What the Miami Heat need to leave behind in 2023

From trade rumors to Duncan Robinson's slump, here's what we aren't bringing with us in the New Year.
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Bam Adebayo's offensive struggles

Bam Adebayo, Onyeka Okongwu
Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Bam is the anchor of Miami’s defense, but he has come a long way on the other side of the floor since his rookie season. He once appeared as a player who often looked passive when it came to creating his shots. Now, he is averaging a career-high in field goal attempts per game.

Bam has become a true force on offense. Many plays run through him and he looks comfortable in the mid-range and inside the paint. Bam is currently the second-leading scorer on the team and continues to improve every season. He should be a lock for an All-Star spot this season and will compete for All-NBA because of his impressive two-way ability. -- Noah Decker

National media underestimating the Heat

It’s been the same song and dance from the national media for the last few seasons. “Miami aren’t true contenders, they don’t have enough.” Sentiments like this have run rampant, even when the Heat continues to disprove these notions. 

The Heat have represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals in two of the last four seasons. Milwaukee hasn't done that (2021 was a hospital ring), Boston hasn’t, and Philadelphia hasn’t sniffed that type of success. But these teams are always propped up over Miami. Miami doesn't have a quote-unquote MVP-level guy, but they’ll always have the coaching advantage; the media never factors this in.

Sitting at 19-12 (4th in the East) while missing the best players on the team for a portion of the year is a testament to Erik Spoelstra and his staff. He tinkered with his rotation finding combinations that work. Spo isn’t a prisoner of his thinking. When adjustments need to be made, they will be. 

The media can underrate Miami again if they want to. It’s cool. It’s going to be hilarious when guys like Jamal Cain and Haywood Highsmith are helping the team win games and May. The media will ultimately change their tune and admit they were wrong about our guys. 

Calling them a Cinderella story isn't out of the realm of possibility when the national media realizes they’ve overthought the Heat situation again! But the attentive ones know. This Heat team is a contender hiding in plain sight. – Brennan Sims