Jimmy Butler and Miami Heat made it to the finals in the 2020-21 season in the bubble and that is perhaps the best Heat has performed since LeBron James left the team. Although coach Erik Spoelstra has maintained the dog mentality culture of the heat they are yet to win a championship. The Heat have the depth of any good team in the NBA but they also have a young core that could pose certain limitations come playoff times.
NBA analyst Zach Lowe on ESPN ripped apart the Miami Heat for relying too much on Jimmy Butler. Zach Lowe said, “although Tyler Herro did not play last night but for their entire season their offense has felt like please save us Jimmy Butler, as a screener, as a ball handler, as a post up guy.”
Pointing out Butler’s production Lowe added, “he is doing everything” for the Heat. Speaking of Miami’s offense, Lowe also pointed out that the Miami Heat “for the season the Heat have scored 115 points per 1-00 possessions with Jimmy (Butler) on the floor, that’s elite. Without him (Butler) that falls to 98 which is like way below the worst offense in the NBA.”
Duncan Robinson is one of the best catch-and-shoot shooters in the league but his consistency has been a definite drawback for the team. His inability to create his own offense limits his impact on the games. Tyler Herro won the 6th Man of the Year last season and has been having a good season so far. Herro can shoot the ball within and beyond the perimeter and he can provide them the bench depth. However, Herro’s injury has become a major concern for the Heat.
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Everything that has gone wrong for Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat this season
Speaking of Heat’s defense Zach Lowe also pointed out their defense on the glass. Apart from PJ Tucker and Bam Adebayo, their rim is completely vulnerable. Lowe said, “without PJ Tucker they feel really really small. When Bam switches out to defense to the perimeter, the rim is just completely vulnerable.” Lowe might be right on this apart from Bam and Tucker, the Miami Heat do not have a great many defenders to protect the rim.
Kyle Lowry has been far from looking like himself this season and averaging just 13 points in the game. Lowry is 36 years old and there might not be left much in his tank once the heat gets into the playoffs. Once a number one option for the coach on the team Victor Oladipo is out of the lineup with a knee injury and the Heat have provided no timetable for his return.
The Heat is banged on both defense and offense but Herro’s return could shake things up for the better. However, much relief to the Heat, Max Strus has been having a season this year and this might prove to be his breakout year in the Heat’s uniform. He has been averaging 15.5 points a game and shooting above 38% from the 3-point range.
Jimmy Butler is one of the toughest players in the league and his energy on the floor could be a capitalizing factor on other players which was visible in the 2020-21 finals. Pat Riley and Heat as the organization are known for their tough mentality culture and that is one of the many reasons the Heat have made the playoffs consistently despite lacking a league superstar in the lineup. Other players like Max Strus have come to the forefront to handle the offense so far this season.
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