The Heat Deserve More Hype

Several star-studded teams have been riddled with injuries and COVID-related woes this season — think Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

But no one seems to be talking about Miami, another wounded squad not only thriving, but topping the East.

The 1-seed Heat (31-17) defeated the Knicks in a blowout on Wednesday — the 17th time this season they’ve won by 10+ points.

The Heat have dealt with their fair share of adversity — and transcended it.

  • Despite missing 18 games this year, Jimmy Butler recently passed LeBron James for most triple-doubles in Heat history (10).
  • Bam Adebayo returned last week after missing 25 games; in three seasons together, he and Butler have a .635 win percentage.
  • Tyler Herro is making a case for Most Improved Player in his third year, averaging a career-high 20.7 PPG on 39% three-point shooting (15 PPG, 36% 3PT last season).

Thanks to a combination of smart offseason moves and continuity, the Heat are once again legitimate championship contenders — despite playing only 12 games with all four of their core players — Butler, Adebayo, Herro, and Kyle Lowry.

The quartet account for 67.1% of Miami’s payroll, the 10th-highest in the NBA ($140.6M), and are all locked in for the next three seasons.

Pat Riley has once again constructed a team-first culture capable of beating all the best in the East.