The Miami Heat have been surprising everyone this NBA season. They currently sit 5-1, after and impressive 29 point win over the Houston Rockets, causing Russell Westbrook to be -46 in the plus/minus.
Despite having doubters this off-season, Miami has really came out and dominated so far. Many question where this dominance is spurring from. So, the question has to be asked, how are the Heat playing so well?
Here’s a few things to look into:
Currently, eight players are averaging double digits ,while two others are averaging just above 8 points.
The ball is moving flawlessly over in Miami, as they average 27 assists a game as a team.
They are also great at team rebounding, snagging 47 rebounds a night. Nearly the whole roster has a positive PER consisting of +13 and higher. The Heat are seeing nothing but green lights thus far.
Who knew guard Kendrick Nunn would come out averaging 19.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3 assists. The 24 year old rookie out of Oakland College is seeing 29.5 minutes a game, and has started all 6 games. On the contrary, they’ve seen promising production from their draft pick rookie Tyler Herro, who is shooting a healthy 36.4% from deep, including a 29 point outing against the Atlanta Hawks. Like Nunn, Herro sees some big minutes (32) and you have to love what Miami is doing. It’s always great to see an organization valuing their young talent so early on in the season.
Bam Adebayo is one of the most aggressive forwards I’ve ever come across. He is putting up 13 PPG and 9 RPG on what seems to be a career year for him. Many have underestimated him as he was in the shadows of Hassan Whiteside, but the 6’9 interior force is picking up the slack
Looking more at the roster the Heat have, Justis Winslow stands out like a sore thumb. One ability that often gets overlooked is his rebounding ability. Winslow is averaging 8.5 RPG this season, being able to rebound at such a high clip as a wing will only benefit this strong Heat team. Winslow also shoots at a 30% clip from deep, while also dishing out 5.8 assists a game. Winslow has really progressed and matured since his primitive years with the Heat.
On paper, Miami’s roster looks below average, but when you watch a game or two they look like one of the top teams in the East. Some might argue that their schedule is a bit on the easy side, but a win is win.
I haven’t even spoke on Jimmy Butler yet, and that should speak volumes to you NBA fanatics. I don’t think we have ever seen Butler average 14 PPG ,7 APG,7 RPG, as well as 1.3 blocks and 4.3 steals! Talk about living up to that two-way role. We are seeing a different type of Butler as he is taking a step back and letting his teammates hoop, which is resulting in wins.
During his turbulent time in Minnesota and short tenure in Philly, all Butler wanted was a team who could play basketball. A team who didn’t question authority and knew their role. Well, the Miami Heat are a perfect replica of what Butler wanted. It is perfect timing for him to arrive in Miami, as Whiteside left for Portland and D-Wade retired. He’s already doubling his rebounds and assists this season, as his career averages are 4.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists. A rather big accomplishment for a player who has been questioned about his ability to carry a team.
If you look at the roster, they have one player over 7′ and all of their forwards are 6’11” and under. The Heat are controlling the tempo and balance of the game, while also being one of the smallest teams in the league.
The Heat play again on Tuesday as they take a well oiled Denver team on the road. Arguably their best completion this season. Lets see if Miami can keep up this hot start.