3 Ways the Heat are better than last season's Finals team

The Miami Heat made the Finals last year but is this year's team better on paper?

New Orleans Pelicans v Miami Heat
New Orleans Pelicans v Miami Heat / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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It's not every day that a team that reached the Finals improves the following year but, despite their record, the Miami Heat can make that argument.

The Heat show up to your house and put their feet on your couch. They're better on the road than at home this year. You need adequate 3-point shooting to be a good team in 2024. The Heat's improbable run last year added more merit to the importance of shooting. 

It's never fun when good players depart the team, but the Heat did replace key role players with more versatile, springy, and consistent talents. Do these upgrades make the Heat a better team heading into the 2024 postseason?

3. Home away from home

Around this time of year, teams at the top of the conference are jostling for homecourt advantage. You want the crowd on your side and a familiar court and rims in a best-of-seven playoff series. Everyone wants that pivotal game five and series-deciding game seven on their home court—everyone except the Miami Heat. 

Last year, the Heat defeated the Boston Celtics on their home floor in Game 7 to secure their NBA Finals spot. 2022 was a nightmare ending, as the Heat lost Game 7 at home to the Celtics. This Heat core, in particular, is fine coming to your arena and making themselves at home.

More than 70 games in, and the Heat already have more road wins than last year. Their 17-24 pedestrian road record from a season ago doesn't compare to their 21-16 record up to this point. 

The Heat have had victories against the third-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers and second-seeded Milwaukee Bucks; they'd be prepared to take on either team in a playoff series. Even away from Miami, Heat fans show unwavering support. "Let's go, Heat" chants have often been heard far from Kaseya Center.

The Heat take an average of 34 three-point shots per game while playing on the road, slightly higher than their home three-point frequency. They shoot better from three overall this year, and this trend can lead to playoff success.