Despite finishing the regular season at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 53-29 record, 2021-22 finished in heartbreak for the Miami Heat. The team was one shot away from winning game seven of the conference finals against the Boston Celtics, but Jimmy Butler’s 3-pointer was just short. Can they go further in 2022-23? Below, we take a look at the Hear Over Under.
Because of how things ended, expectations are high for Miami this upcoming season. With Jimmy Butler at 33 years old and Kyle Lowry at 37 by the end of the season, the window might be closing with this core. Still, the Heat has youngsters such as Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro who can lead the team in the future, but things will certainly be tougher once Butler leaves.
In a stacked Eastern Conference, Miami will have some tough challenges ahead to return to the NBA Finals. Can the Heat give Udonis Haslem a ring in his farewell season?
Here are the 2022 NBA over/under win total odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
Heat Over-Under Win Total NBA Odds
Over: 49.5 wins (+104)
Under: 49.5 wins (-128)
Why The Heat Will Win 49.5 Games
Jimmy Butler is still one of the best two-way players in the league. Last season, he averaged 21.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists, plus 1.6 steals a night. He made 48% of his field goal attempts but only 23.3% from beyond the arc. Butler also had perhaps the best individual postseason campaign of his career. The small forward’s numbers skyrocketed to 27.4 points, 7.4 boards and 2.1 steals. His shooting also improved, jumping to 50.6% on field goals and 33.8% on 3-pointers.
Bam Adebayo is becoming one of the best big men in the league. At age 25, he already has an All-Star appearance and three consecutive All-Defensive selections. His rebounding is a very useful weapon against players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, which can be a game-changer in the playoffs. The Heat Over-Under will have a lot to do with how Bam plays.
Maybe the best storyline from the Heat’s 2021-22 season was the emergence of Tyler Herro. The shooting guard had his best season as a pro, averaging 20.7 points on 45-40-87 shooting splits. After earning Sixth Man of the Year honors, he signed a four-year, $130 million contract extension, eliminating any trade rumors for this upcoming season.
Also, this should be Victor Oladipo’s first fully healthy season in Miami. A two-time All-Star, Most Improved Player and an All-Defensive First Team member, the veteran is showing flashes of a potential comeback.
But perhaps the biggest X-factor for Miami’s success this season is the return of Udonis Haslem. The veteran will play his 20th season with the team and likely his last in the NBA. While his time on the court is limited, his locker room leadership is essential for the Heat.
Why The Heat Won’t Win 49.5 Games
Miami’s defense suffered a major setback with P.J. Tucker leaving the team to join the Philadelphia 76ers. His 3-and-D ability will be missed yet the Heat did not necessarily address this issue in the offseason. A 40% shooter from beyond the arc, he was one of the best shooters on the team. That’s a big loss and could play a part in the Heat Over Under.
Additionally, starting point guard Kyle Lowry had his worst scoring numbers in more than a decade, averaging just 13.4 points. In the playoffs, his performance was one of the most disappointing factors in the Heat’s quest for a title. In 10 games, the veteran had just 7.8 points while shooting below 30% from the field and 25% on 3-pointers.
While the Heat has many great players on the roster, the front office did not add pieces to fix its main concerns. Tucker’s hustle and shooting are unlikely to be replicated, while Lowry’s decline should be something fans need to keep an eye on. Unless Miami makes some in-season moves, it will be difficult to win the franchise’s first title since the Big 3 era.
Final Heat Win Total Prediction: Over: 49.5 (+104)
Despite Tucker’s departure, the team still kept most of its core. Butler is not showing any signs of regression while Adebayo and Herro are rising to be the face of the organization for the next decade. Also, head coach Erik Spoelstra has championship experience that can never be taken for granted. With Haslem on the roster, Miami has a great chance of surpassing 50 wins in 2022-23 in the Heat Over Under.