After falling just short of an NBA Finals appearance, many insinuated the Miami Heat needed another All-Star alongside Jimmy Butler.
The Heat have had a quiet offseason so far, but perhaps team president Pat Riley thinks the Heat can build from within.
The Heat have enough to make the be considered contenders. The problem last season wasn’t in ability or talent.
Center Bam Adebayo was anticipated to be the No. 2 scorer behind Butler but he only had four games in the postseason with at least 12 shot attempts. Had Adebayo been more aggressive, Butler would have had another reliable offensive option.
Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro underperformed in the postseason, too. Herro, the Sixth Man of the Year, went from averaging 20.7 points in the regular season to just 12.5 in the playoffs. Lowry had possibly the worst playoffs performance of his career. He shot 29.1 percent from the field while averaging 7.8 points. Lowry’s 29.1 percent shooting was last among players who took at least 50 shots in the playoffs. Statistics don’t tell the entire story, but in this case, they illustrate Lowry’s lackluster postseason performance.
With improvement, the Heat can possibly lay claim to the top of the Eastern Conference.
Lowry has been improving himself physically after failing to meet the team’s body fat percentage requirement. His improved stature could lead to him becoming the player he was in Toronto. Adebayo has worked on his 3-point shot, which could add another element to his game. Adebayo led the league in points per game without a 3-point field goal, so adding a perimeter shot could elevate his scoring.
Victor Oladipo will be fully healthy again for the first time since 2018. He has discussed reaching the All-Star status he had in Indiana, which could give the Heat the two-way presence that they look for.
Miami also has several role players who will be hungry to establish themselves next season, such as Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, and Duncan Robinson.
With these in mind, the Heat could develop the players they have, and may not need to make a splash in the offseason.
Jayden Armant is a contributor to Inside the Heat. He is a student at Howard University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jaydenarmant.