8 Lessons the Heat can learn from every remaining NBA playoff team

Apr 10, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during the first
Apr 10, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during the first / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Nuggets and Timberwolves

The Nuggets are the defending NBA champions, and the Timberwolves are one of the league's hottest young teams.

One lesson to learn from the Timberwolves is that the Heat need to juice the defense and add around Bam Adebayo. Believe it or not, defense is still a key component to winning basketball games in 2024! The Wolves traded for Rudy Gobert and had a bit of a rough stretch last season trying to figure things out. This season, head coach Chris Finch came in with a game plan to utilize their best defensive player and, in doing so, earned Gobert his fourth DPOY.

The Heat ask Adebayo to carry most of the defensive load, and that's where he makes his money, but it would be interesting to see the Heat go all in on defense -- sort of what they did in 2022. This time should be different though. Include more defenders who can apply pressure without fouling, look to add some length, and find guys who are going to compete on that end for 48 minutes. If the Heat can jump from being a top-five defense to a top-two, their championship odds should increase.

From last year's NBA Finals when the Heat lost in five games to the Nuggets, one thing was true and remains true even after this year. It's that the Heat needs more size. This isn't the Kevin Durant-Warriors years where the small ball play was in style. These teams are getting longer and shiftier and the Heat need to catch up.

Just look at the Timberwolves and all the issues they're giving the Nuggets. We haven't seen the Nuggets look this bothered in a playoff run in a long time. Defensive versatility would be useful when getting bigger but it would help on the offensive end. Having longer guys who can finish in traffic and get off a jump shot due to their elevation would do wonders.

Running a small ball lineup isn't ideal anymore. It's a note to take from the Nuggets, but really, it's the whole league. Look at the draft classes coming in. The Heat need to catch up in the race before they get left behind for good.

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