Miami Heat: With mass Eastern Conference improvement, where are they?

Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

On Thursday and as the Miami Heat were surely hard at work in preparation for the coming season, the news broke that a Donovan Mitchell deal finally happened. Mitchell is going to the Cleveland Cavaliers and it has much bigger ripple effects than if he had gone somewhere else (say the Knicks).

Mitchell, a three-time All-Star, will be joining his forces with Darius Garland and Jarret Allen, both first-time All-Stars last season. Not to mention the second place vote getter at Rookie Of The Year in Evan Mobley, who is very much only going to get better.

Cleveland is now stacked and there’s no doubt that the East took notice today. What does any of that have to do with the Miami Heat?

Well, obviously, Miami also plays in the East. This makes contending for a championship all that much harder.

The conference isn’t as tough at the low end but the top has serious competition in Boston and Milwaukee, both of which improved this offseason. The Bucks are bringing back Khris Middleton from injury and Giannis Antetokounmpo is nowhere near slowing down.

Boston acquired Malcolm Brogdon, a piece that might have given them the edge they needed last year in the Finals. Now, you can add Cleveland to that mix with Philly and the Bulls, while you have to then look at what the Heat have done.

The Miami Heat haven’t done much this offseason, though they did lose guys. With the rest of the East improving, where’s that leave them entering 2022-23?

light. Related Story. Tyler Herro/Bam or Donovan Mitchell/Bam for next 10 years?


In fact, they lost P.J. Tucker, who was a pretty important factor on the defensive side of the ball. But this isn’t for lack of trying.

The Heat made it clear they were after Donovan Mitchell and Kevin Durant on the trade market, however unlikely both of those deals were. Now with both off the table, Miami is stuck with even less than what they started with.

The point is this. All of their main competition got better in one way, shape, or form.

If anything, the Heat have barely maintained where they were and need to find a way to keep up. There are only so many ways to get better and with external options off the table, those changes will need to come from within.

Bam Adebayo has All-NBA potential as well as Jimmy Butler. Kyle Lowry might be on the decline but fans are hoping Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent more than account for that playmaking.

Max Strus proved effective, especially when Duncan Robinson wasn’t. Plus there is a good amount of hope around incoming rookie Nikola Jovic.

Most of us are in agreement that the improvement needs to come from Bam first. Bam, as mentioned, is exceptionally talented.

Now, it’s time for him to start putting things together as he’s entering his prime. He declined offensively in the playoffs, despite him having his best scoring regular season.

Next. Interpreting Tyler Herro’s reaction to Donovan Mitchell trade. dark

If he makes “the leap” this year and the rest of the team tightens up the screws, they still have a shot at contention.