The NBA tips off the 2023-2024 season on Tuesday. On Wednesday the Miami Heat will begin their season against the Detroit Pistons. How will the Heat do this season? Let’s preview their season.
Last season the Heat made it to the NBA Finals but didn’t walk away with the trophy. During the offseason the Heat were interested in acquiring Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. However the Heat weren’t able to acquire Lillard, who went to the Milwaukee Bucks. In addition to not getting Lillard, the Heat lost two key players as Max Strus went to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Gabe Vincent went to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Miami failed to bring in someone to replace Lillard. Without a replacement for Strus or Vincent, Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic, free agent signee Josh Richardson, and rookie Jaime Jaquez will have to step up and perform.
“When there’s a narrative out there that gets ignited through social media and the hypotheticals, of whether it was a failure, I don’t buy that at all,” Riley told the Sun Sentinel. “Because I know exactly where this team is, from that standpoint. From my perspective and the ownership perspective and all the internal people with the Heat, we like our team.”
How Herro, Richardson, and Jaquez perform will determine how successful the Heat are this season. Last season Herro averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists, but struggled defensively. He will have to get better on defense. If Richardson and Jaquez can perform lIke Herro, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, then the Heat will be successful.
The Heat have 12 players who will be free agents in 2024. Kyle Lowry, Kevin Love, Caleb Daniels, and Haywood Highsmith are among the players who will become free agents next year. Free agency can be a distraction for players and teams. The Heat can’t let free agency become a distraction. If they do then they won’t be successful.
In the preseason the Heat were 2-3. This season the Heat wont win more than 45 games. Miami has won 45 games or less in six of the last seven seasons. I don’t see anything that would make me think that the Heat will win more than 45 games this year. The odds have them winning about 45 games. While the Heat might make the playoffs, they won’t make the NBA Finals. There are other teams that are in a better position to make the Finals than the Heat.
Cover photo courtesy of NBA.com