Basketball

Miami Heat Season Preview 2021-22

Heat
(Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

After reaching the Finals in 2020; and pushing the Lakers to six, the Miami Heat lost in the first round. However, after an incredible off-season, the Heat looks to be contenders once again. Pat Riley added veteran leadership, depth, and retained most of his talent. Here we’ll analyze all of the Heat’s free agency moves and predict their season.

Nba Draft

Pat Riley’s known to be an aggressive suitor. Therefore, it’s no surprise the Heat didn’t have any picks or selections in the 2021 draft. Moreover, they’ve sent out multiple first-round picks to acquire names like Dragic and Butler to compete for titles. Luckily for them, their free agency made up for their draft.

Free Agency

Miami Heat had undoubtedly one of the best offseasons in the league. After being considered the middle of the pack, they seem to be a top 3 team in the East. They’ve got versatility, defensive prowess, size, shooting, and multiple ball handlers. Without a doubt, they’ll be one of the most improved teams in the league next year.

Kyle Lowry

Starting with the Heat’s best move. Acquiring Kyle Lowry on a three-year deal. However, they gave up a couple of pieces in Dragic and Achiuwa, both valuable. However, none of them compare to what Kyle Lowry brings. Lowry’s leadership, grit, and play style perfectly match with the heat culture. Furthermore, he’ll provide a primary playmaker that’ll make Jimmy and Bam’s job easier. With a doubt, an incredible move by Pat Riley, who’s chasing another title. Lowry’s championship DNA may help Riley accomplish this task. However, the Heat still seem to be behind the Bucks and Nets in the East on paper. 

Jimmy Butler

Pat Riley made sure he would lock up his star player. Retaining Butler to a three-year extension that’ll keep him in Miami until 36. However, this may be a risk after the disappointing playoff performance Butler had. He’ll be paid a whopping 50 million at 36. Despite that, Miami understood they have a short window for a championship, and they must do whatever they can to capitalize. 

Duncan Robinson

Before free agency, retaining Duncan Robinson was the top priority for the Heat. An absolute elite marksman from the three Robinson’s value to Miami is elite. Pat Riley and the Miami Heat made the correct decision locking Robinson up long-term. Many may consider 90 million an overpay. However, his elite spacing and catch-and-shoot ability are up there with the best. Robinson can legitimately win the Heat games, and Pat Riley understood that. Another great move by Miami that sets them up tremendously for the present and future. 

PJ Tucker

Arguably one of the most shocking moves this offseason, the Heat managed to steal Pj Tucker from Milwaukee. An absolute defensive force PJ’s defense throughout the playoffs was pivotal for the Bucks. Guarding the toughest matchup night in and night out, Tucker will relieve defensive duties off of Butler. The energy he’ll bring will be contagious. On top of that, he’ll be a great leader for Bam. Tucker is one of the core pieces you need for a title. Miami hopes he’ll be for them what he was for Miami. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best moves this offseason.

Dedmon and Morris

Signing two veterans like Dedmon and Morris only make the Heat better. Furthermore, bringing defensive toughness, shooting, and veteran leadership. Two guys who’ll play the role of a guy like Udonis Haslem. Haslem was the enforcer on the team. He wasn’t afraid to get rough, get into scuffles, and talk trash. Clearly some of the things that Dedmon and Morris excel at. Incredible signings by the Heat.

Victor Oladipo

If Oladipo’s healthy, this move can push the Heat over the top. Unfortunately for them, Oladipo hasn’t been healthy for a while. Moreover, he’s been constantly battling injuries in his knees and quads preventing him from displaying his talent. The last time Oladipo was healthy, he was an all-star player and dominating in the playoffs. Fortunately for Oladipo, he won’t have to rush back due to the Heat’s stacked roster. If he can return 75 percent to his star form, the Heat could win a title.

Lineups

Starters: Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Pj Tucker, Bam Adebayo

With the addition of Kyle Lowry, there’s a hundred percent chance he’ll be the Heat’s starting point guard. Butler and Robinson will be the starting wings as they’ve been the past couple of years. Moving on to the frontcourt, Adebayo will continue to be the starting big. One of the best young players in this league, Adebayo will be a force for years to come. In addition, adding Pj will give the Heat their starting 4.

Bench: Vincent, Herro, Strus, Morris, Dedmon, Okpala, Yurtseven, Haslem, Garrett, Stewart Jr., Nembhard,

With the additions of Morris and Dedmon, it’s safe to say those two veterans will be getting minutes off the bench. Additionally, Herro has been a big part of the Heat offense the past two years. It’s safe to assume he’ll be the 6th man. Strus and Vincent should get minutes at guards but limited due to the incredible depth.

Season Outlook

As stated already, the Miami Heat seems to be contenders once again after an incredible offseason. After adding depth, veterans, shooting, and retaining talent. Look for them to be a top-three team in the east and compete for a finals berth. However, it seems they won’t have enough to dethrone the Bucks or beat the Nets. In addition, look for them to be in the same tier with the Hawks and Sixers, all vying for the third seed.

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  1. Pingback: New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview 2021-2022 - Championship Sports Media

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