needs?
The 36-year-old will handle a lot of the playmaking for the Heat. This was the type of point guard the Heat significantly needed last season and now that Lowry is here, expect a more dynamic offense for the Heat.
The biggest question for Lowry is can he perform at a high level at his age especially come playoff time? He’s a proven champion for sure but given his age, his health is still something to monitor.
Kyle Lowry just got to MIA…thus, obviously, so is his go-to set-play : "Horns Flex".
MIA ran it twice :
• 1st play of 1st Half
• 1st play of 2nd Half…with a small adjustment to counter BOS's own adjustment.
Good play-call + execution. Smart vet team already clicking. pic.twitter.com/plQZLJhDyX
— NBEinstein (@NBEinstein) October 17, 2021
If Lowry indeed stays healthy throughout the season, the Heat will be scary good. Not only do they have all-stars who can take over games but also lockdown defenders. Miami is also led by head coach Eric Spoelstra, who is a proven elite coach especially in the playoffs. He’s going to know how to get the best out of Lowry and his team.
All the Heat and Lowry need to do is stay healthy and consistent throughout the regular season so they find themselves in a better spot come playoff time.
Can the Heat snag home court advantage?
The Heat may not be the favorites in the Eastern Conference but they should at least put notice early in the regular season that playing in FTX Arena is a nightmare for their opponents. They’re very much capable of doing that because the Heat’s home court has been an advantage for them especially come playoff time.
Their homecourt can be one of their biggest assets in the playoffs. In order for them to accomplish this, the Heat’s regular season must be decent enough so they find themselves at the top of the Eastern Conference standings and they get to host their opponents as early as the first round.