After making the NBA Finals last season as the 5-seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat have struggled to find their rhythm this year, as they are currently 18-18 at the All-Star break. A lot of the blame for their struggles this year has to go on the injuries and health & safety protocols that have kept players out, but nonetheless, this team has still underperformed.
This season’s Heat team is the same as last year’s Heat team minus Jae Crowder and Derrick Jones Jr, which is why their struggles have been surprising. With Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson continuing to be high-level perimeter threats, as well as both Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo being the focus of this team, Miami definitely has the roster to be able to contend with any team in the East, but they have not looked like the dominant team they were a few months back in the NBA Bubble.
While they played with a lot of confidence last year and had a certain type of “swagger” on their roster, it almost seems like this year’s Heat team plays somewhat scared and passive at times. They just do not look as confident out there on the court, which will hopefully change now that Jimmy Butler is back in the lineup and fully healthy.
He is absolutely adored by this franchise and the players on it and deserves the respect from everyone covering the NBA for what he did last season. When Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic went down with injuries in the NBA Finals, Jimmy Butler was the one who elevated his game to a whole new level we have not seen from him and looked like one of the best players in the NBA.
The Miami Heat are going to need this same energy and leadership from Jimmy Butler for the rest of this season if they are going to have any shot of making it back to the NBA Finals. In addition to Butler’s play, the Heat could also look to the trade market ahead of this year’s NBA trade deadline to fill in the “holes” on this roster.
There are some areas the Miami Heat could improve at, which is why the Heat will likely pull off a trade or two before the NBA trade deadline in March. Let’s take a look at three under-the-radar trade targets the Miami Heat should pursue to improve their roster ahead of the NBA trade deadline.