3 reasons the Heat’s bubble run wasn’t sustainable in 2021

Miami Heat, NBA Playoffs

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Miami Heat, Tyler Herro

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

It appears the Miami Heat don’t have what it takes to repeat as Eastern Conference champions after a great run in last year’s bubble. 

The Miami Heat have officially run out of gas. Thursday night saw the Heat host the Milwaukee Bucks in a must-win Game 3. The Heat responded with 14 points in the first quarter, and it was clear the game was over right after it began.

That puts the team in a 3-0 hole, and it would take a miracle for Miami to beat Milwaukee as they did in last year’s bubble.

So what changed this season? A few factors stand out as the Heat try to pull off the impossible against a clearly superior opponent.

3. Regression for Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro looked like the next big thing in Miami last year as a rookie. He averaged over 13 points per game in the regular season and was playing heavy minutes in the postseason.

Things were different this season. Herro missed 18 games with multiple injuries and health and safety protocols, and has not been able to carry such a heavy load like he did as a rookie.

Multiple factors play into this. One is that there was some regression for the 21-year-old. The bubble was a unique experience and not everyone handled it well. Herro did, apparently, and that boosted the perception of him.

To be fair, we are still talking about a talented core player in Miami. He just didn’t live up to the high bar he set a year ago. The fact he only played 19 minutes in the Game 1 loss set the tone for where he is in 2021.

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