With the Miami Heat so stuck in their ways, what does the future hold for the organization?
Adaptation is key to survival in the NBA nowadays; with teams all around the league improving their rosters, the Miami Heat have failed to put themselves in a position to succeed.
Before the start of the season, it seemed as if it was a sure thing Jimmy Butler was going to end up on the Heat.
The Heat said they were even willing to trade Josh Richardson, but then just like that, they weren’t.
An apparent change of heart by the Minnesota Timberwolves derailed any possible deal between the two teams, with the situation ultimately depicting how things have been going for the Heat lately.
In a time where scoring dominates the game more than ever, the Heat have decided to rely upon defense instead. However, not only have the Heat failed at being a dominant defensive team, they have been middle of the pack at best.
Currently, the Heat are allowing 110.5 points per game, which is 13th in the league, and are allowing 1.24 points per possession, which is 15th in the league.
However, what is most troubling is how the team has performed against some of the worst teams in the Association.
Just one week earlier, the Heat had yet another bad loss (104-92) at home to the 8-10 Brooklyn Nets, who were without their best player (Caris LeVert).
Josh Richardson, who is the team’s most prized possession, has been inconsistent in his play when it matters most. Similar to Richardson, Hassan Whiteside will be dominant in some games, but non-existent in others, with second-year player Bam Adebayo outplaying him.
While the team has been without Dion Waiters for the entire season and has missed Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson and Wade for portions of the year due to injury and personal matters, it doesn’t excuse the lack of consistency.
Dating back to last season, the Heat were listed as one of Kyrie Irving‘s preferred teams to be traded to, after he requested a move from the Cleveland Cavaliers; a trade that certainly would have significantly improved the teams roster.
Despite that, it seemed as if not much effort was made to acquire the point guard. Instead, Irving was dealt to the Boston Celtics, a team that already had made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, just the season before.
The Heat find themselves in an Eastern Conference where the Philadelphia 76ers flaunt a trio of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and newly-acquired Butler. The Toronto Raptors dominate with Kawhi Leonard now leading the way, another player the Heat contemplated trading for.
The Celtics continue to make strides with their stellar starting five, and Milwaukee Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been making his case as an MVP candidate.
The Heat’s current roster wasn’t good enough to compete in the East the last few years, and it certainly isn’t good enough to compete there now.
Wade deserves better than to be on a tanking team in his final season, but a shot at Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett in the draft may be the team’s best chance at a franchise-altering player.
No one player has separated themselves as a clear leader on the Heat, and that likely won’t change with the stubbornness found throughout the organization.