Fact or Fiction: Miami Heatby Jacari McRae August 17, 2021 0 comments
Well, this has been an interesting summer for the Miami Heat. After an early exit in last season’s playoffs, the team roster has seen many changes. Miami has brought in three new pieces in Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris, and P.J. Tucker. Still, many questions exist for the new Heat team. These discussions include Lowry’s impact on Bam Adebayo if maxing out Jimmy Butler was the right move, and whether Miami should be considered NBA title favorites.
This will all be covered in our Fact or Fiction series. This series offers the boldest and biggest claims about your Miami Heat and gives you the answer with a decisive fact or fiction. With that being said, let’s dive right into it.
Make sure to check out all of our other Fact or Fiction articles.
Kyle Lowry will Have a Huge Impact on Bam Adebayo
The Heat’s decision to sign Lowry was always expected to happen. They nearly traded for him back at March’s trade deadline. So, there was no shock when Miami signed him. Still, there are questions about offering a three-year $90 million deal to a 35-year old. Will this work for Miami? Simply put, yes. Even though he is 35 years old, Lowry still played at a high level last season. He’s averaged 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game last season.
Lowry will have the biggest impact as a pick-and-roll facilitator. As a floor general, he’s great at unlocking his teammates’ strengths, putting them in great positions to score. His former teammate Serge Ibaka has benefited from Lowry’s playmaking in the past. When news first came of Miami signing Lowry, the first name Ibaka tweeted was Bam. When it comes to the pick and roll, Lowry makes the simple reads. He’s going to unlock Adebayo’s strengths as a rolling facilitator while also putting him in easier positions to score.
Verdict: Fact, Lowry will Have a Huge Impact on Bam
Jimmy Butler’s Max Extension was the Wrong Move
The 31-year old first made his way to Miami back in 2019 by signing a max contract, through a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s currently set to make $36 million this upcoming season. After it was reported that the deal was for four years, ESPN’s Bobby Marks clarified that the deal will be for three years. Instead of replacing his $37,653,300 player option for 2022-2023 with a higher max salary (approximately $40 million), Butler exercised his player option with the new deal. The extension starts in 2023.
However, is this a good idea? Yes. In his first season with Miami, he led the team to their sixth NBA Finals appearance. The next season Butler averaged 21.5 points per game along with single-season career-highs in assists (7.1) and rebounds (6.9). He also led the league in steals at 2.1 per game. He’s the team leader and his teammates follow his lead. Outside of the court, he’s done his part in recruiting talent to Miami. He was able to bring his friend Lowry to the team. All in all, Butler has made his mark on the team since joining them.
Verdict: Fiction, Jimmy Butler’s Max Extension was the Right Move
Miami should be Considered one of the Favorites for the 2022 NBA Championship
Almost a year ago, the Heat were in the NBA Finals competing for a championship. This past season, they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs. As a result, they made a couple of changes to their roster this offseason. Acquiring Lowry clearly shows they’re going all-in. But the question is whether this current roster is enough to get out of the Eastern Conference?
The safe bet is no. At least for right now. There are still teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bucks, and the Brooklyn Nets ahead of them. While they have a strong potential starting five, Miami’s bench depth took a hit with their free agency moves. They’ll really need reserve guard Tyler Herro to make another jump this season. Furthermore, others like Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Morris will have to step up as well. The huge wildcard is Victor Oladipo. When he actually returns to play games, it’ll be interesting to see how he looks after having a second surgery on his quad. If he returns close to his all-star form, Miami could really become a threat in the East. We’ll see how this plays out, but right now they shouldn’t be considered favorites to win the title.
Verdict: Fiction, Miami should not be Considered Favorites to win the 2022 NBA Championship
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
Main Image Credit:
From Google Images