The Miami Heat have had enough dwelling at the bottom of the conference and decided to make a power move in the East.
Successfully recruiting Jimmy Butler to their squad instantly improved the team, and makes them a contender to make the playoffs after a long stretch of average play. Butler, due to his ability on both ends, is truly an impact player.
Beyond Butler, the Heat are looking like a legitimate team in an Eastern Conference that is basically anybody's for the taking. Other than the Sixers and Bucks, every team looks very beatable on any given night. Even the Bucks have gotten weaker over the summer, who are simply being carried by superstar Giannis Antetokounpo.
The Miami Heat, in simplest terms, have looked like a top team in the East thanks to a few surprising occurrences so far this season. If they can keep up their solid play on both ends, the Heat might legitimately fight for a top-three seeing in the East and a possible chance for an Eastern Conference Finals berth. Here are the most shocking revelations from the Heat so far this season.
While everyone was talking about Zion Williamson, for legitimate reason, the Miami Heat rookies have seemingly flown under the radar and are having outstanding seasons.
Kendrick Nunn started the season as the starting point guard and has done an admirable job. He has averaged 19.5 ppg on 48% shooting so far this season, putting in big-time performances for a team looking for some extra scoring. Nunn has simply been one of the best rookies so far, and a massive surprise to the NBA Universe.
Similarly, popular rookie Tyler Herro is showcasing his ability by averaging nearly 16 points and 6 rebounds per game. Herro, when he has been on the floor, is one of the most impactful rookies in the NBA this year.
Outstanding performances by their rookies is a major reason why the Heat are sitting at 5-1 in the East.
The Miami Heat are showcasing supreme togetherness and a strong culture that they have been renowned for. Led by Jimmy Butler, the Heat are building a culture based on hard work and excellence. This togetherness and chemistry ultimately led to multiple championships in the past, so they are certainly building for a bright future.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra and GM Pat Riley understand what it takes to win, and they are making sure each and every person in that locker room understands it as well. Even a veteran like James Johnson was frozen out of the team until his physical stamina in check, before returning to the lineup. This dedication to hard work, excellence, and determination will also rub off on the outstanding rookies and allow them to flourish as the best players they can be.
Jimmy Butler's Leadership
Perhaps most importantly, Jimmy Butler has transformed the franchise. Butler is a player who literally came from nothing, after being unrecognized and passed on in the league when he entered the draft. Butler, through hard work, has become one of the best two-way players in the league and a player who is ready to lead a franchise on his own.
Butler's work ethic has rubbed off on the team, with many of his teammates joining him on his patented 3 AM workout. Although this sounds brutal, this is what is needed if any player wants to achieve greatness in a very talented league like the NBA. Through Butler's example, the entire squad is beginning to build an identity that will soon be intimidating to opposing teams. Playing the Heat will never be easy, and teams better be on their A-game if they do not want to risk getting blown out.
Even though there might be a handful of players with more talent than Butler, he is the perfect player for the Miami Heat. He fits into the culture like a glove and is an excellent player to attract another top talent. Butler is unselfish and could be the main reason why upcoming free agents would want to play for the Heat.
Erik Spoelstra has done a tremendous job in organizing his team in the best way possible. He has given all the youngsters chances to shine, by giving them plenty of minutes and opportunities to make an impact with the team. Spoelstra has also encouraged the vets to train harder than ever, and follow Jimmy Butler's example on both ends of the floor.
The Heat are playing a very disciplined defense and making it difficult for teams to score on them. At the same time, the Heat are moving the ball and playing unselfishly to generate excellent possessions for easy buckets. The Heat have been a great team so far this season, and their head coach is a surprising reason why.
Pat Riley, as quietly as ever, has successfully rebuilt the Heat team while remaining competitive. Riley is a basketball genius, and even after losing their Big Three many years ago, he has managed to recruit two excellent rookies and even grab Jimmy Butler from the hands of top contending teams including the Rockets, Lakers, and Sixers. Butler was one of the hottest free agents on the market, and Riley was able to recruit a bonafide star to play for his team.
Not to mention, Riley has managed to keep up the Miami Heat culture of high-quality basketball and dedication to the craft. Players playing for the Heat know what to expect, and Riley has done a tremendous job in consistently keeping up the image of one of the best organizations in basketball.