4 Killer mistakes the Miami Heat cannot repeat next season

Here's what the Miami Heat can learn from a disappointing season that ended after just five playoff games.
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Five
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Five / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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The 2023-24 season of the Miami Heat presents a complex narrative. It showcases both moments of success and disappointment compared to previous seasons. Rather than instilling unwavering hope or stealing it away, this season raises more questions than it provides answers.

Injuries and absences play a significant role in explaining the team's performance. Miami had to rely on a record-breaking 35 different starting lineups. They struggled to maintain a consistent five-man group on the court, with only two lineups surpassing 100 minutes together, compared to five lineups achieving that milestone in the previous season.

Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro's availability was limited, as they combined to play only 102 out of 164 games. Additionally, the trade that brought Kyle Lowry to the team resulted in Terry Rozier joining another team due to injuries, first to his knee and then to his neck. Furthermore, Butler's absence during the playoffs due to a knee injury sustained in the play-in tournament game against the Philadelphia 76ers further hindered the team's chances. Miami struggles to achieve success when they're without their key players and cohesive rotations on the court.

On the contrary, the true potential of this team remained a mystery, as we never had the chance to witness their best lineups in action. While we could look back at the remarkable run from the previous season as a reference point, it was not a direct comparison. Herro, Butler, and Bam Adebayo only shared the court for 499 minutes, resulting in a Net Rating of +3.2. Additionally, they played just 118 minutes with Rozier, producing a Net Rating of +1.0. Unfortunately, these minutes were sporadic due to injuries, hindering their ability to build chemistry and cohesion.

Despite the lack of opportunities to showcase their full potential, the team also failed to deliver dominant performances, evident by their minimal number of 20-point victories compared to other playoff teams. While the confidence in their abilities stemmed from past successes, struggles in late-game situations raised doubts even among the most optimistic fans.

Ultimately, the outcome is what truly matters. With 46 wins, Miami secured the No. 8 seed for the second consecutive year. The regular season ended with eight teams advancing to the second round of the NBA playoffs, leaving Miami behind. However, they were just a few wins away from a higher seed, highlighting the fine margins in the NBA. 

Each memorable or forgettable season plays a crucial role in shaping the team's future, serving as a valuable learning experience for what lies ahead. Here are some mistakes the Miami Heat organization cannot repeat next season if they aspire to make a comeback.