The Miami Heat were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and they were within one game of making the Finals during the playoffs this season. They still have a superstar in Jimmy Butler on the roster, and they are in a good position to compete for a championship over the course of the next few years.
The Miami Heat will be going into the season with a solid defensive roster, but they have a number of decisions to make regarding rotations going forward. In this article, we will try to predict the most realistic starting lineup and roster that the Miami Heat will field at the start of next season.
The Miami Heat Are A Contender Because They Largely Remained The Same
The Miami Heat have not made many changes this summer, despite being linked with a variety of players over the course of the offseason. They missed out on Donovan Mitchell and Kevin Durant, and it seems exceedingly likely that they will be going into next season with a roster largely the same as this season. A notable loss for the team was P. J. Tucker, who is a valuable multi-positional defender and elite corner 3PT shooter. Tucker going to the Philadelphia 76ers will likely make the Miami Heat slightly worse at defense as Tucker often took on difficult assignments for the team.
However, there is value in continuity and chemistry. The Miami Heat were within one game of making it back to the NBA Finals, and there would have been a possibility for them to win a title if they had made it. Some people, like former Heat player Antawn Jamison, believe that they would have been a better matchup for the Golden State Warriors.
The Miami Heat are a team that will consistently be in the mix as a top-tier team. Their combination of veterans with young players is solid, and they clearly have some level of upside for the future.
The Most Realistic Roster For The Miami Heat
Starting Lineup: Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, Bam Adebayo
The Best Bench Players: Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Victor Oladipo, Duncan Robinson, Dwyane Dedmon
The starting lineup for the Miami Heat is straightforward. Kyle Lowry starts at the point guard position. Though he is no longer in his prime, Kyle Lowry is still an effective playmaker who can create easy shots for his teammates. Tyler Herro starts at the shooting guard position, as he is their 2nd best offensive player on the team. Herro has previously noted that "he's earned" that position. Tyler Herro is certainly the team's best option at the position because of his ability to score and relieve some of the offensive pressure on Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler is the No. 1 offensive player on this team and starts at the SF position. He is at the center of all the Miami Heat do and is seemingly getting better with age. It is possible we see a career-best season from Jimmy Butler next season on both ends of the floor.
Bam Adebayo and Caleb Martin will form a solid defensive duo in the starting frontcourt. Obviously, Bam Adebayo will continue as the starting center for the team, as he is the anchor of the Heat's defense. There are a few options available to Miami Heat to start at the PF position, but in our scenario, we go with Caleb Martin due to his floor spacing and defense. Obviously, the Miami Heat would be leaning into small-ball in this scenario as Adebayo and Martin are 6'9 and 6'5 respectively.
The Miami Heat bench will likely be potent offensively, and they will also be playing small-ball. Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Victor Oladipo, and Duncan Robinson can all space the floor effectively, and the Heat will likely be one of the best 3PT shooting teams in the league. Even Dwyane Dedmon can sometimes make shots from range. Though the bench unit may struggle against dominant big men such as Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, it is quite likely that in those matchups, Bam Adebayo will be on the court at the same time as those superstar centers.
Overall, the Miami Heat have a well-rounded team that is suited to a small-ball style of play. They will likely thrive in transition and at 3PT shooting, and be switchable defensively in the starting lineup.
Miami Heat Have A Genuine Chance To Win It All
Though the Miami Heat don't necessarily have a ton of offensive firepower overall, their elite defense and consistent system allow them to be among the best teams in the league every year. They have a very solid core surrounding a top-10 player in Jimmy Butler. Butler has shown that he rises in the playoffs consistently, and there's no doubt that he's among the best two-way players in the league. While he has yet to prove that he can be the No. 1 option on a true championship team, he is clearly capable of getting them to the NBA Finals.
The Miami Heat may have to make a move to get over the hump and get out of the Eastern Conference. The team's offense around Jimmy Butler struggled at times during the postseason. With that being said, they are a dark horse contender as currently constructed, and thus, have a chance of potentially winning it all.
The easiest way for the Miami Heat to become true contenders next season is through improvements from Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo. They are the best young players on the Miami Heat roster, and thus will be expected to add to their game. Though they are already good, both players can make some improvements toward producing consistently on the offensive end of the floor.
We will see how well the Miami Heat end up doing next season. There is a scenario where they get to the Finals with a bit of luck regarding player development and matchups in the playoffs. Hopefully, we see the team thrive, and prove that they are a true powerhouse in the Eastern Conference.