The Miami Heat Should Focus on Health, Not Playoffs


It’s Miami Heat culture to fight to survive and win at all costs. After losing LeBron James this summer, not just the organization by the entire Heat Nation was out to prove a point that the Miami weren’t about to collapse like the last team LeBron left in 2010 and with only 19 games left in the season with a record of 28-35, one has to ask if it’s time to look ahead to next season.

Let’s be honest, the Heat aren’t going to win the NBA Championship this year. The toll of four straight trips to the Finals have taken it’s toll on the core of Chris Bosh, who is out for the remainder of the season and Dwyane Wade, who to date has missed 18 games. New addition Josh McRoberts’ first season in Miami was scarred by various injuries causing him to only play in 17 games playing a grand total of 291 minutes, Luol Deng has struggled at times with consistency (while still playing his heart out) and rookie Shabazz Napier has had an underwhelming transition from college to the pro level.

There have been positives – the emergence of Hassan Whiteside (who’s temper and maturity is being tested right now, making us think “ah, so this why nobody else took a chance on him”), Tyler Johnson who was cut after training camp has shown a lot of promise after his stint at Sioux Falls and of course the big acquisition of Goran Dragic, who currently is injured too.

That seems to be the current theme of this piece, injuries. Injuries have hampered this Heat team’s potential. A team that, on paper, could be fighting for home court advantage in the playoffs.

Mar 4, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) dribbles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Because of those injuries, the Miami Heat should make health, not the playoffs, its main priority.

What is there to gain from playing the next 19 games as if they were playoff games in hope of getting an eighth seed? Why should Wade continue to play 30 plus minutes on those knees and risk yet another injury that could put him out for a long time? Why should we continue to drain Deng’s tank in these last 19 games? Why rush back Dragic for a first round exit in the playoffs?

I’m not saying that these guys should just stop playing, but let’s not run them into the ground in the last part of this season when the 2015-2016 season awaits.

Bosh and McRoberts will be healthy, everyone would have had a well earned vacation after the roller coaster that has been this season and the group will come back refreshed and ready to work towards another NBA Championship. A healthy starting five of Dragic, Wade, Deng, Bosh and Whiteside is something we’d all like to see.

In these last 19 games, let’s see if the polarizing figure that is Michael Beasley can work himself into a rhythm and take advantage of his final chance and earn a significant rotation spot next year. Keep Johnson on the floor and see if he can hang. James Ennis is only going to improve by playing (and dribbling practice) and Napier isn’t going to get better from the pine, so lets just see what these guys have (if anything) to offer this team in 2016.

I’m not asking the team to tank, my heart wants them to win every time they step on the floor but my head is thinking long term and long term, if this roster is healthy and they’ve had a full training camp together, then that’s something I think every Heat fan would be interested in.

More from All U Can Heat