The Miami Heat face a “win or go home” situation Friday night as they face the Chicago Bulls in their second play-in tournament game with the season on the line. If it sounds like deja vu, that is correct as Miami had to go through the same team after losing their first tourney game to finish as the eighth seed.

Tyler Herro talks about the similarities with last year's Heat season

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) shoots past Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the first quarter of a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

While last season led to an immense amount of success for the Heat as they ended up in the NBA Finals, this year has been different in the noise around the team, especially dealing with the previous game and the injury to star Jimmy Butler. However, another Miami star in Tyler Herro talked about the current situation they are in and said “you can't really compare last year to this year” according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

“I mean, we’re here,” Herro said. “We’re in the same position as last year and nobody expected us to do what we did last year. Completely two different years, two different teams, two different situations. You can’t really compare last year to this year. But we’ll continue to fight and get ready for Friday. That’s the only thing that we can do right now.”

While Herro's statement is true, there is no doubt that the Bulls haven't forgotten about their exit last year at the hands of the Heat. Even Chicago star DeMar DeRozan said after their win over the Atlanta Hawks that “everybody was just frustrated” on the plane ride last season.

“I remember that plane ride back home vividly, everybody was just frustrated,” DeRozan said. “That feeling sucked. I know for me that was one thing that was on my mind once I realized we were going back to Miami, not to have that same feeling.”

Injuries plague Miami at the worst time

It's going to be another tough task at hand for the Heat as they will be without Butler for several weeks who has an MCL sprain alongside Terry Rozier who will also be absent with a neck injury according to the team's X (formerly known as Twitter account). Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said after the loss to the 76ers that they have to come to terms with reality and take charger with what's in front of them.

“We’re going to rest up, treat up, rally around each other, get ready for Friday and again embrace these competitive games,” Spoelstra said. “It will be competitive in front of our home fans and then we’re going to bring a hell of a game on Friday night and do this the hard way. That’s just the way the deal is right now.”

With all the absences, it will be on the Heat's remaining stars in Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo, especially the former who should be relied on to create some offense. It was a middling outing Wednesday as besides scoring 25 points, he shot nine for 27 from the field as he talked about overcoming “bad shooting nights.”

“There’s moments through games and throughout the season, you have bad shooting nights,” Herro said. “I tried to just stay engaged as best as I could. Obviously, I would have loved to have made those shots. But I can’t make all of them. I tried to stay engaged, compete on the defensive end and make plays for my teammates when I could.”

It's “do or die” for the Heat as they try to keep their season alive in their last chance against the Bulls. If they win, they will face the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.