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The Student News Site of Jewish Leadership Academy

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Can You Feel The Heat?

Can+You+Feel+The+Heat%3F

Over the last 4 seasons, the Heat have been one of the most successful teams in the NBA, some might even say the most successful. Over the last four seasons the Heat have been in two out of four finals and were a jump shot away from getting to a third. Despite being successful over this time period, the reality is that the Heat have been like zombies. They tend to sleep through the regular season, averaging just 48 wins per season and entering the playoffs as the 5th, 6th, 1st, and 8th seeds, respectively. So how do the Heat always make a deep playoff run? The answer is they are the ideal team who demonstrate hard work, smart coaching, and teamwork. Today in the NBA most teams just score without trying but with the Heat you always notice the effort. The Heat cut to the basket and screen endlessly just to get one open shot. So the million dollar question is will it happen this year? 

During this offseason, the ongoing rumor was that the Heat were looking into trading for the Portland Trailblazer all-star, Damian Lillard. The deal seemed done by the middle of summer but it never happened. Now that ship has sailed because the Bucks traded Jrue Holiday and multiple picks in a three team trade to land Lillard. That would have given the Heat a piece they desperately needed, a superstar who could score at will all season, not just in the playoffs, like Jimmy Butler. As a consolation prize the Heat went after Jrue Holiday, an elite perimeter defender. However, just as a deal was getting worked out the Celtics snatched him with a clever trade. So the Heat will now look to compete for a championship with a 34 year old Jimmy Butler and 37 year old Kyle Lowry as two out of the three highest paid players on their roster. (Bam Adebayo is the second highest paid player). 

Many critics, including me, don’t see the Heat being able to simply “sleep through the regular season” and magically “wake up” when it’s playoff time. Kyle Lowry can’t stay on the court due to injuries and Coach Erik Spoelstra can only have so many zone defense schemes in his pocket. The Heat’s zone defenses, which relied on the other team being ill prepared, won’t work anymore. The Heat also utilized their zone defense last year to compensate for their sub-par offense. The Heat’s offense was 26th in efficiency, 29th in pace, and last in points per game last season. That offensive efficiency won’t cut it this year and that is why not landing Damian Lilliard or Jrue Holiday is detrimental. Jimmy Butler is perennially one injury away from missing a lot of time. The Heat are also getting older. The average age of their players is 27.4 years old compared to the league average of 25.6 years. The Heat are going to have one of the worst offenses in the league and you simply can’t win a championship when that is the case.

There is no award for best culture or best teamwork. This season I see the Heat as a play-in team at best, or perhaps missing the playoffs altogether. The Heat needed to land someone in the past offseason but because the front office was too focused on getting the best value, they ultimately ended up with no one. 

Although I don’t think anything transformational is going to happen for the Heat this year, you always have to watch out for the zombie Heat. You really can’t count them out until the season ends. The Heat practices the hardest and play the smartest basketball in the league. That is why they have been so successful over the last four seasons. I have made my prediction but one can never be certain because the Heat has proved critics wrong too many times.

 

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About the Contributor
Brandon Berger is a 6th grader who writes for The Inkwell. He enjoys fishing, playing sports, and writing about pretty much anything.  

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