Miami Heat organization deserves more credit for post-LeBron James success

Shandel Richardson

The Miami Heat benefited from having LeBron James when they won two championships in four consecutive NBA Finals appearances from 2010-14.

They have also proven they can succeed without James, which wasn't the case in his two other exits. The Heat deserve more credit for rebuilding so smoothly after his departure.

"It's a also testament to the organization," SI.com Robin's Lundberg during a discussion on James' impact in Miami ... "They rebounded from losing LeBron better than any other team that has lost LeBron."

After James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time, the organization was among the league's doormats. They won just an average of 24 games the four years minus James.

The Heat were completely blindsided by James leaving following their loss to the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, forcing team president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra to scramble to form a makeshift team during free agency. Still, the Heat won 37 games and were within one victory of making the postseason. A year later, they were one win from facing James in the Eastern Conference finals.

The Heat have since appeared in the playoffs twice, with two absences that were close misses.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, have fallen into yet another downward spiral. After four straight trips to the Finals, including a championship in 2016, they are once again looking up at the rest of the league following consecutive 19-win seasons.

The way the Heat were able to bounce back should never be overlooked. Let's see how well the Los Angles Lakers fare once James makes his next exit. 

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