4 Lessons the Miami Heat can learn from the final NBA playoff teams

Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers
Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks: Quick recoveries are possible, but they take work

The Dallas Mavericks are proof that you can make the conference finals, suffer a disappointing season, then bounce back and return to the conference finals in short order. But it takes a shrewd front office and an all-in approach.

The Mavs made the conference finals in 2022, lost Jalen Brunson that summer in free agency, traded for Kyrie Irving during the 2022-23 season and missed the playoffs. The front office responded by surrounding the team’s tentpole stars, Irving and Luka Doncic, with complementary pieces. The Mavs drafted Dereck Lively II and signed role players like Derrick Jones Jr. and Dante Exum. Before the trade deadline, they spent future draft capital on P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford.

Now the Mavs are back in the conference finals, with a real shot to make the NBA Finals for the first time since 2011.

The Heat can learn from what Dallas did. If the organization moves forward with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo as its foundational stars, then it has to do a better job of surrounding them with complementary talent.

A team built around Butler and Adebayo needs shooting and, as covered in the Minnesota portion, size. If the Heat want to take a leap, they have to make sure everyone else on the roster fits that description. If not, those players need to be traded for someone who does. It may also cost future draft capital but, if the Heat are truly all-in on this window, then that’s what it takes.