Miami Heat 1-on-1: Is the Eastern Conference really wide open?

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 9: Josh Richardson
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 9: Josh Richardson /
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MIAMI, FL – APRIL 9: Josh Richardson
MIAMI, FL – APRIL 9: Josh Richardson /

In this week’s edition of Miami Heat 1-on-1, two AllUCanHeat contributors talk all about the Eastern Conference.

So, what do you think is the most underrated thing about this 2018-19 Miami Heat squad?

Ivan Mora (@ivanmora): I think the most underrated aspect about the Miami Heat is their young core. It definitely has to be, right? I mean, it consists of Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, and Bam Adebayo after all. Both Richardson and Winslow have been together going on three plus years now, and even though this is Adebayo’s sophomore year, he has quickly developed into a future top center/forward in the entire league. A lot of development is left to be worked on, sure, but you still start to see great comradery and more than anything, it gives you optimism that the Heat aren’t relying on veterans; instead, they’re working and focusing on the progress of their young core to lead the Heat into the playoffs and future success.

Brandon Johnson (@bjohnsonNBA): Miami hasn’t been in the league spotlight for some time now, so I’d say there is a lot about Miami that goes overlooked, at least outside of the Heat fanbase. With so many young players poised for a breakout season and the lack of options regarding free agent signings, it seems like much of the league has forgotten about Miami. That said, their defense is heavily underrated. Analysts have picked up on Richardson and Adebayo’s contributions, but as a team, Miami can matchup with plenty of lineups. They were top-10 in defensive rating and were top-5 in loose balls recovered, according to If Hassan Whiteside returns and can play toe-to-toe against centers like Joel Embiid, the Heat will be a huge threat to their opponents’ offenses.