Yes Miami Heat fans, hopefully this article finds you joyfully reading this while you are playing Will Smith's "Welcome to Miami" on repeat.
Every year in the NBA, there seems to be a team that comes out of nowhere and surprises NBA fans with their play early on in the year. This year, it looks as if the Miami Heat are that team. It's been a great development to track with the Heat, as it seems as if Pat Riley and Erik Spolestra are up to their old tricks again. As of now, the Heat find themselves sitting at 19-8, including 7-3 in their last 10 games and good enough for 4th in the Eastern Conference. What's more eye-opening is when you take a look at the Miami Heat team success when it comes to advanced numbers. Below, is the Miami Heat synergy rankings on the offensive side of the ball.
As you can see above, there's a lot to LOVE if you are a Miami Heat faithful. When it comes to synergy rankings, the Heat find themselves in the top 10 when it comes to both transition offense and overall half court offense. There's a number of reasons why this teams offense has taken off in a big way. Let us explain why below.
The Jimmy Butler Experience is Working
- There's just no denying this storyline, as Butler has fit better than the glass slipper for Cinderella with the Miami Heat organization. This team has followed Jimmy Buckets lead in a big way, and you can see a surge of effort and confidence from a number of young players on this team as well. Butler looks to be the missing ingredient to push this Heat to the next level. So far on the year, Butler is averaging 21.0 PTS, 6.5 REB, 6.8 AST, and 2.1 STL. Jimmy also leads the Heat in PER at 23.88
Bam Adebayo Has Been Unleashed
- If you've been following us on social media or any other aspect of life, we have basically been begging the Miami Heat organization to finally unleash the energetic rim rattling big man...it looks as if the Basketball Gods agreed with us. Bam has been outstanding in his 3rd NBA season and is currently averaging 15.2 PTS, 10.6 REB, 4.6 AST, and shooting 58.4% from the field. What's even more eye-opening is his performance lately. In the month of December (8 games), Bam is posting averages of 18.5 PTS, 11.4 REB, 5.1 AST, and shooting 57.8% from the field.
Kendrick Nunn Looks Like a Steal
Last year, we brought up Kendrick Nunn in a post about potential Two-Way call-up candidates in the G-League (humble brag). Nunn spent the last year playing in the G-League with the Santa Cruz Warriors, and was eventually signed by the Miami Heat at the end of the regular season. Since Summer League with the Heat, Nunn has been a perfect fit for this Miami organization, and has become a huge asset to this team. The "rookie" has been one of the top stories to follow in the entire NBA, and is currently 2nd on this Heat team in PPG (16.1).
Tyler Herro Is Thriving
If you watched Summer League and the NBA Preseason, you might have figured this was going to happen. The Heat had themselves a heck of an offseason. They added Jimmy Butler, which has been a fantastic fit, they stoled Kendrick Nunn for pennies on the dollar. Now, it looks as if they've hit a home run with the NBA Draft. Rookie lottery selection Tyler Herro has been the real deal with this Heat organization, and it looks as if Miami has a serious hooper developing in front of their eyes. Herro is in the hunt for Rookie of the Year, but his impact has been for more important for this Heat roster. The former Kentucky product is averaging 13.8 PPG in 28.9 MIN this year.
The Depth is Producing
- What if I told you that the Miami Heat have SEVEN players averaging 10+ points per game this year. What's even more ridiculous, they could have 8 if Kelly Olynyk (9.3 PPG) wouldn't be so selfish. Kidding Kelly. This team is getting production from all over the place. Players have stepped up their play and others have started to thrive in their roles. G-League alum Duncan Robinson has been a pleasant surprise as well for this Miami franchise, averaging 11.6 PTS and providing an outside threat for this Heat team. Another underrated contributor is the high-flying Derrick Jones Jr, who has started to become a valuable defensive weapon with his length and athleticism. Of course, we didn't forget about Goran Dragic either, who has been more than effective with his bench role averaging 15.8 PPG.
The season is still young, but enough time has gone by to show us that this Miami Heat team isn't a fluke. This team plays tough and has a number of interesting pieces to the puzzle. Credit to Pat Riley and company, as a number of these players have been developing in the G-League last year. It just shows the impact that the G-League continues to have as the league grows rapidly each and every year. With the rapidly developing scoring talent of Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, as well as the fantastic play from Bam Adebayo and All-Star Jimmy Butler...The Heat is On.