The Miami Heat had one goal this off-season: build a roster that can win a championship.
Now at the halfway point of the season, the Heat have been injury-plagued for the entire first half of the season, yet they still find themselves as the third seed in the East.
Key offseason acquisitions like Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, and P.J. Tucker have proven themselves time and time again this season. Rookie, Omer Yurtseven, has stepped up big time since Markieff Morris and Dewayne Dedmon’s respective neck and knee injuries.
All of this is fine and good, but the same question still looms large. Can this roster compete for a championship as it is currently constructed?
The Miami Heat have endured their fair share of ups and downs this year, but they are still thriving. Is the current roster enough to go all the way though?
The Heat front office must think this is the case. With the free-agent contract lock lifting almost a month ago, early speculation was that Miami would try to acquire a big man to replace an injured Adebayo in the rotation.
Instead, Miami turned to Dedmon and later, Yurtseven, to fill the need internally. With Adebayo nearing a healthy return, a trade for a big man no longer makes as much sense.
Despite rampant injuries, the Heat have improved their position in the East standings. When several key players entered the Health and Safety Protocols, 10-day signees lit it up for Miami.
Now that the roster is, once again, taking shape, it stands to reason that Pat Riley was correct in his decision to not make any knee-jerk-reaction trades. Although that is easy to do when superstar players hit the sidelines, Riley rode out the early parts of the season with the roster that he and the front office constructed.
This appears to have been the right move. Miami remains 10 games above .500 and are within three games of the first-place Chicago Bulls.
If history repeats itself in the 2022 portion of the season, the Miami Heat will remain a top threat for a championship. Most importantly, perhaps, is that they will not have to give up any current or future assets, via trading, to make a run at the O’Brien Trophy.