It is undeniable that LeBron James made the Miami Heat in their golden age for four consecutive seasons (2010-2014). The Heat always reaches the NBA Finals. James can make the Heat get two NBA titles, namely in the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons. Since James left, the Heat have never reached the Regional Finals. This time with Jimmy Butler, the Heat made the best performance since the departure of LeBron James.
James decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. Throwing off all honors he had with the Miami Heat. But James doesn’t care about the fate of his former team. He let the Heat stumble in the league. Since leaving James, the Heat’s best achievement has only reached the East Region Semifinals of the 2015-2016 season. They lost to the Toronto Raptors in the seventh game (3-4). Of the six seasons since James left, the Heat have progressed only three times to the playoffs. That includes this season (2019-2020).
Everything started when Dwyane Wade decided to retire on April 9, 2019. After the 2018-2019 season ended, the Heat were involved in trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. They got Jimmy Bulter. Five times NBA All-Star and Most Improved Player 2015. Heat became Jimmy’s third team in the last three seasons. After six seasons with the Chicago Bulls (2011-2017), Bulter moved to the Minnesota Timberwolves (2017-2018), and played for the Sixers (2018-2019).
Together with Butler, coupled with potential young players such as Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, the Heat managed to make a 44-29 win record in the 2019-2020 regular season. Butler is also surrounded by great players like Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk, who are ready to help score points. Heat finally finished fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. That includes a 3-5 record in the “seeding games”, as the league resumed after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Miami Heat is less convincing in “seeding games”. They turned scary when they entered the playoffs. His first victim was the Indiana Pacers. The team that has a good record in the continued NBA was beaten 4-0 in the first round. Then the next victim was the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Heat destroyed everyone’s predictions regarding the 2020 NBA Finals. Initially, the Bucks were touted as a potential league finalist this season. Heat made them helpless by winning 3-0 in the semifinals. Despite winning one time, the Bucks were eventually eliminated after losing the fifth game.
Now the Miami Heat are back in the Eastern Conference Finals. A feat that hasn’t been achieved since the departure of LeBron James, even added to since Dwyane Wade’s retirement. This is the seventh time the Heat have progressed to the conference finals since 2005.
“A true winner in this league must have a game like we did today. We still have to chase the title,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Spoelstra is now one of the NBA coaches with the longest tenure in a team after Gregg Popovich, who has been with the San Antonio Spurs since 1996. Spoelstra has coached the Miami Heat since 2008. The coach who has also started coaching a team since 2008 is Rick Carlisle at the Dallas Mavericks.