After a bad and inconsistent start to the regular season, the Miami Heat is dangerously teetering on the edge of disaster.
I don’t think many understand the complete gut punch it was that the Miami Heat missed out on Damian Lillard.
For the past few offseasons, the message from the Heat’s front office to its fans is that it was eventually going to land another superstar opposite of Jimmy Butler. And that all they needed was for a disgruntled star to choose Miami. And at the beginning of this summer, it appeared that the Heat’s time was finally here.
After making the NBA Finals twice in the last four years, it appeared as if the Heat was finally going to land their final piece of a possible championship puzzle. The stage was set for Miami to be one of the bigger winners of the offseason. And when the Heat essentially passed up on the opportunity to trade for Beal, hope was lost.
Just a couple of weeks later, that decision made sense. Damian Lillard, a much bigger fish, had finally demanded a trade – and only to the Heat. The stars were finally aligning for Miami. This was their offseason. This was the big splash that the front office had been alluding to.
However, as history now knows, the Heat didn’t land Lillard. To add injury to insult, he was traded to one of the Heat’s rivals.
With Beal and Lillard gone, it seemed as if the Heat’s chances of landing a star had disappeared as well.
It was a gut punch of all gut punches. The writing was on the wall.
In the days leading up to the start of the season, the Heat’s stock was trending low. The overall expectation was that this was a team that was going to take a big step back. And through the first five games of the season, those projections seem right.
In fact, I’d say that at 1-4 to begin the season, the Heat is teetering on the edge of disaster. And if something doesn’t flip quickly, things could get really ugly in Miami.
This quote from Bam Adebayo pretty much sums up everything right now:
Is there an upside for the Miami Heat?
From a talent standpoint, the Heat should not be 1-4. For one reason or another, they are. And it seems like this team has run its course. Miami entered the offseason with a clear need for a shake-up. Even after making the unlikely run to the NBA Finals, it was not something to fall back on.
Nevertheless, the front office ignored all the warning signs and still elected to run it back with the same exact core.
And now they’re reaping all of that.
The concerning part for the Heat is that I’m not sure there’s much upside moving forward. Even if they’re able to somewhat right the ship, the ceiling for this team is probably a spot in the Eastern Conference semifinals. That’s not enough.
Unfortunately, there’s not much they can do about that now. The Heat had a golden opportunity to make the leap toward championship favorite this offseason. No matter how you look back at it, the summer of 2023 is going to be remembered as a colossal failure for this franchise. Because of that, the Heat is sleepwalking through the regular season. They managed to wake up just it time last year. It would be foolish to expect the same from this year’s group.