A few short weeks ago, they were looking down the barrel of a missed postseason just a year after going heartbreakingly close to making the NBA Finals for the second time in three years. After a loss to the Atlanta Hawks in their first play-in game, they were pushed to the brink by the Chicago Bulls, only to pull away in the last quarter to secure the eighth seed.
They hardly looked like a potential championship team, and most expected them to be comprehensively booted out of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
But here we are. The Heat just keep on winning, and according to Charles Barkley, “if the Miami Heat are able to win this championship, it will be, in my opinion, the greatest run ever for an underdog.”
And Chuck has a point. As the eight seed, the Heat haven't had home court advantage at all during the playoffs. They've come up against a Bucks team that many expected to win the championship, as well as the team that replaced them in the Boston Celtics, and won both. They're filled to the brim – as we've heard over, and over, and over again – with undrafted players, and led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo – a star duo no doubt, but not at the level of what many other teams have, including the Nuggets.
The Heat have a big job against them, and despite having knocked off the Bucks and the Celtics, this looks like their toughest assignment yet. The Nuggets are firing on all cylinders and will take some serious stopping, and if Jimmy Butler and co can manage to do so, it will go down in the annals of NBA history as one of the most unlikely championships we've seen.