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How the Miami Heat destroyed expectations and can make a 4th Championship reality

Heat Magic Basketball
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) sets up a play during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Expectation:

With the exception of a few NBA analysts, (S/O Kendrick Perkins and Tim Legler) pre-season expectations weren’t very high for the Miami Heat. 

The Heat were predicted to finish anywhere between the 4th and 6th seed and were often called “old, fake threats, no superstar or bubble frauds.”

Reality:

Miami’s smothering defense throughout the season along with veteran acquisitions and young, up-and-coming talent have made this team not only a contender, but as a legitimate championship contender. 

The Heat are currently waiting on their opponent after the play-in will determine the final seedings.

But considering how many games the Heat starters missed, it is damn near unfathomable that Miami finished as the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Missed games this season:

Oladipo (74), Butler (25), Adebayo (26), Lowry (19), Herro (16)

We’re just days away from the start of the NBA playoffs and the Miami Heat are at their healthiest.

FA acquisition Victor Oladipo is coming off his best game in a Heat Uniform (40 points) and Coach Spo doesn’t seem to have any issues with how deep the lineup is and how minutes will be allocated.

Miami will have to overcome their occasional scoring droughts in the 4th quarter. But if they can keep the pressure on opposing teams, there’s no doubting their smothering defense and well rounded scoring contributions can carry them throughout the playoffs.

The doubters remain, but the confidence in the Heat locker room has never wavered. And while they might be the most disrespected 1 seed in NBA history, none of it will matter if they are hoisting their 4th Larry O’Brien trophy in franchise history.