3 realistic goals for Miami Heat in 2021 NBA Playoffs

Miami Heat, NBA Playoffs

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat came up just one or two miracles short in last year’s NBA Finals. Here’s what they’ll need to accomplish to earn another chance.

You won’t hear the Miami Heat mentioned often in discussions of likely Eastern Conference contenders but no one saw them coming last year either. This year’s squad hasn’t looked nearly as dangerous but there’s a good reason — they’re among the league leaders in games missed due to injury and COVID health and safety protocols.

If they can get their full rotation on the floor, there’s no reason to think they can’t take a huge leap. They just need to take things step-by-step, knocking things out goal-by-goal:

3. The Miami Heat need to help Tyler Herro get his confidence back

Of all the lasting ramifications of last year’s playoff run, the emergence of Tyler Herro may have been the most important. He was a rotation mainstay throughout his rookie season but took on even more primacy in the postseason, averaging 16.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. He looked like the dynamic complementary creator the Heat needed around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo but he hasn’t had the same spark this season.

His scoring is up but mostly because he’s taking more shots, and his shooting percentages have been relatively flat (with a slight dip from beyond the arc). He hasn’t been significantly worse, if you take a broad view of his entire season, but what he’s done hasn’t generated the same results for Miami. If they’re going to do anything significant, they’ll need him to get his swagger back and be an offensive difference-maker against superior opponents.

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