By Justin Batiste
Why have the Miami Heat been so lethal this season?
The Miami Heat have increased their winning streak to six after beating the Indiana Pacers on the road, 114-106. Last season the Miami Heat finished 9th in the Eastern Conference forcing them to miss the playoffs. Let’s just say if the playoffs started today, Miami would be a team that we’d be watching.
The Heat have been playing good basketball all season. Currently, they’re 4th in the Eastern Conference. Although the Miami Heat lack star power, this hasn’t stopped them from being one of the top teams in the East. Erik Spoelstra has his team defending at a high level right now. When it comes to team defense, the Heat are ranked 6th in the NBA giving up only 101.9 points per game.
Hassan Whiteside is the only All-Star on the Miami roster. Goran Dragic is a starting point guard in the NBA but he’s not an all-star caliber player. The Miami Heat have been forced to win the old fashion way and that’s by defense due to their lack of star power–not to say no one on the Heat can score because they can. They just don’t have any go-to offensive players on their team, and I believe this is what will hurt them down the line in the playoffs. The offensive rankings show the Miami Heat are 28th in the league.
Besides the Heat being an effective defensive team this season, the offensive team contribution is also something that has stood out.
Miami has eight players scoring in double figures this season. Their first-round pick in 2015 out of Duke, Justise Winslow, needs to step his play up. Winslow is averaging just 6.1 points per game but he’s better than that. The Heat are going to need him to start playing better basketball if they want to continue to win.
Whoever has to play Miami in the playoffs will have their hands full. This team plays hard and they play together. If they don’t win a series they’re definitely going to wear down whoever they face.
This Heat team is for real.