The Miami Heat have been one of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference all season. They currently are the second seed in the East after losing to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. The Indiana Pacers have outplayed the Heat all season until recently, so the Heat are lucky to even have a chance at the top spot in the East.
Coming into the season, everybody knew the Miami Heat would make the playoffs, but this season has showed the resilience the Heat have as a team.
The most important reason the Heat have been a top two team in the Eastern Conference is because of the play of LeBron James. He’s being outplayed by Kevin Durant for MVP but James has had to do much more for the Heat with Dwyane Wade’s injuries. A lot more pressure is put on James when Wade is out, so James has basically carried the team by himself to the position they are in today.
The second reason is Dwyane Wade. When Wade has been healthy, that’s when the Heat have played their best basketball. The whole team seems to be energized when they see Wade at 100 percent, slashing to the basket and making fade away jump shots. If Wade can ever stay healthy there is no doubt in my mind the Heat are the best team in the NBA. However, Wade is also a part of the reason why the Heat have been struggling lately due to him missing games from injury. But no matter the amount of injuries Wade goes through, the Heat wouldn’t be as dominant of a team without him.
The third reason is a combination of head coach Erik Spoelstra and the Heat’s role players. Some of the Heat’s role players like Mario Chalmers, Chris Anderson, Ray Allen, and Shane Battier all bring something to the team. In a big game, Chalmers always seems to step up and play like he’s the best player on the court. Battier might not have great stats but he provides a defensive presence and is on the floor every time diving for a loose ball. Anderson provides well needed energy to the team with his block shots and put back dunks. Allen always finds a way to hit a big three point shot when a game is on the line. Now I see why his teammates call him “Jesus.” I also can’t forget to mention Chris Bosh. His ability to space the floor and be a knock down shooter provides another element to the Heat that makes them hard to guard.
Spoelstra doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves. He gets his best players shots on the floor where they are most comfortable and Spoelstra finds different ways to motivate his team. Spoelstra this season has done a great job of managing the different personalities on the team and keeping the players focused on the big picture.
So the three main reasons the Heat made the playoffs are because of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade when he is healthy, and a combination of Erik Spoelstra and the Heat’s role players.