The Miami Heat finally got a blockbuster deal done when they acquired 6-time All-Star and 2019 NBA champion Kyle Lowry to improve their starting lineup. Miami did a fantastic job making the Finals in 2020 but were clearly lacking a third All-Star to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Lowry is 35 years old and not in his prime anymore, but he is an immediate upgrade at the point guard spot for Miami who lost Kendrick Nunn in free agency. But how good does Lowry make the team? The Heat have heard the chatter about their disastrous postseason last year, and they have a shot to surprise everyone again by making the Finals in 2022.
Point Guard: Kyle Lowry
Lowry will be 36 at some point next season and he could be on the final stretch of his career. But he is one of the best leaders at the point guard position and an experienced champion that the Heat will utilize in the playoffs. Lowry averaged 17.2 PPG and 7.3 APG for the Raptors this year and can still perform at an All-Star level.
With Lowry, the Heat finally have a consistent two-way point guard to lead the line. Kendrick Nunn is an energetic scorer, but he does not bring the leadership nor the defensive skills that the Raptors legend brings. Expect Lowry to be one of the best Heat signings over the last 10 years.
Shooting Guard: Duncan Robinson
Duncan Robinson will start for Miami because of one reason: three-point shooting. Robinson shot 40.8% from three last year and was taking over 8 3's a game. Expect nothing less this season as Lowry will find his shooter throughout the season.
Robinson signed a long-term deal to return to the Heat and he will likely be there for the bulk of his career. Robinson is great at moving off screens and spotting up for jumpers, so he will be a key cog to an efficient offensive system run by Eric Spoelstra.
Small Forward: Jimmy Butler
The Miami Heat agreed to a contract extension that should see out the remainder of Butler's prime in Miami. Butler made the perfect choice when he decided to snub title contenders such as the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers in favor of Miami, as he made his first NBA Finals in 2020.
Butler had a bit of a down year which included a postseason where he only averaged 14.5 PPG in a first-round sweep. But Butler will work hard and be back to his best this upcoming season to prove he is one of the best two-way players in the NBA right now yet again.
Power Forward: P.J. Tucker
While Tucker's stats are below average, his impact makes him an invaluable asset for title contenders. There was a reason Tucker started for the Rockets for years and also was the starter during the Milwaukee Bucks championship run last season.
Tucker does all the little things that do not appear in the stat sheet, including playing lockdown defense and hustling for loose balls. Tucker only shot 33.6% from three last season so his corner three-point shot will be critical when his stars are double-teamed.
Center: Bam Adebayo
Versatile center Bam Adebayo is an All-Star in the league and he is only 24 years old. His ability to pass the ball, rebound, and score with a soft touch made him an untouchable player for the Heat. As a cornerstone of the franchise with Jimmy Butler, Adebayo is one of the best big men in the East.
Bam won the Gold medal in the Olympics while starting for Team USA, and he should be hungry to add more silverware to his collection. As long as Bam plays his game normally and does not suffer any setbacks, he will help make the Heat one of the best teams in the NBA.
Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, Max Strus, Markieff Morris, Dewayne Dedmon, Udonis Haslem, KZ Okpala, Gabe Vincent, AJ Lawson, Omer Yurtseven
The biggest name on the bench, Victor Oladipo, will miss the majority of the upcoming NBA season and will likely return off the bench for the Heat before the playoffs. Oladipo would likely start if healthy because he was an All-Star before his injury and a terrific defensive player. While Oladipo is out, Tyler Herro is the main man off the bench.
Herro could not follow up his sensational rookie season with a massive jump, but he was solid by averaging 15.1 PPG and 5.0 RPG. Herro can create his own offense which makes him a great fire starter off Miami's bench. Otherwise, expect Max Strus, Dewayne Dedmon, and Markieff Morris to take up the bulk of the minutes off the bench. Strus was a surprise last year as he appeared in 39 games, and we should see an uptick in his minutes as well.
The Heat Can Make The Eastern Conference Finals At The Very Least
The Miami Heat should focus on making the Eastern Conference Finals because other than the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, they have the most talent on the roster. The Nets will be a force with their Big Three healthy again and will be the favorites for the NBA championship. Similarly, Milwaukee will be back and Giannis Antetokounmpo has had an early taste of championship glory.
The Heat need to focus on their game, which is playing lockdown defense and running an efficient offense. They have 3 All-Stars in their lineup and veterans such as P.J. Tucker to help, while Tyler Herro might show the jump expected of him next season. The return of Victor Oladipo will only be a plus and if he can be healthy for the playoffs, the Miami Heat have a shot - albeit not a big one - to shock the world and make the NBA Finals again.