The Miami Heat haven’t been that same team from the NBA Bubble this season. At least, they haven’t been that team yet.
They haven’t come anywhere close to playing their best basketball. Heck, they can’t even keep their top guys in consistently enough yet through this season to know what their best basketball even looks like.
That’s why judging them now is only an exercise in irrelevance. Judging them now means nothing, as this isn’t the team we are likely to see once we deem the Heat ready or in rhythm.
That’s why the following makes no sense.
Paul Pierce is, erroneously, at it again about the Miami Heat and their playoff chances.
No stranger to criticizing Miami, NBA great, Paul Pierce, is back at it again today. A regular contributor to ESPN’s NBA coverage, he had this to say on an appearance on The Jump Thursday, alongside Rachel Nichols and Matt Barnes.
As great as the Miami Heat were in the playoffs last year, they will not make the playoffs this year Rach and we saw a play… we saw a play earlier in the show where Jokic got the ball and threw it full court. That’s not the Miami Heat team we saw last year.
You know, full of grit, you know, full of grime… like the Memphis Grizzlies, that team was built on hard work and toughness, and I have not seen that this year, and that’s why I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs.
Listen, though he has a point, he is wrong in his attributions. To say it the way he did is to insinuate that they aren’t a scrappy or fiery bunch.
They are still that. However, when the volatility that has been their lineup is what you have to contend with on a night to night basis, it’s hard to find any kind of rhythm.
Even still though, if all of that is absolutely correct, you can’t rightfully, righteously, and or with a clear mind, judge this team right now or based off what we have seen thus far. That stands for Mr. Pierce as well.
Out of a possible 17 games that he could have played for his Heat this season, Jimmy Butler has only played in six. Again and even further, to use a play from the Denver game that they went down big in from the start and one where they had neither Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, nor Goran Dragic on the floor is an even bigger laugher.
That doesn’t excuse their effort, as they should always play hard, but that points toward the point I’m making. They were incomplete on Wednesday night.
That’s also the only way to judge or grade it right now. You can’t give then an honest letter grade because we haven’t seen them consistently at full strength.
They’re incomplete, at best.
That’s the reason why you can’t take what Paul Pierce is saying serious… at the moment. That’s just The Truth.