At times last season it seemed the Miami Heat were living out their own worst nightmare. We’ll take a look at how the Heat can flip the script next season and find their best case scenarios.
It really seemed like the Miami Heat couldn’t buy a break last season. With 16 games lost to injury for Justise Winslow, 46 games lost for Goran Dragic, 38 games lost for Dion Waiters, 27 games lost for James Johnson and only nine games lost for Josh Richardson (but seven of those nine came in the last eight games of the season as the Heat tried and failed to get a playoff spot), they had horrible injury luck from start to finish.
By no means did the Heat have a perfect roster last season, but with better health from key contributors they would have easily surpassed their eventual 39-43 record. In order to hit their own best case scenarios next season, they’ll need that health from top to bottom on the roster throughout the entire 2019-20 campaign.
Fortunately, they added a player in Jimmy Butler who is capable of shouldering a heavy load on both offense and defense. That said, he’s only played more than 67 games in a season twice in his career, and the first time he did it in 2012-13 he was not yet a full-time starter as he played 82 games.
Butler is capable of carrying that load, but with Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters, that burden should be lessened. The sharing of the offensive responsibilities could conserve their energies and health and prolong their ability to produce long into the season, something which these Heat players did not do a year ago.
Health and availability are two of the most important things in the NBA, and the Miami Heat have high hopes that they’ll get an added boost of both of those elements going into next season.
If they do, they should easily improve upon their meager 39 wins from 2018-19 and maybe even surpass some of the rosier win total forecasts they’ve received this summer and perhaps even challenge for 50 wins and the top half of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket, complete with homecourt advantage in the first round.