Well, the 2020 NBA Playoffs are upon us. With its Disney Bubble premise in full effect, 16 teams are squaring off to determine this year’s champion. While it’s hard to think that there won’t be an asterisk next to the 2020 title, a champion will be crowned.
The NBA is a fickle beast. Star-driven and tank-friendly, teams in the dumpster one year can be the king of the mountain the next. With that, stakes are high for almost every team as they make their playoff run, with sought-after stars often heading for greener pastures if they feel their squad can’t get over the hump.
We’re looking at each of the NBA playoff contenders and diving into what’s at stake for each team, the odds of making a deep run, and key storylines to watch.
Let’s hit the Miami Heat.
Expectations: East Semis? Maybe?
Miami had the chance at taking the 3 seed but struggled in the bubble. They ended up the 5 seed and just avoided having to play the Celtics in the first round. After a tough bubble, it’s anyone’s guess whether they’ll be the pre-Covid team or bubble Heat.
What’s Working for Them
A familiar first round opponent. They played 8 bubble games, and 2 of them were against their first round opponent, the Indiana Pacers. The two teams split 1-1, and neither game was close. Granted the second game, which the Heat lost, was without Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala, and Jae Crowder.
Despite having the lower seed, there’s a lot of playoff experience on this roster. They may be teetering with varied levels of success, but it makes Miami a scary team to play the deeper they go.
What Might Hold Them Back:
Of the five teams in their division, they’re the only team with a winning record. By 11 games. A large chunk of their wins this season came against those 4 others.
Veterans are important, but the number of injuries these vets have sustained in their careers could become a worry as they progress. This, coupled with their tough results in the bubble, could make a deep run possibility a difficult one.
That said, they’re coming into this series healthy. So, if they can stay that way…
Storyline to Watch
It’s all about Jimmy Butler. He’s finally “the guy”. With the likes of Iggy and Udonis Haslem, both of whom have won a title 3 times but are over 35, he has the veteran experience around him to push for the title he’s been longing for. As a Celtics fan, the Heat are actually the team that worries me the most. However, they could fall flat on their face in the first round. Will Jimmy rise to the occasion? Or will he come short yet again?
- / 1 year ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.