The dichotomy of the dialogue surrounding this Miami Heat team

Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts during the second half of the NBA game(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts during the second half of the NBA game(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Whenever a team is where this current Miami Heat bunch finds themselves, a lot of tough questions begin to present themselves. The roster and the record begin to be heavily scrutinized, while less and less belief creeps in about what it is they’re watching.

And it can be troublesome with the way things can change so quickly, as looking at things through a microscope isn’t healthy. Plus, no one wants to be the tortured fan that always sees the worst in things.

But on the other hand, you also want to be pragmatic and realistic about the possible outcomes of the season and what the ceiling of this group really is. It’s like for every positive perspective there’s a pragmatic one to contest it and so on and vice versa.

And to be fair, they’re all decent points. The stalemate is inevitable.

It’s like if it was a debate in the local pub, it would be a seemingly endless back and forth, while any fan at any given moment can be on any given side. The internal battle would rage on to the point of inexplicability.

Which leads here. The phenomenon in question here can’t be illustrated in the succinct traditional prose of this arena, but must be delivered in the form of dialogue.

And here it is as follows:

The Miami Heat are hovering in the middle, giving minimal hope for contention. But is that an educated perspective based on the history of this franchise?

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Critical Fan: Has this team hit the wall?

Skeptic Fan: What do you mean by “the wall”?

Critical Fan: I just think this team has gone as far as it can go with the roster as it’s currently constructed, as in like—it needs to re-tool.

Skeptic Fan: But this roster hasn’t even played together much at all this year. Everyone’s been injured.

Critical Fan: But that happens every year it seems. In the last three seasons, Jimmy Butler’s only averaging 56 games a season. At some point, you can’t really use that as an excuse anymore.

Skeptic Fan: Yeah, however, the Miami Heat made the Eastern Conference Finals last year despite that. What’s the problem?

Critical Fan: Yes “despite that.” That doesn’t mean it’s the norm. It just reminds you of those Raptors teams in the 2010s. They pushed as hard as they could but ultimately they hit the wall. They couldn’t get to the Finals until they traded for Kawhi Leonard.

Skeptic Fan: Again, do I need to remind you that this Miami Heat team did, indeed, make the Finals in 2020? And don’t say the bubble doesn’t count. You know Boston fans would rub that Conference Championship in our faces if they had made the Finals that year.

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Critical Fan: It just feels like there needs to be a change. There’s nothing wrong with shaking things up sometimes. Tyler Herro is good, while Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are great but maybe this team needs a different point guard. Kyle Lowry’s about to turn 37 you know.

Skeptic Fan: Look, you really might be overreacting here. It’s only January and the team’s over .500. Look at what last year’s Celtics did. Why can’t the Heat have a similar turnaround?

Critical Fan: They’re only two games over .500 and still have a negative net rating. And what the Celtics did last year was literally unprecedented. They went from below average to the best regular season team—overnight. Again, that’s the exception, not the rule.

Skeptic Fan: So what do you propose? Is there even a trade out there?

Critical Fan: Well, nothing especially comes to mind but we do have all our draft picks going forward. That might be a good trade package, plus Duncan Robinson and Lowry. Perhaps that gets a star back.

Skeptic Fan: That’s not as big a deal as it looks like. Miami never tanks, so those picks aren’t going to be as valuable as say future Laker picks.

Critical Fan: So what do you think’s going to happen? Is this a play-in team?

Skeptic Fan: PLAY IN TEAM?! You’ve got to be kidding me. Look, yes right now they’re the eighth seed but the Pacers and Knicks are above in the standings. You’re saying that the Miami Heat aren’t better than them?

Critical Fan: I’m just saying the East is tough. There’s a lot of talent in this league and someone has to end up in those seven and eight seeds.

Skeptic Fan: This conversation is going nowhere.

Critical Fan: Well, I guess that was the point.

And that is the dichotomy of the dialogue surrounding this Miami Heat team. To be fair though and considering the track record of this core, this coach, and this organizations—you have to have more faith that they’ll figure it out than not.

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And like both fans above, we’ll all be eagerly watching and waiting to see.