The beat goes on the bubble.
The scrimmages warmed things up.
Games were played for seeding purposes.
The Miami Heat enter the playoffs as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference they begin the fun versus the Indiana Pacers.
I am here for the “Heat Culture.”
Starting what stands out to me will be how the young players handle the postseason’s spotlight. Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, and Duncan Robinson will all be making their playoff debuts.
Nunn mixed in the starting role and the importance of shooting from Herro and Robinson coming off ball screens will set the pace for the team in the postseason.
The playoffs are a different animal and the same beast than the regular season in large part because an opponent can hone in on exploiting flaws and limiting strengths.
This is where one of the most improved players in Bam Adebayo factors in. He is so valuable on the offensive and defensive end; as a matter of fact, if and when the Heat face the Milwaukee Bucks in the semifinals he will be the MVP for this Heat team. Bam will have to raise his game even more from the fantastic regular season he has had.
These young “heatles” of the Heat are so valuable.
Miami will face a Pacers team who will be without All-Star Domantas Sabonis, and has been relying heavily on TJ Warren with Victor Oladipo still rounding himself back into form. Indiana is certainly a tough team, with lots of versatility and depth to match Miami. Still, with their best players either injured or returning to form, it seems very likely the Heat win in six or seven games.
I give the Heat the edge because of the coaching of Erik Spoelstra, the depth of their lineup, and the duo of an experienced duo in Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic.
Spoelstra knows how to continually mix the lineup with veterans and youth to close out games. Most of the time, Butler and Dragic will gather the minutes along with Adebayo.
Butler will find his way to the free-throw line and contribute to how the game allows to offensively. Dragic is the best in finding teammates and scoring when need be. Adebayo is cohesive with Dragic’s game. Butler, Dragic, and Adebayo have been All-Stars for the Heat for good reasons.
It is not a bold prediction; Miami would presumably face the Bucks, favorites to come out of the East. Though Miami has the roster to give the Bucks a run for their money, they don’t have the best player in the series in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Combined with the Bucks league-leading defense and a plethora of shooters, I’d expect the Bucks to advance in six games. However, if they go to seven games, I will give the edge to the Heat.